It is almost that time again. Holiday season will soon be upon us. With that being said, this is the time where many businesses can make the most money of the whole year. To be a successful business during the holidays it is essential to get into the holiday spirit. Decorations and good cheer can only go so far to bring the clientele in, so in order to make your business stand out, the best way is to give away before selling. Now I know product is not cheap, so free samples may sound counter intuitive, when in fact they can be the exact opposite. Here are three ways to turn giving a tiny bit into receiving major profit.
Make it small but useful.
Everyone has been to the store has eaten a free cracker with a touch of fantastic topping, and sometimes you get hooked, landing a jar of some sort of jelly in your grocery cart. The store probably will go through two jars a day max of the spread but sell fifty in the process. A good product will sell, but the consumer has to know that the product exists and how it works. If your business is food-based, then sampling is easy. Cut up one yummy piece of food and offer it to the masses. What about other types of businesses? Take the smallest possible bit of the product that can stand alone and offer it either free or free with purchase. Trying to sell a computer? A free 2 gig flash drive could do the trick. Selling clothes? The perfect necklace to go with the perfect Christmas sweater. Customers love to feel like they’re getting a deal. The more expensive the product you want to sell is, the more fun and useful your freebie has to be.
While everyone has had the delicious free food experience, a lot of us have also had the tiny, completely useless sample experience. As a woman, I am familiar with tiny pointless pieces of plastic that are supposed to smell like a certain perfume. What do I smell instead of seduction and raindrops? I smell plastic. Even if I get a whiff of the fragrance, it’s not as if I could wear it for a few hours and have it on my wrist to remember later. Recently I went into an expensive lingerie store that was offering perfume samples in an incredibly clever way. There was a sample bottle of the perfume and next to it a bowl of long, black ribbons to be spritzed and tied around the wrist like a bracelet. In a store famous for silk and lace a small black ribbon fit perfectly with the atmosphere and lent the wearers a chic accessory that conveniently smelled of a certain fragrance. Guess what? Later that day I returned and bought a bottle. This is a perfect example of clever advertising that lures the customer in with something free but also serves as a reminder for the store itself even if the customer doesn’t buy the intended product. A tangible item is much more effective at getting your point across than an ad in the paper.
Put your best foot forward.
It is easy to set out a tray of stickers that were ripped out of a children’s coloring book and call it a free sample, but this will get you nowhere. Sampling is your time to shine. When you pass something tiny into a customer’s hand, you don’t want it shoved into a pocket. Make your freebie something that connects with your store and displays its absolute best in the smallest, most inexpensive package. One of the best ways to stick in a customer’s memory is to make your freebie wearable. A small plastic bracelet will have to be slipped on but at the end of the day at home will also have to be taken off again, therefore reminding the customer of where the bracelet came from. Same goes for things like t-shirts and other types of things that can be worn. The whole point of giving something away is to remind the consumer at least one more time of your store or product. Don’t give away gaudy bumper stickers or something that is clearly just an advertisement. Small things that can be used more than once can jog the memory of a customer and bring the bigger memory of the store or product to the forefront of their mind.
They say that the best things in life are free, but usually that isn’t true. Because every little thing has a cost, the ability to gain something free of charge is exhilarating for most people. By offering tiny reminders of your business to consumers, it is possible to receive tenfold the cost of whatever little thing you gave away. So this holiday season try to give just a bit before you focus solely on receiving.
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