Your grand opening is such an important introduction to the community where you plan to do business. You have to use it to your advantage by putting your best foot forward.
It’s urgent, too, because 20 percent of businesses fail within year one and 50 percent within the first five. In this article, we give you the tools to make it a successful one. Let’s begin!
Define Your Goals
The first thing to do, especially when planning a retail event, is to decide what you hope to get out of the experience. As this goes, there are four things you need to accomplish, and they boil down to “the four E’s.”
Any retail event strategy should begin by educating the public about your brand. For a fast-food restaurant, it could be one area of specialization. Think frozen custard for Freddy’s Frozen Custard.
Even though the restaurant serves lots of things, it has that one key element it is known for. Make sure that comes out in your strategizing.
Many businesses, particularly during tax season, will use a sign shaker to drum up interest. This alerts passers-by to what they can expect from the business, as well as the location to go to when they have a need for those services.
Your street team or marketing people should be encouraging the public to be at the grand opening by certain times. Early Bird Specials work great for this. So do limited-time offers.
Figure out a way to create that sense of urgency with the public. This way, you’ll build up anticipation and a sense of excitement, even competition, among your customers.
Finally, you have to show that you’re ready to be a great community partner. That will get city officials and special interest groups in your area excited about the grand opening event. With their help behind you, you can get a lot of mileage through word-of-mouth and social media.
Target the Right Audience
The next thing to remember about a retail grand opening is that you don’t want just anyone there. It’s great if someone stumbles upon you and realizes by chance that they need you in their life.
But you don’t want to trust chance for anything here. You want to target the right audience, and you can accomplish this through five main methods.
Tap Your Existing Network
Any grand opening strategy worth its salt starts here. You have a built-in group of supporters in the people who know what you’re about and love you.
It should be easy to reach out to them and gently ask for their help in spreading the word about your event. Your existing network shouldn’t be your only means of marketing a grand opening, but it will get you a little steam built up.
Reach Out to Local Power Players
In instances of brick-and-mortar consumer marketing, it’s always a good idea to reach out to the people in your community who have influence. This starts with your local chamber of commerce.
Becoming a member will get you the direct contact information of several. Focus on community officials as well. They’re always looking to spread the word about good news in the area.
Empower Your Employees
Part of making experiential marketing successful is to entrust the people closest to you: your employees. Give them the tools they need to easily spread the word.
Incentivize them if need be. By engaging them more in the marketing process, it will exponentially increase that personal networking effect.
Spend in the Right Places
You definitely don’t want to neglect paid advertising, but your focus should be spending as little as possible to get the best results. We now have access to enough marketing data to make this work.
Reserve your big spending for well-targeted keywords on Google and social media. You might consider spending money on digital billboards as well.
One highly effective way to boost turnout is to find a newsworthy angle for the event. One of the best grand opening tips we can give you is to start approaching local media personalities with word of your event.
This gives them an easy content opportunity while getting your business attention from potentially thousands. (All without spending a dime.)
Figure Out Your Enticements
Call them enticements or incentives. You need a reason for people to show up other than you simply want to make money off them. Fortunately, we have five awesome magnets to share that can get them in the door.
Your grand-opening guide should feature some of your best deals front-and-center. Potential customers will see those deals, and their curiosity will intensify. The promise of value is one of the greatest motivators.
Among the most effective grand opening strategies you should use are door prizes. Be fair with how these are selected, and make sure that you have at least two or three “loss leaders” to pique interest.
More effective grand opening ideas include allowing your products to speak for themselves. Inviting customers out for free samples is a tried-and-true method to draw them. Give away just enough of your product so they’ll want more.
Your grand opening sign or program should emphasize the limited-time nature of some of the deals. Creating a sense of urgency in the offers will make customers make you a priority instead of something they’ll get around to and eventually forget about.
This isn’t always an option, but it can be highly effective and more accessible than you’re probably thinking. Start locally. Do you have anyone who has obtained some notoriety recently?
Perhaps they’ve hiked the Appalachian Trail or are a star football player for your high school or college? You can get a lot of people to your event for the chance at a pic.
These Tips Will Help Your Grand Opening Soar
Your grand opening is certainly what you make it. Fortunately, you have many tools in your arsenal to make it a great experience.
If you need assistance with your experiential marketing efforts, consider working with brand ambassadors who know what customers will respond to. Contact Auctus today, and tell us about your goals.