By Dave Ratner
Personalization is the essence of branding and promotions.
If a business owner can lend his voice to a good or service, if consumers can hear the individual behind a company – if they can listen to the namesake of a retailer or a maker of a particular line of products – then the only mystery, in a less-is-more approach to sales and marketing, is what that store owner looks like.
Who, in other words, is the man (or woman) on the other side of that microphone, broadcasting a series of audio anecdotes about everything from pet care and entrepreneurship to building customer love and creating an audience – and a readership – for one’s speeches and paperback books?
The answer to that question is a visible response, contained within an official YouTube channel that has a library of “video vignettes” about the person and the products; it is educational and authentic – the camera almost always reveals what others may try to conceal – combining substance and style, which says something of importance with a natural sense of flair.
Put another way, what you see is what you get: A social experience, which you can share with friends and family, and post and tweet for the betterment of, in this case, dog and cat owners everywhere.
I recommend this strategy because, in my role as the head of my own line of pet food and pet products. I believe social media is a euphemism for courtship of the consumer by other means. Within the digital realm of Facebook and Twitter, and across the pages of comments and queries – from current and future buyers – and the seemingly never-ending emails and correspondence about this or that product or this vitamin versus that mineral, videos can address a variety of topics through the power of personality alone.
Posted by Viral Thread on Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Make no mistake, my personality is not a substitute for the facts consumers crave and the clarity customers deserve to receive. There is, however, nothing wrong with infusing every video with passion and insight rather than giving the appearance of – as opposed to sounding and looking like – a hostage reading from a script written by his kidnappers.
For, social media is impossible without the standards and practices of a sociable man or woman.
The point is not to have an obligatory presence on social media, but to exude presence and enthusiasm in every audio or video clip, in every post or tweet, and in every statement or saying.
Nowhere is that presence more appreciable or valuable than in the course of watching a brief video, from a half-second to three or four minutes in duration, that informs and inspires consumers to do something on your behalf.
On Friday August 14, 2015 the National Retail Federation’s Retail Across America team stopped at Dave’s Soda and Pet City in Agawam. The purpose of this stop is to film for NRF’s Retail Across America campaign. They talked to Dave about his work advocating for Massachusetts retail stores on Capitol Hill. Dave has been involved with the organization for many years now. According to the NRF, Massachusetts retailers support 920,000 jobs and retail contributes nearly $58 billion to the state’s economy. A film crew worked with some of Dave’s employees to talk about their great and unexpected jobs- their favorite part of their job, what their typical day involves. They are going to use the footage to put together a glimpse into surprising jobs in retail. Retail Across America is part of the NRF’s award-winning This is Retail campaign which brings together retailers, universities, and students with state retail associates, legislators, and opinion leaders. The NRF launched the program to highlight life-long careers, how retailers strengthen communities and the critical role that retail plays in driving innovation. Dave’s Soda and Pet City is one of two businesses who were chosen to represent Western Massachusetts retailers on NRF’s road trip through four New England states.
Posted by Dave's Soda and Pet City on Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Though every video may not be a hit, and in spite of an initially small group of viewers, success accrues to those who persevere – and keep talking and telling stories, in their own way and through their own commitment to excellence.
Personality is the force responsible for this outcome.
By honoring your identity, and by recording a sample of it for your consumers to play and enjoy, you will give credence to the term social media.
You will thrive, thanks to your convictions and the methods you choose to convince customers of your beliefs and principles.
For more than four decades, Dave Ratner has been building an independent, critically and commercially acclaimed pet supply business. With seven Dave’s Soda and Pet City stores, and a nationally marketed line of high-quality pet food for dogs and cats, Dave is a sought-after speaker and writer about leadership and business.