Creative Marketing Doesn't Have to be Expen$ive
By Bonnie Knutson Professor, The School of Hospitality Business/MSU | January 07, 2010
Once upon a time, there were three jewelry stores that stood next to each other. Each had identical front doors, windows, and brick facades. The owners, Mr. X, Mr. Y and Mr. Z all carried comparable merchandise and targeted the same customers. In short, there wasn't much to differentiate one from another.
One day, Mr. X, who owned the store on the far left, hung a large banner across his store front. It boldly read, "Big Sale". The banner had the desired effect and soon Mr. X had more customers and was selling more jewelry than either of his competitors.
Seeing the success of his neighbor, Mr. Y, who owned the store on the far right, decided that he needed to promote his wares too. Not to be outdone, he hoisted a banner across his store front that read, "Biggest Sale Ever." Again, the sign produced the hoped for results and Mr. Y soon enjoyed more sales than his two opponents.
Poor Mr. Z. Sandwiched between "Big Sale" and "Biggest Sale Ever," he was attracting fewer cust
omers, experiencing dwindling sales, resulting in shrinking profits. He was in trouble. But what to do? How to get customers in the door? Being a small, independent business, Mr. Z didn't have a big advertising budget. He couldn't afford a catchy radio jingle, a big newspaper ad, let alone a slick TV commercial.
A few days later…
Hung high on the façade of his jewelry store, between the "Big Sale" and "Biggest Sale Ever" banners of his competition, Mr. Z placed a sign which merely said, "Main Entrance," with an arrow pointing downward to his front door.
Moral of the story: It doesn't take a lot of dollar$ to be creative.