If you own a pizza business, the last thing you want is for people in your town to say “Let’s get pizza, but I don’t really care where we get it from.” This type of reaction could mean the end of your business because it means that the local customers don’t find any difference between you and your competitors. For a small pizza business, what you want is for the local population to demand YOUR pizza when they want pizza.
In order to earn this type of reaction, you need to make your business stand out. Although this may sound hard, there are some very specific types of actions you can take to achieve this goal.
- Provide excellence in your product. Excellence does not mean perfection and it doesn't always mean highest quality. What it means is that you do something special that ensures people prefer your product to your competitors. Using the pizza shop example, this may mean you make your own sauce or it could mean you sell a deep dish pizza that other shops don’t
- Provide superior customer service. Your customers are your bread and butter – or garlic bread and butter for a pizza shop! You should work to build relationships with customers by showing them how much they are appreciated. You can do this by listening to their concerns, meeting their needs and going a little bit above and beyond normal expectations. This may mean that first time customers get an extra 10% off coupon for the next order. Or it could mean that you provide something extra every fifth order.
- Reach Out To Customers. People in your community need to know that you are taking the extra time and effort to reach out to them. Build up a social network presence on Facebook, support a local little league time or get involved in community charities. This not only shows the community that you care about them and their needs, but that you also take the time to communicate with them directly.
- Do something different. Many people can provide pizza, but most don’t always provide the extras that draw people in. This could be anything from specialty sodas, locally crafted beers, weekly prize drawings, free doggie biscuits for pet owners, or a kid’s area with games and toys. These types of differentiation strategies can help people select your business over others.
- Market Locally. Anyone can place an ad in the local paper, but you need something more than that. You need something that will make people stop and look. You need something that will catch their eye even when they’re in a hurry to get somewhere else.
Neon signs meet this need. Neon signs, especially when advertising that niche need that you meet or when showcasing your brand, are great tools because they are easily seen both during the day and during the night. They are colorful, fun and nostalgic and can be specially crafted to meet your specific marketing requirements.