The Path To Success Is Highlighted By Failure

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When Build-A-Bear brainstormed the one-day “Pay Your Age” sale for kids to build and purchase a stuffed animal for the price of their age, someone should have pulled the fire alarm in that meeting. But, hindsight is always 20-20.

In reality, it’s a great idea that is sure to drive traffic to the physical stores, while signing up customers for their free Bonus Club. In fact, it was so successful the police shut it down due to safety concerns over the crowd size. Here’s a few things you can do to ensure your promotion-turned-extraordinary is manageable and customers leave with a product in hand.

Design A Fallout Plan

Few people like to have a negative outlook on an upcoming campaign, but no one likes to have a failed campaign because it was so successful. For Build-A-Bear, a simple risk assessment may have revealed that lines could get ridiculously long.

They weren’t prepared and offered $15 off coupons to everyone they turned away if they were signed up for their free, Bonus Club Rewards program. If you’ve been in Build-A-Bear, you’d know it’s easy to spend $35-$50 on a single bear. Would a $15-off coupon be considered fair considering people went there planning to spend $3, $4, or even $10? Maybe. Maybe not. It’s best that your voucher is at least on par with the original offer. If it’s better, that’s, well… better. 

Understanding How Your Product Moves

Build-A-Bear probably had the inventory, but they didn’t have store size and setup in mind.  Imagine you’re a restaurant and you average 300 people a night. You’ve decided you’re going to offer a one-day All You Can Eat promotion. Would you only have 300 meals prepped for that night? It’s safe to assume that a promotion this attractive will not only increase your average turnout, but also how much they’ll consume. You should plan to bring in extra staff, increase the inventory for the night, and you should be prepared for an increase in people. Perhaps you rearrange your dining area to allow for more people eat. Chairs out front may appease the waiting guest. 

If your product is sold online, are you prepared for an increase in traffic? The last thing you want is to not have enough bandwidth to handle an increase and have a complete website crash. Think ahead, understand exactly how you sell your product, and ensure you’re able to handle more people than usual.

Everyone On The Same Page

It’s important that everyone on your team is up-to-speed with the promotion and fallout plan. All the stores participating in the sale need to be on the same page. Sure, some stores will improvise off the script from time-to-time, but there needs to be more than a general guideline of how this promotion is supposed to go. You’re the director. Get specific and set the stage.

Get The Message Out To The People You Want

Obviously, Build-A-Bear hit the right people with their messaging. Everyone wants their promotion to have that turnout, just not the end result. The objective of most promotions is to drive traffic to physical or online locations and convert shoppers into customers. Unless you’re able to offer some sort of rewards program or another product that keeps them coming back, retention can and should come at a later date. There’s really only one way to get that foot or online traffic, and depending on your product and industry, those tactics can vary. But, if you’re looking for that answer for your upcoming promotion, we’d love to help! You can reply to this email or give us a call, and we’d be happy to help make your next promotion a success!

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