HOW DO WE DO IT?
STRENGTH IN NUMBERS
Princeps de Casa was a typical independent pet shop based in Barcelona. The owner has over 20 years experience working in the industry and has owned this shop for 18 years. Year on year it was becoming ever harder to keep the business profitable with competition attacking her from every quarter. Franchise operations springing up like mushrooms, Supermarkets offering cheap product, chains opening all over the place and, not forgetting the impact of internet sales from Amazon and the like.
It appeared that the end was in site for all traditional high street independent retailers. So what could be done?
I had been spending my time between London, where my business has been for years, and Barcelona, where my partner Mireia lives. By the end of 2017, work in my industry had dwindled to almost nothing, the result of the budget cuts caused by Brexit uncertainties. I have enjoyed an almost 30 year career creating advertising and sales promotions. I was in Barcelona and bored so I started to work in Mireia's shop, Princeps de Casa.
I have a great deal of experience creating marketing campaigns for pub groups, motor manufacturers and their dealerships. In short, I could see that one area where the independent retailer was losing the war was marketing. No independent retail establishment can afford to hire an advertising agency, but if you have one, free and on tap, this is what can happen!
Mireia is a shopkeeper, a very good one, but a shopkeeper nonetheless. As such, marketing is not her forté. When I started to take an interest in the business, she proudly explained to me that she had a website and had paid over 600€ for it. In fact, what she actually had was a static home page with her logo and hotmail address that was not even a link! That's not what I called professional so, within 3 months, she had the website you see today.
She was not visible on Google, Google Maps, Facebook, Instagram or any of the other social networks. I put that right. If you look for these accounts you can see how many followers the business now has, all local to the shop.
I fired up the Apple Mac and started designing: Logos for different areas of her business and promotional literature. The one fantastic asset she had as an up-to-date emailing list. I created webmail templates and started an emarketing campaign.
At a time when independent high street retailers are struggling to fight the chains, we certainly took the fight to them. Look at the figures from 2018 to 2019.
The result of almost 2 years' work is that we now have a library of promotional posters, sales incentives, articles for website and general marketing support materials. We can pool this resource and increase the public image of your business, putting it more on a par with the chains and supermarkets.
We continue to create new marketing campaigns and campaign materials and our members continue to see the benefit in their tills.