Are Christmas or holiday cards still valid? This time of year the post office must be inundated with mail - almost like election season. It seems almost daily there is a swarm of cards from friends, business associates and family with pre-printed messages of joy and wellness for this year and next.
Then, at the bottom, the cards are signed and someone is tasked with sending them out.
This morning I was at the meeting of one of the service clubs I belong to and, as usual, there was the common complaint that young people just aren’t joining and that membership is down. This made we wonder - are service clubs passé?
It used to be that being invited to belong to a service club like Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions and so many more was a true social feather in one’s cap. Furthermore being on the committee at a Chamber of Commerce or volunteering to help with community-focused functions was a mark of a true forward-minded community member. The Elks dotted the land with their halls and so many clubs did so much for the community.
When you’re market testing things, it helps to have the opinion of people with all levels of maturity, age and background/gender. While studying anything you’re about to bring to market, including slogans, designs and logos, is often done with the most advanced methods a lot of people forget to include the childish people in the audience when doing so.
But sometimes you can miss something based on whom you’re not testing to.
Months ago I was listening to a prospective client of mine who owns a restaurant complain bitterly. You see, someone else was opening another restaurant that had the same type of food just a few blocks away. And this, in a small town where there aren’t a lot of customers already. “Why would they do this? They’ll never succeed.”
Well, they are succeeding admirably.
I left a message with a business the other day. I planned to spend about $2,000 or so there and I know they’re busy. So I left a message. You know, after dialing my way through their phone tree while on my cell phone. I hate phone trees.
That evening, it occurred to me that they hadn’t called back. I called and left a message the following morning. You know, after dialing my way through their phone tree while on my cell phone. I still hate phone trees, especially with a small business.
If you have any doubt that people are doing a good percentage of their shopping on the interwebs, all you have to do is visit the local ghost town that was a shopping mall to reinforce this thought. Unless there’s some compelling reason to go to a physical location, web-based shopping is the wave of today. But I just had the most remarkable web-based shopping experience of my life. So far.
I love what I call strange musical instruments. From Stumpf fiddles to washboards to Cajons, the stranger the better. In fact my favorite music video is of a guy who has a truly strange instrument and plays it with great skill. Enjoy.
Regional tourism and destination marketing is a really important aspect of the long-term quality of life in a community. While some may disagree, marketing a region is an important component of an area. But it has so much more reach than just having people come and stay in the hotels for a few days.
When a destination effectively markets itself it tells the world about the highlights of the area. Everywhere you go in these United States there are highlights whether that be mountains or lakes or man-made structures. When I lived in LowCal Watts was one of those areas that really suffered from Rodney Dangerfield syndrome, no respect, but people still made the trek to go see the Watts Towers.
Every somewhere has some reason to go visit.
There’s a friend of mine who owns a cafe and they had a problem. They were slow one night of the week. In fact, most of the retail businesses in the area were slow on the same day and many of them just closed that day. Why bother staying open when nobody’s coming around?
Except he wasn’t satisfied with one night of no business and having an off season so he did something about it. In the case of his business, he started having live music on the slowest night of the week. So, basically, he significantly raised his costs on a night when hardly anybody came in to the business. Seems crazy, doesn’t it?
There I was wandering the aisles of a local store looking around aimlessly and getting more frustrated by the moment. I was new to the area and also new to this store and, despite wandering the aisles lost for some time I just couldn’t find what I was looking for. Nor could I find someone to point me in the right direction. So I left.
And wrote a nasty review on Yelp.
For those who don’t know I live in such a small community that, if you sneeze on one side of the giant lake that is in the heart of this community, you’ll likely hear “bless you” from the other side of the lake. Not that the community is physically small - it’s just that there aren’t a whole lot of people here. And everybody knows everybody else.
What if you have zero presence on the Internet - no Facebook Page, no Instagram Account, no Yelp account, nothing on TripAdvisor? Could you still run a business in these modern times with absolutely no Internet account. Yes.
I actually work with a business that is thriving without any Internet presence. It’s a retail operation that literally owns no internet presence whatsoever. It’s in a competitive business where the competition is all very tech savvy and everybody is all over their internet presence in just about every place you’d expect to find a business. Everybody but them, that is.