Once you have a successful business model, the idea of change can seem unnecessary, risky, and scary to boot. But there are ways of staying on your toes that will allow you to adapt to changing markets and trends as well as staying fresh in the eyes of consumers.
You’ve worked hard to design your business space. Redesigning it is labor-intensive and costly. But you’ve probably seen the charm of changing your décor with the seasons. Pumpkins for autumn, snowflakes for winter, flowers for spring: a playful seasonal motif can show customers your personality. Also, occasional face-lifts to your space are beneficial to convey that you are staying with the times. Nothing says “outdated” like orange shag carpet.
In a more serious vein, you can use your store to promote your products seasonally. Changing your space to reflect your current offers can be effective marketing. Things like custom wallpaper are removable and reusable, perfect for occasional sales (“Biannual Bonanza!”) or for businesses with multiple locations. Window stickers and banners are also tried and true methods for seasonal promotion. Be sure, however, not to alienate your regular customers with too much change at once unless you’ve announced a grand renovation. You don’t want them wondering if they’ve walked into the wrong store!
Making your brand recognizable is pivotal in marketing. But having the same logo for decades can sometimes communicate staleness instead of stability. Being able to update your logo to fit the marketing climate is a good habit. By using the same colors and general shapes, you stay familiar to your customers, helping them identify your brand. But even something like the change of font can give freshness to a dated logo.
If you compare the logos popular in the 50s to those of the 80s to those of today, you’ll see why an evolving logo is desirable. In fact, a fun way to improve your business space is to frame each new version of your logo and put them in succession on your wall. This gives a visual reference for the growth of your business and customers can spot which stage they joined you at.
Much like shag carpet and Comic Sans font, marketing can betray your company as falling behind the times. If the only form of sale promotion you have is flyers, you will have a very hard time getting modern consumers to pay you any mind. Staying on top of technology is a necessity for a modern business. The most basic of this is a reliable, attractive website. You should always advertise your sales there and make sure to have your contact information and hours of operation easily visible.
A social media presence has been established to be advantageous to any brand. A Facebook page on which you can promote sales and garner attention is a basic need for most businesses now. Twitter, as well, is a good tool for getting your brand mentioned and shared out in the digital ether. Maintaining current trends and responding to breaking news is how the modern consumer tends to function online: your approach to grabbing their attention should follow suit.
No matter what your business is, you have a staple population that you depend on for business. Much of your marketing has probably been aimed at that group since your business’s inception. However, you may want to keep your ear to the ground when it comes to your customers. They may surprise you.
For example, knitting has long been considered a pastime of elderly ladies, the kind of women that make socks for their grandchildren. But just a few years ago, knitting had a drastic rise in younger fans. Knitting clubs began appearing at colleges and homemade hats and scarves became increasingly stylish. Now say that you’re a store that sells knitting equipment. If you were paying attention to your changing customers, you might have stocked more brightly colored yarns and how-to books that younger knitters would be more likely to buy. If you failed to start thinking in terms of these newcomers, your competition would likely snap up the new business.
Keeping that in mind, you may need only to adapt your marketing to your new customers. But you can also make opportunities for your business if you keep an open mind to new kinds of consumers who may enjoy your product. You might find a new niche of buyers.