A while back, I met up with a fellow marketer for a brainstorming session at a place called Spolumbos. They are famous on a local scale for the quality of their spicy (and non-spicy) sausages and meats.
They have done a TON of things right over the years. Straight from their site (www.spolumbos.com):
“It’s a story of three first generation Italian-Canadian boys who grew up in traditional Italian families. With the family spirit of old-fashioned Italian tradition, the boys hand- cranked their family’s’ small food grinders, helping to make home-made Italian foods, like sausage and fresh crushed tomatoes for sauce.”
These guys are masters at marketing their business. Now think about this – it’s an Italian deli – not exactly something original. But they own the majority of the market in the city of a million people. How?
1) They use their celebrity status (all played in the CFL – the Canadian version of the NFL). Their old jerseys, photos, cups etc are all posted in the deli for all to see. (if you have anything that resembles fame – use it! If anyone in your family does – ask them if they would be your spokesperson.)
2) They educate people on how their business works – how they make the meats – how the business does what it does. They have a virtual tour at their website showing you everything. (remember the story of Schlitz beer? When they educated people about what goes INTO their beer – the time, labor and love – they went from 15th in the market to 1st! Everyone else did the SAME thing – but they were the only ones to educate people on it).
3) They use videos of their deli (the multimedia approach) – to attract the visual types. They even have a video there of Momma cooking over the stove. (they did not worry about expensive camera crews and wasting a TON of money on high end product – it’s a hand held video camera! And it works. Don’t over complicate things – people could typically care less how much you spent on your video and audio production – all they want is the real content)
4) They give away their recipes! They don’t pretend they invented Italian sausage… they just make some of the best out there – and they share what they know. They are very open with the ingredients and the nutritional information of all their products. (do you share all that you know about your business and industry? You should. People appreciate knowledge they don’t have – so show them you know what in the heck you do for a living).
5) They have wholesale AND retail covered. You can buy online via the case lot – or come in and get yourself lunch or dinner. You can buy their sausages through many other food related businesses here in town as well – so they use alliances and joint ventures to expand their reach to blanket the local market. (are you give people numerous ways to order from you? Are you using other peoples client lists to sell your products or services? You should!)
6) They love giving to charity – and the media loves covering them. You will see these 3 guys at all the big sporting events – cooking up a storm on some big arse barbecues. They give a TON of food, toys, and help away to the charities that need the help.
And the media LOVES them. You see them everywhere – in the papers, on the radio, on television… they are everywhere. (is there anything at all you can do or give away to a local charity? Help out those that need the help! And make sure the local media knows about it- phone them, fax them, write them)
THEY MISSED THIS THOUGH:
On their website they do not capture emails. They should. Think about the specials they could send out via email to get people in on their slow days of the week – even have specials for people to come in on their slow hours of the day. (capture your customers contact information! Then do something with it… market to them… get them buying more often… in more quantity.)
Some very powerful lessons to be had in my last visit to Spolumbos – I hope you take notice and try a few new things in your business. If it worked for them, it will work for you… no matter WHAT your business is. This is not an excuse: ‘But… myyyyy business is different’ – no it isn’t!
You deal with people and people buy your product or service if you do what you promise. Your business is not different at all. It is all about people and giving them more than what you promise – and making sure they even know you exist.
**** Take heed in Mommas recipes – they contain the wisdom of wealth creation. ****
To your massive success
PS: Note something on the Spolumbos site… their story. The simple addition of more of your back story is the simplest way to generate a following of prospects and buyers. DON’T HIDE IT!
Most entrepreneurs seem to be scared or embarrassed about their beginnings. Yet, to those who pay you for products and services, it is one of the MOST important things about you.
Don’t kid yourself…you have competition out there… LOTS of them. Your buyers could choose you or one of a handful of others. So product isn’t how you differentiate yourself (and trying to win in the long run on price is a losing battle) Your STORY is how you win them over. TELL IT!
Starting with this step-by-step home study program to get it out there http://www.storysellingtips.com
Adding the story in helped one company go from $500 a month in online sales to $15,000 a month! Just by adding a single page on their site that shared their story in a compelling way.
What could it do for YOUR site?