Friday, May 14, 2010

Advertising and Marketing Lessons From Watching Saturday Night Live

We learn our marketing and advertising expertise from many different sources. Usually from book, seminars, and experience. But from watching early episodes of Saturday Night Live? Absolutely.

Do you remember when Saturday Night Live was really funny? I do. The original cast and writers were brilliant. I confess I haven't seen it in years, so I can't judge the newest version.

Anyway, there was a skit that took place inside a mall. The characters had a Scotch Tapes store. They sold nothing except Scotch Tape...

People would come in their store to buy cassette tapes. Nope. They only had Scotch Tape. The anger of the owner, and the frustration with his lack of sales, made for some good comedy.

What has this got to do with us?

I was in Columbus Ohio, visiting a friend...and I drove by a "Battery Store". They sold nothing but batteries. I think they had every kind of battery imaginable...but that's all they sold.

They are now gone. The entire chain of ""Battery" stores.

There was a chain of stores that only sold Toner Cartridges. Nothing else. Same story...Gone.

Why? Because it was a flawed idea.

Batteries and toner cartridges are low ticket items. And my definition of "Retail Hell" is to sell something with a low price point...and the customer is not able (no matter how much they want to) to give you more money...for something else.

But, what about shoe stores, car lots, suit stores, and...gasp...vacuum cleaner stores?

Good question. I'm glad that I pretended that you asked it.

Clothing, even shoes is different. Some people shop regularly for suits. Some women are legendary for the number of shoes they buy.

Cars have such a high price point, that you only need a customer to buy one every few years to make a good living...even in a small town.

Vacuum cleaners? If you sell the $79 vacuums, you are in the same boat as the battery store.

I own a vacuum cleaner store myself. But we also sell high profit heaters, air purifiers, and ceiling fans. And we make an average of several hundred dollars on every vacuum sold.

So the transaction amount has a lot to do with this.

But the question you could ask yourself is "What else does my customer want that I could provide?"

I don't just mean "Well, I sell vacuums...and I service them too...so that's two things...And I sell bags for them...so that's three things"

I'm talking about different categories.

Take the Saturday Night Live Scotch Tape example;

If someone is buying scotch tape, they may also need packing boxes, right?

How about glue? Shipping services? Envelopes? Eventually, you have a Staples.

The more you have available to sell...the more people will buy.

For us, vacuum cleaner sales peak around January. They lag a little in the summer time. We needed something to take up the slack in the Summer months.

Ceiling fans sell more in the Summer...and not at all in the winter. So that's what we sell ceiling fans. What can you learn from this?

Diversity adds stability. Giving you customer more options when they come in your store, or call you, increase the chances that they will buy something from you. Isn't that what we all want?

So what else can you add to your lineup?

Related : Best vacuum cleaners deal Best Vacuum Cleaners Deal

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