One of the most recent trends in the retail world is the implementation of chip-embedded credit cards. Those credit cards were developed and are being employed all in the name of safety. Safety is, absolutely, a top priority, especially with large-scale security breaches like Target’s still fresh in the minds of most.
Here’s the irony: Visa and MasterCard are now under fire for the apparent lack of safety provided by those very cards. Largely, because the cards require signature authorization, instead of PIN numbers. Signatures are notoriously easy to forge, especially under the untrained eye of cashiers. Because of this, major retailer Home Depot is suing MasterCard and Visa.
Guerrilla Marketing: noun; innovative, unconventional, and low-cost marketing techniques aimed at obtaining maximum exposure for a product.
By its very definition, guerrilla marketing techniques lend themselves well to creative and motivated small business owners. If you want your products to be the talk of the town, then you need to give the people something to talk about. Read on for some great guerrilla marketing tips for small retailers that you can customize to use for your own store.
- Treasure Hunt: Creating customized, adventure-driven treasure hunts is another cool guerrilla marketing tactic that can energize customers. These treasure hunts should utilize social media to post online clues to hidden items scattered across the local area. You could either have people look for specific items using a single clue, or make it leveled, where one discovery includes a clue that will lead to the next. Offering hunts with both small and big prizes will drive up the public interest, because there will be lots of winners – And it will also increase social media followers. At the end, rather than dispensing prizes as-is, offer them in your store’s customized gift boxes or bags.
- Art/Graffiti: Is your store located in a city or medium-sized town? You might want to try some graffiti/art work to draw in customers. First and foremost, you’ll need permission from the property owner, but painting over a previously barren city space is sure to draw the eye of anyone who passes by. What you paint is entirely up to you. You could have an artist paint an idyllic mural, or even a life-size false storefront. Or go a simpler route and use stencils to spray on your company logo or images of your newest products. There’s also another, more subtle graffiti method known as ‘reverse stenciling’, in which a stencil is placed over a grimy wall or sidewalk, and then cleaner is applied to the open spaces instead of paint. What remains is a clean patch in the shape of your logo or company name.
- A simpler, more temporary alternative is sidewalk chalk. This could go anywhere, not necessarily just in front of your store. A weekly design or work of art will have folks coming back to your store to see the latest design! When the sidewalks are suddenly more colorful, people will take notice, and the talk will lead right back to your business.