Calexis

PART I: 5 Advertising Mistakes Retailers Make

We have been creating advertising for retailers for years. But we have always wondered why so many retailers insist on repeating someone else’s job.

Imagine, people who are notoriously careful with their funds – car dealers who haggle with their manufacturers in a tooth and nail duel, then turn around and think the only thing they have to say about their dealership in their advertising is information about that same manufacturer’s vehicles.

We have seen dealers insist time after time: “Let’s tell everyone about the new adjustable frammis on the brand new 2010 model.”

We say – NO! That’s redundant! If you run redundant advertising, your dealership may become redundant.

Like many industries, car advertising is neatly structured.

The manufacturer spends their time speaking about product. Food service is the same.

Let the national advertising component sing the praises of the product. That’s their job. Let them promote the brand and all it stands for. After all, they own it.

Then let the dealer associations or franchisee co-ops talk about the shorter term group promotions: The BOGOs. The 0% financing. The employee pricing. These things benefit a group of the retailers. No need for individual retailers to repeat these things since they all have the same offer.  Reassure, yes.  But feature, no.

Retailers should be advertising what makes their specific operation superb. Why service and deals at their dealership are the best. What their location can do for their customers.

For car dealers, we recommend creating a personality for their dealership. This is no easy proposition. You need the kind of personality that appeals to their potential customers and is believable for that dealership. A personality lets customers feel they know that dealership and what that it stands for. Sometimes it is the dealer principal. But not always. Even though they are franchisees, car dealerships are big businesses and can afford to have different personalities under their manufacturer signs.  Not so for other types of franchisees.

Retailers should locally brand their store or dealership with store-specific ads. Running ads from the franchisor helps build brands collectively but doesn’t do much for the local store. But the art work is cheap.

Dealers and other retailer are not getting the most from their money unless they have something that adds uniqueness about their location – and we are not talking about their address. It could be a special offer, promotion, event, or limited edition model. Even if the company ad they get for free has to be adapted for this to make it their own. Why would you run someone else’s ad for your business?

For food service, we recommend franchisees invest their own money in local store marketing. Heck, Calexis even wrote them a book on it. Calexis LSM Subway Book Cover

There is so much they can do to drive their own sales by connecting to and becoming involved in their communities. And it pays off.

For all retailers, presenting a personality and connecting to their community is more effective than repeating whatever the national brand has to say.

Let them do their job. You do yours — and build on what they can do for you.

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