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Sunday, April 01, 2007

BlogTipping Day - April

Here it is - April 1st. Another BlogTipping Day as proclaimed by Easton Ellsworth of Business BlogWire fame in Announcement: May 1, 2006 will be blogtipping day!

These Blogtipping posts relate to the retail experience, to the magic that emotional engagement can create, and to the power of conversation.

Susan Abbott from Customer Experience Crossroads posts about Optimum Mess: should staff decorate the store for spring? I love Susan's discussion about striking the right balance between too much messiness - a major customer turnoff - and too little which can look sterile, boring and character-less. Now, flooring stores tend to err on the side of too much mess, so don't take this post as a license to continue those excesses. Do, though, consider the benefits of letting your personal touches shine as a means of better connecting with your women consumers.

The next two posts delight me because they feature the perspective of the core woman shopper's significant other: the man.

QAQNA's Tom Vander Well posts about Marketing & Service: Serve the Bag Man. Tom says: "How about a couple of chairs, a few old copies of Sports Illustrated, and a small television tuned to March Madness? Keep the bag man distracted and content - and you just might keep the females in the shop longer. The longer the girls stay the more you might sell. The happier the bag man is - the more likely he will be to loosen the purse strings at checkout time." I couldn't say it any better!! Paco Underhill would be proud of you, Tom, as am I!

Service Untitled contributes Customer Service in Store Design commenting on Tom's Bag Man post: "If all companies thought like this, I believe they would notice a big difference in customer satisfaction and ultimately, their bottom line. Shopping should be a pleasant experience. It really isn’t that bad when stores get it right. However, when stores don’t do it right, the experience is downright terrible. " Yes. Yes. YES!

Conversation Agent brilliantly captures what good retailing is all about in Selling and Price. This story illustrates the power of focusing on the consumer, and creating visual anticipation through conversation [and story building]. It engages the consumer in the possibilities that the product can offer. After all, isn't retail all about seduction and engaging the emotions?

Talk about seducing people and engaging their emotions: Kevin Roberts contributes this post on How to Surf the Attraction Economy to Branding Strategy Insider. It is intense and inspiring and ties together these other posts via: people, lovemarks, SISOMO, creative connectors and fail fast/learn fast/fix fast. [Interesting, too, that Kevin brings up convergence and divergence, the topic of the recent MarketingProfs Book Review on Al & Laura Ries' Book? See Round 2 and in the Ring with Al & Laura Ries. Kevin, did you participate in the online discussion?]

Finally, if any of you are wondering how serious this blog thing is and how CEOs might use a blog to create community, address tough subjects, demonstrate warmth and humanity and engage in discussion, I suggest reading Running a Hospital by the CEO and President of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Paul Levy.

[I'll give CK credit for this blogtip - see It's nice when CEOs listen (especially when they listen to me) - however, - for the record - I came across it separately while pursuing a technorati lead and noticed that CK had been there already!]

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