By Brian Walker, The Retail Doctor

We see every day that competition has its victors and for them the spoils.  Competitors resort to every strategy available to win the hearts and minds of their customers and we see this is so many retailers strategies, with the current supermarket price war being an example of this claim for increased market share at the others expense.

These brands are using a loss leader strategy whereby they reduce the price of essential base price items especially perishables that are needed regularly. Loss leaders can also be used to influence customer price perceptions and give them the perception that the brand is less expensive. This technique is often used by, and may work for large corporate brands who are trying to position themselves as the best price supermarkets.

So how do smaller supermarkets or convenience stores compete for this? .The simple answer? They should not, and we do not suggest they try.

The key to winning in competition is to be smarter, quicker, more responsive and ultimately out fox your competitor.

Here are some fitness tips for being fitter than your competitors

Be unequally ‘Fit for Business’
Develop and enhance your unique offer to market. There is no use competing head on with the big guys so be clever and focus on the things that make your business unique, eg. Exceptional customer service, convenience, home delivery.

Be innovative
Keep your business offer fresh and exciting if you want to motivate new customers to do business with you. Generate curiosity and interest to draw customers into your store above all others.

We recently attended a presentation hosted by our design partners at E2 Experiential Environments. Their team had just returned from a trip to New York and brought back some of the latest retail trends to share. One example that really caught our attention was the innovative retail approach used by Louis Vuitton who ran a live design competition where entrants had to sit in the window of the store to create their works. While fairly intimidating for the competitors this is a great example of an innovative concept to create real interest and curiosity and therefore encourage customers to enter the store.

Create a community
Use the power of social inclusion to bring your customers together. Reward your loyal customers through loyalty programs and meaningful VIP events. Social media is a great tool to assist in bringing your customers together and making them feel a part of a group. People naturally tend to gather together in groups and communites and accessing this dynamic can be a great success factor to creating loyal brand advocates.

Customers are being exposed to thousands of advertising messages every day, and this number is increasing exponentially. As an experiment, look on your desk right now and see how many brands you can see? I found 18 without even opening a drawer or getting off my chair! And even more interesting is how many of these you really notice, until this exercise, did you ever know the brand of your mouse that you use every day?

This visual and information overload is making it increasingly difficult to cut through the clutter and have your message noticed. So rather than increase the reach or frequency of your advertising, which can be expensive, focusing on the other less targeted senses can be equally or more rewarding. For example:
Sound: Use music that suits your branded experience to entice purchases that will deliver on the brand promise. For example Abercrombie and Fitch uses loud, current music to create a cool, disco atmosphere.
Smell: Attract customers to you before they can even see you. Lush does this well with a range of soaps that smell good enough to eat.
Taste: Use taste to tempt your customers to try your product. Samples are a great way of tantalising the taste buds and introducing new ranges.
Touch: Create and encourage a tactile environment where customers can touch and interact with the product.

When all is said and done, the competitive instincts within us determines our results. It is impossible to drive any vehicle if the engine isn’t as primed as it could be.

There are many other methods of increasing the traffic in your store and driving sales and we welcome you to contact us for further tips and ideas.

Happy ‘Fit’ Retailing

The Retail Doctor

Contact us
email or phone us on 02 9460 2882 to find out how to get ‘Fit for Business’. Alternatively visit our sites on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or Slideshare.