Make your customers (and potential customers) find a special item around town or in your store
This is a classic trick that was highly successful in the 1960s that involved a highly publicised search for an item. Variations are still used today, usually as promotional stunts by radio stations on outside broadcasts but still valuable.
I remember my father taking me to a Trade Fair when I was 9 years old. It was in a huge 3 story building that covered most of the city block and had hundreds of trade stalls set up. Thousands of people everywhere (or so it seemed to a 9 year old).
The local radio station was there on an outdoor broadcast and regularly announced that if you could find the toy monkey you can win a prize (brought to you by xyz company).
Yes, I remember the idea very well because I won a prize. No, I didn’t see the toy monkey but my father did and he `accidentally’ bumped me into a corner where I had no choice but to see the cleverly hidden toy.
So, put a map on your website that shows a general area in town that you have hidden an item or if you have a large store area, hide a small but unusual item in amongst your shelves.
Just make sure that the hidden item is inexpensive and requires it to be handed in to receive a much more valuable prize, otherwise it may just go home in someone’s pocket. When the prize is claimed then you can give them back the hidden item as well (with your logo on it).
No, you are not being generous. It is because the item found by the winner is usually something that ends up being displayed at home by the winner. It makes for a conversation piece after the event, sometimes for years after. There is a story to be told – it includes you/your business and we know that people love to tell a story.
Remember to whip up the interest in the media.
You could also consider a joint treasure hunt with a few other businesses with complimentary products/services. This works well for towns with a small mall of shops etc. Of course media exposure within a joint venture is always more cost effective for everyone.
If you have any other ideas like this, leave a comment and share it with others…
Libraries and book stores are full of various self-help books, there are almost no subjects that don’t already have shelves full of books about them.
One subject that is under-represented is implementation, the act of turning an idea or plan into reality. The best plan will not implement itself, no amount of positive thinking by itself will ever change anything other than how you feel.
Many things travel in pairs – horses and carts, value and leverage, conflict and creative story telling. Add to that list intent and action.
Positive thinking, day dreaming or real plans represent intent. A real plan can be anything from a few action steps written on a scrap of paper to a 100 page document prepared at great expense by experts.
What turns intent into reality is action. Not just any action, action that supports the intent, and actions performed in the correct sequence until the goal is achieved.
Let’s say you want to build a shed – having a plan is a necessary start, but that’s all it is. You then need to take action: dig the shaping trenches and pour the foundations, prepare for any plumbing by establishing the external infrastructure, put the form work in place and pour the concrete for the floor, add the frames for the walls and roof, add the external covering, add the wiring and plumbing, and so on until you have completed the construction.
So next time you feel like complaining that your pet project is getting nowhere, consider what action you have taken. Are you supporting your intent by taking appropriate – or congruent – action?
What different actions can you take to speed up the project, or redirect it? Does it make sense to do some actions before others? Write down a list of steps, in order, and then use this list to guide you in taking action that will take you closer to your goal.