Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tip #65: Have Fun with April Fool’s Day

Next Monday April 1 is April Fool’s Day. That means you have six more days to plan a creative way to celebrate this fun holiday in your store and create a marketing buzz at the same time.  Why not play a few April Fool’s Day jokes on your customers, or help them play one on their friends and family. One of many ideas may be to create a “zero calorie chocolate box” promotion that will just be available on April Fool’s Day. Then, the box could be empty (zero calories, of course!) but contain a coupon for your store along with information about the health benefits of chocolate. You could promote via social media leading up the day that you’re going to have a big product reveal.

Get inspired by reading what some large companies such as Google and Burger King have done over the years to create a buzz around April Fool’s Day:

As you plan your fun prank, be careful not to confuse or frustrate your customers but to make it enjoyable for everyone involved and something they’d want to share with others (which spreads the word about your store). Be sure to leave us a comment below to share your fun ideas and let us know how they work out!

April Fool’s Day is one of many fun holidays noted on the annual RCI wall calendar provided to our members. If you’re not an RCI member, learn more about the many benefits of joining today.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tip #64: Create Postcard or Business Card-size Advertisement for Store Promos

Looking for an inexpensive way to promote a special event or sale? Consider creating a postcard or a business card-size advertisement to help promote it. You can even print it high gloss to really make your product images stand out. What will you do with these cards to help spread the word?
1.       Insert them in your retail shopping bags to alert customers of upcoming sales.
2.       Share them with fellow businesses in your area to display near their registers.
3.       Carry them in your car/purse/pocket just like you do your ‘normal’ business cards.

Here are some great websites to get started for low-cost printing:
For each of the websites above, you’ll want to have print-ready files from your designer prepared to upload. Be sure to incorporate your brand colors and feel plus beautiful pictures of your products. Also, include your store contact information, website and social media handles (Facebook, Twitter, etc.).  Now, time to come up with a special promotion so you can get started!

P.S. Happy National Chocolate Caramel Day!!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Tip #63: Assign a Designated Trainer (Mentor) for New Employees

Have you hired a new employee recently? How did your other employees react – are they proactive to be a part of the training process? Do you allow them to be a part of it? This week’s tip is to take advantage of the knowledge and experience of your current employees by assigning each new employee a designated trainer or mentor.

Mentorship programs will give your more experienced employees the opportunity to sharpen additional skills such as communication and supervising. Additionally, it helps new employees to build relationships with their new colleagues. There are a variety of ways to build training and mentoring programs for new employees. We’ve gathered a few articles and blog posts to help you create a successful mentoring program to onboard your new employees:

Do you have additional tips for creating a peer mentor training program? Please leave us a comment below!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tip #62: Personalized Chocolate Eggs for Easter

Are you looking for a new product to debut this Spring and Easter season? Extremely popular Easter items for many of our members are personalized Easter eggs. Parents and grandparents love to put their kids and grandkids names on the eggs, making it an annual tradition for many. You can buy egg moulds in a variety of sizes. Bonus: Buy hollow moulds and give your customers the chance to fill their eggs with even more treats from your store!

For the best adherence when personalizing items, use chocolate on chocolate and compound coating on compound coating. Sometimes when using a compound coating on chocolate the message will not adhere and it will fall off so be extra aware and cautious.  Make a small decorating bag out of parchment paper to do your writing and try to do as many as possible at one time.

Have fun decorating chocolate Easter eggs!

This is one of many tips that are shared between fellow RCI members on the RCI List Serve. Learn more about the RCI List Serve and how you can join the conversation.