I am sorry but this is going to be a bit of a rant – I’ll try and keep it short, but I need to get it off my chest!
In the last couple of days I’ve seen a particular sign in a few shops here in Kuala Lumpur, the Up Sticks And Go crews current abode 🙂 They have reminded me about a post I’ve been meaning to write in for our business coaching club! In my opinion these sign show such ignorance of the potential your customers have to market for you.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t quick enough to get a picture of the signs, but heres some clip art I found on the internet:
Here are two examples of what is making me grumpy – we were walking around one of big malls in Kuala Lumpur when a fabulously colourful candy store got our attention – they’re called Candylicous. The kids dragged us in to have a look around. The displays were great – bright and colourful – the kind of photos we love to fill our Instagram feed with. So we took a couple of photos, with in seconds a young staff member ran up to me and said “sorry no photos allowed”… mmm.
The next day we went to the KL Bird Park, and yes you can take plenty of photos of the birds, but when you go to leave the park through the gift shop there are sign everywhere, saying “no photos allowed” in the gift shop… mmm.
What is my problem with this?
If you have a retail business you need to market yourself, right? True! And in this day and age the best way for you to market yourself is for your customers to do it for you! The Internet (mostly social media) is very imaged based – when your customers take a photo in your store and put it on social media its like a testimonial for your store and in retail this is GOLD. To be actively discouraging photography in these sorts of places is pure madness!
I once asked a retail store owner why she didn’t want people to take photos in her store and she said it was because she didn’t want people to steal her display and product ideas… Ok, thats just stupid! Sorry, but it just is. If you have a serious competitor they can come into your store, look at what your doing and still copy you. Plus have you ever heard of Google? There’s not much you can’t find out with a good Google search.
My answer to her and to all my business students is to stop being afraid of competition and start embracing it! Its the best “marketer” that wins – and you as a retailer have the opportunity to turn all your happy customers into your marketing team!
Please don’t cut off your nose to spite your face – or how ever that saying goes! In fact, I often recommended retails put up signs saying the opposite – “If you love our shop please take photos and share us with your friends on Facebook (and if you tag us you’ll get a free ***)”…
Love to hear your thoughts and feedback on using your customers as a large part of your marketing team?
Hope thats helped – another marketing lesson from the road.