When taking on a new client we're super excited to take on this new adventure, but know that one of our first hurdles is the common concerns clients have about return on investment. With a certain amount of ramp up time required for websites, local, regional and national press, clients don't always see that immediate return until the press starts rolling in. For local clothing boutiques especially, we like to work with clients in support of long term sales growth, Although we aren't sales reps, we still can nurture and help sales via creative marketing, and this can help with initial momentum. If you represent a clothing boutique, here are five strategies that we find helpful to implement within the early days of the relationship.
Create a Happy Hour sale for employees of local businesses
A Happy Hour event is great way to build relationships within the community and drive foot traffic. Get to know the neighbors who aren't in direct competition with the boutique and create a sales date for local businesses nearby. Give it a fun name like "Twenty Dollar Tuesday," where select items and/or accessories are discounted for that day and those individuals only.
Develop referral relationships with local concierges
Many times Concierges and Front Desk Staff at hotels, condo hi-rises and large companies are wonderful at referring business to your boutique. They also sometimes need a boutique to help a VIP Guest for last minute styling. Reaching out to front of the house Hotel Staff is a great way to get referral business. Your boutique may want to implement some incentive plan as well for the Concierges, like a significant discount or freebie item after 5 referrals.
Offer event space to local press and regional magazines
Contact the Special Events and/or Marketing Director of local magazines and media properties and offer the boutique space for upcoming events. This is a way to kill two birds with one stone, you not only get people coming through the doors, but you may also get coverage via editorial on event or AD trade.
Become a resource for local style bloggers
Identify the popular style bloggers in your area and befriend them! Offer the store as a resource for upcoming style shoots as well as key dates like birthdays, anniversaries or showers they would like to celebrate. Offer to host a tea or cocktail party at the boutique. Perhaps it's simply an event for the bloggers to meet her readers. Again, this gets people through the door and coverage for your client.
Think outside the niche
Sometimes we often forget about our network. If you have PR associates or colleagues who represent restaurants/liquor/salons/spas or even celebrities, consider how you might collaborate. For example, to help shave off the cost on events, a liquor sponsor or cross promoting through email can be a smart strategy. Find out if there have any events where your client can participate via giftbags for VIPs and/or display items from boutique. Also, if you host an event, invite your counterpart to donate food and beverages to highlight their restaurant or brand. Salons & Spas can offer mini treatments on the spot at your event which many guests appreciate.
About Lana Lee Leazar
Lana has years of sales and marketing expertise in Hospitality, Fashion and Beauty. Working as the Special Events and In-House PR Director for the Luxe Hotel Rodeo Drive, she brought new business through her relationships with numerous high-end Oscar Gifting Suites hosted on-site which were frequently featured on E! and Entertainment Tonight. She also negotiated Venue placement with America’s Top Model, Wealth TV and Plastic Disasters for HBO and CW Network. While working on Rodeo Drive, she developed business relationships with such high-end fashion clientele as Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent. Connect with Affluence PR and Marketing on Facebook.
Photo Credit: ejorpin