You are probably wondering where in the hell have I been? It’s been seven months since my last post … a lot has happened. The biggest change was I received custody of my two teenage sons in March, and while I was elated at the time, I had no idea how much of a challenge it would be. I know, stupid me, I will know better next time.
Okay, let’s talk business strategy and how to set yourself apart from your competitors. Too many companies follow instead of lead. It used to be that you knew Thanksgiving was close when the Christmas decorations went up. Now they are often up before Halloween hits. That’s just wrong. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and as my “protest” I would never set foot in a store that had their holiday decorations up before Thanksgiving (and yes, I kept a list). It was so bad last year that I did all of my holiday shopping online. There was no where I could go.
I can understand retailers reasoning, they do the bulk of their yearly sales during the holidays and since their competitors are getting into the Christmas season they need to as well or they will lose. That is one way to attack the market, or you can be totally awesome like Nordstrom … and take the high road.
This is a shot of the signs they have before you enter their store. These signs do a few things. First, it informs you when the holiday decorations will go up; Second, it tells you why, because they believe in celebrating one holiday at a time; Third, it is giving the bird to all the competitors for “Thanksgiving Creep”.
Look for obnoxious things your competitors do. Look at their ads, their sites, call their order numbers, do they have a phone system from hell that makes you press one to proceed in English? If so, make fun of them. “We never make you press one to proceed in English because I live person answers your phone and can help you right now. Your call is important enough for a live person to answer it.”
In this crappy economy do something that is completely outrageous, give great customer service and treat your customers as actual people instead of objects. You might be stunned to find out how awesome they really are and how much they like giving business to you. But first, you have to quit being such an idiot just because your competitor is.