Hardware Retailing

SEP 2017

Hardware Retailing magazine is the pre-eminent how-to management magazine for small business owners and managers in the home improvement retailing industry.

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HARDWARE RETAILING | September 2017 88 Why should you build your brand as a relationship? As an independent home improvement retailer, you can build stronger relationships with customers by concentrating on your core values, which are ultimately what make you different from your competitors. Here are a few elements to consider when developing your brand. • Truly put your customers first. Even though you can't ignore the bottom line, try to focus initially on your customers and their impressions of your business. If you can create a positive and consistent experience for your customers with all aspects of your brand in mind, including your store, website and staff, you will ultimately see more customer loyalty resulting in additional revenue for your business. • Don't go overboard. There is something to be said about keeping things simple. Creating a better customer experience with your brand doesn't mean you should host more events, add a coffee bar, popcorn machine and a Mexican restaurant to your business. It's better to be great at one thing than average at many things. Determine what you do exceptionally well and build your brand message around it. • Stick to your mission. CrossFit's two main sources of revenue are core to their mission: education and licensing fees. The company runs thousands of seminars each year at local boxes, and future box owners or trainers can be certified to teach the CrossFit method. While it may seem that adding supplements and other healthy lifestyle products to the brand could be profitable, founder Greg Glassman turned down these opportunities to keep the core mission of the brand intact. How can you start building your brand? Now that we have introduced the elements that make up a strong brand and how recognizable companies maintain theirs, it's time to develop your own plans to build a stronger brand. Complete the exercises on the following pages to help develop the basics for your brand. These exercises can be completed with your staff, your customers and your community. After all, they are all crucial to your brand. On the next few pages, discover a list of questions that can help you develop your brand mission, dive into the specific elements that make up a brand and finally read a few tips to strengthen your relationship with customers. Sunnyside Corporation 225 Carpenter Avenue Wheeling, Illinois 60090 www.sunnysidecorp.com

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