Ordering my usual grande non-fat, no whip mocha at Starbucks this morning got me thinking. Starbucks has built a powerful brand selling a very familiar product, not too far removed from framers selling picture frames. If framing entrepreneurs can model themselves after one of the most successful brands in business, we could strengthen our own companies in the toughest marketplace in recent history. So what is it about Starbucks business model that is worth adapting to your frame shop? Exclusivity!
Consider what John Moore, a former marketer at Starbuck said about the ordering process:
While it may take a little longer to figure out how to order your double tall, half-caf, vanilla, nonfat latte, once you do, there’s a feeling of belongingness, that you’re part of the “club.”
Whether it’s an exclusive ordering process like Starbucks, a club membership like Costco, or a sense of community like Harley Davidson, creating a feeling of exclusivity is the best way of successful branding of your art and framing business.
The power of exclusivity is often overlook and under-utilized by framers focused on discount coupons to compete. But the truth is that it is the best way to penetrate a very tough marketplace and is best used when competition is fierce. Custom picture framing is exclusive by definition; limited distribution, sold at select stores and at a higher price. The major benefit of this is that customers tend to attach a higher perceived value to products like this which in turn allows for higher profit margins.
Carve out a niche – Identify a target customer group, and not just one, make a list of several groups that need framing services.
Create a need – Think ahead to solves needs they haven’t realized yet. For example, golfers needing hole in one scorecard framed, or student pilots completing their first flight.
Invent ways to invite friends – Consumers that value exclusive memberships take pride in that exclusivity and will likely invite a few friends to join in.
Establish value for your framing services – Over the top frame displays, strong store merchandising and great website photos are a terrific way to create value by building trust.
Back it up with substance – Making sure every step of the sales process is executed to the best of your ability is the key. Deliver more that you promise is always the best policy.
Considering the success major brands like Starbucks, Costco and Harley Davidson have seen in a difficult economy, we should be encouraged by their commitment to offering a high quality product at a premium price. By following their example and harnessing the power of exclusivity framers can enjoy enduring success.