Bonding to enhance performance

How can little stores survive in this competitive environment? And not only survive, how could they be successful? We as consumers tend to make our point fast, if I need something in a hurry I will likely go to the shop around the corner. But if I know I’ll need something anytime soon I’ll go to a bigger shop downtown to have a wider catalogue and get it cheaper.

So, what can those little shops do? Closeness. They have to get closer to its neighbours, who, in the end will be its main set of customers. Once the customer realises the shop is there always a bond will have been created. And when this happens its more likely the shop remains in the memory of people and they keep going there. How to make it? Through activities and developing bonds between the store and its neighbours.

To sum up, in a straightforward way, turning little shops into almost forums.

Now I will introduce a little theoretical example that can help understanding this idea.

Hardware shops or small wood storehouses could collaborate to become banners of the Do It Yourself movement creating workshops to teach people or even competitions between people to compare its creations and learn from everyone.

With these activities they gain two things, awareness and new potential clients. And people gain new abilities and, if they put in practise these abilities, new furniture.


And, to show that this is already relatively applied, two real world examples.

There’s a little haberdashery just in my door. I am always surprised how there’s always a little group of women knitting, talking and drinking coffee (or tea, who knows). I’m always surprised when I see them there. But that’s the way it works, the relationship between the shop and the clients have evolved in something deeper.

Board games stores. This can be quite a very specific niche but it’s still a nice example of that. Those stores don’t need to be big but, the most successful ones are. Why? Apart from the storage they have rooms to play and they create community around the store via tournaments or workshops. People may not spend every day, but if they want to buy something they will go to that store because they want the store to survive and thrive and become bigger even if it can be a bit more expensive or take a little longer.

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