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National Clothesline
For all the chest beating by some cleaners about their unbeatable low prices, you’d think that
the race to the bottom was the only game in town.
The reality is that competing on
price is not a sustainable strategy
for most businesses. After all, it’s a
cinch for the competition to copy
your prices as soon as you change
them.
So, instead of asking “how low
can I go?” ask “how high can I set
the bar to deliver an experience
that connects with my customers?”
Today’s consumers want to buy from businesses that acknowledge their preferences and
desires. They like to buy from brands that forge an emotional connection with them.
The foundation of a successful strategy calls for nothing less than communicating your
cleaner’s brand-value and what differentiates you in a compelling way across all your customer
touchpoints.
Here are five tools for building engaging customer experiences.
1. Build your brand with compelling online content.
Marketing today is much more than just customer acquisition. It’s also about nurturing
relationships that create loyal customers who will buy from you over and over, in spite of cheap
alternatives that are just clicks away.
The ability to continuously provide timely and relevant content is a must for sustained
engagement.
No wonder that branded editorials are all around us these days. Use your website and social
media outlets to inform on new clothing trends and tips to maintain garments. By doing this,
you will earn trust, credibility, and authority, with the big proof point being increased sales.
Don’t use this space for just plugging your services.
2. Immerse your customers in rich media.
If pictures are worth a thousand words, then rich media is priceless for giving life to your
brand and products.
Enrich your storytelling via immersive narratives that connect with your customers.
It’s not simply about hawking your wares; it’s about making your brand larger than the sum
of your services to spark interest and capture your customers’ imagination.
Engage them with the videos, customer stories, and photos from weddings or formal events
where you cleaned the garments. Include new garment fashion and style articles to help your
customers get the most out of the relationship they have with you.  
3. Be multichannel, be mobile.
Today’s empowered consumers are blending online and offline experiences.
To drive sustained engagement, you need to be where they are and you need to provide the
right experiences while ensuring brand consistency across every channel.
Mobile is possibly the most challenging channel. Your content has to adapt to the devices’
form factor, features, and capabilities, and that’s no cakewalk, considering the myriad devices
out there.
Use mobile apps to notify customers of pick-up times, to select route schedules and offer
incentives for customers to come into your store.
You can integrate these custom apps to help track your customer’s moves and buying habits.
All of this will help keep your customers engaged with you, while at the same time, you will be
gathering valuable data on what services customers buy the most.
This data can then be used to customize specific direct mail campaigns to seal their loyalty
with you.
4. Build social communities that keep them coming back.
Social is a great way to get customers invested in your brand. Allow your communities to
become an extension of your storytelling platform and enable rich connections among your fans.
Let them talk freely about you and give them a venue to share their own content that features
your products.
You can open new avenues for product discovery by inviting them to participate in product
reviews, forums, and polls.
Use your imagination and build a community worthy of your customers’ participation.
5. Get up close and personal.
So you’re creating and publishing great experiences, but how do you deliver the right
experiences to the right customers through the right channel at the right time?
Today’s technologies put us ever closer to realizing marketing’s holy grail — that of delivering
a personalized, one-to-one experience to every customer at his or her moment of desire,
impulse, or decision.
We already have some very powerful tools that help us understand our customers so we can
provide them with very relevant experiences.
For instance, knowing that a visitor landed on your site from a search engine using the
keyword “tailoring,” you can focus them on your tailor services only rather than bombarding
them with your entire service menu.
You can also segment your users and create various personas based on their preferences,
location, gender, age, and other demographic information to serve up custom experiences.
Demographic information is key. Matching your current customer demographics against new
prospects gives you the best chance of building a new customer base.
Keep your ears to the ground
To claim long-term success, you need to understand how well your delivered experiences are
performing so you can improve them. Get your hands on analytics to gain insights into what is
resonating with your visitors, what paths they’re taking, and what’s driving conversion.
You can never manage anything without numbers. There is no difference in managing your
advertising and marketing campaigns versus your labor costs.
Simply sending advertising out or trying new ideas is not good enough. You need to try new
things but also monitor what is happening with your branding.
Some things will need to be tweaked, dumped or more money put into them. Without correct
monitoring and data collection, you will never know.

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Neil Schroeder has been
in the marketing industry
for the past 15 years. He
is president and creative
director of the Golomb
Group, developing direct
response, social media,
in-house promotions and
web site campaigns for
drycleaners throughout
the nation. He can be
reached by phone at
(800) 833-0560, by
email at
neils@golombgroup.com
or on the web at
www.golombgroup.com.
Becoming experienced driven