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Friday, October 10, 2008

Embrace your neighbourhood

With the onset of Dussehra, Navratri and Diwali season, I decided to pick up a few apparels from the recently opened "Style One" store in Adyar , Chennai.
(note the stress on "Pick up" ,to denote the fact that Men still don't like to shop !)

After the purchase , I headed off directly to the nearby Sangeetha restaurant for dinner,where I noticed a strange thing. Almost 50 % of the people there had a Style One Bag or an Odyssey bag (the neighborhood apparel and book stores respectively) , which made me wonder , why wasn't this phenomenon converted into an opportunity . It was so obvious , that everyone failed to see it.

The phenomenon described here is not limited to the above locality alone. It happens everywhere ,across the world. How often ,being a restaurateur or a coffee shop owner , you have noticed people walking in with loads of shopping bags after purchasing from the nearest apparel store ? And have you done anything about it to keep the trend going ?

It's time that these restaurants or coffee shops located near the market place to embrace these shops and strike up deals , whereby these shoppers are given discount coupons or special offers in these restaurants/coffee pubs whenever they shop from these nearby stores for a certain amount

This acts as a win-win situation for the restaurants , the retail stores and the shoppers too (who anyways end up in the local deli for a quick bite. For the restaurants it directs more "targeted customers" to their place even during the lean hours , offering discount coupons for purchases acts as an added advantage to the retail store , and for the shopper its a mix of both

Offering a discount at a restaurants or a coffee shop is literally unheard thus giving a unique value added advantage to them.

For example, a Starbucks or a KFC or a Pizza Hut can tie up with multiple retail stores in different areas and offer specialized discounts . For each of the various outlets, they should have a corresponding retail tie up , who offers Starbucks discount coupons for every purchase.
The retail store can be a book store or an apparel store or even an accessory store.
All that matters is , whether the target profile of the retail store matches to that of the restaurant/coffee pub, and in most cases it does .


Exploring this opportunity might pose another serious question ? Can a retailer embrace another competitive store in the same street/locality?

The answer is Yes. According to Al Ries and Laura Ries , it actually leads to expansion of the category . As per the 22 Immutable laws of branding , Law of Fellowship quotes ,
"The best way to build a brand is to welcome other brands"
The best place for a second place brand must be in the opposite of the leading brand store, in the same street .When the top brands of the same category lie in the same area, the area becomes more popular for that particular category and more targeted traffic comes in .
People who were displeased with the competitive store might walk in and end up buying in your store , which wouldnt have happened in the first case
Rather than being a destination driven store,having low traffic or walkins , it gets converted to a category specific store in a related area ,which also leads to a far better conversion rate(Conversion rate = no of people who actually buy / total walk ins)

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have seen the same Sangeetha in Adyar. Its always teeming with visitors and have their own brand power. When its already there, why on earth they should go and unnecessarily tie-up with Odyssey and Sellers !???! May be this work for lean periods...but this particular restaurant is always full and they don't need it

This is again a typical corrupted by MBA and american thinking !! Sangeetha will be safe, sans MBAs. Law of fellowship may work in India. (Ranganathan street for one). But, straightaway we cannot extend that to India. Again we can even comeup with 44 laws of INDIAN marketing, taking only suitable examples to the laws !!!

Karthik Murali said...

The tieup was just an example.
It can be applied across any restaurant/coffee shop anywhere in the world , not just in India
and I dont see why it shouldn't work

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