Why Being a Walmart is Not Good for Your Business

Don't Strive to be like Walmart. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL. 2012.
Don’t Strive to be like Walmart. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL. 2013.

 

Over the past few months I have found very little need to go into a Walmart other than to pick up my prescription. I was a loyal follower of the smiley face looking for “rollbacks”, but due to various reasons, I began to shop elsewhere leaving only a prescription at a local store. However, after months of issues with their pharmacy, I don’t foresee purchasing from a Walmart again in the near or closely distant future. Now this isn’t a rant over why to use them or not, I could give constant reasons why not to, but that isn’t the point of today’s post. Just know I personally made some decisions over the past several months that I can obtain needed items from local businesses, Publix, Target or Walgreens. Today’s post is really an eye-opener for all of us business owners to not attempt to be a Walmart.

Now when I say that we shouldn’t try to be like Walmart, I’m not just speaking to retail businesses with products, but also to non-profit organizations and service companies as well. The concept of being the one-stop shop for everyone’s needs isn’t a one-size-fits-all for every entrepreneur, nor can be successfully pulled off by everyone. Below are my five reasons to not try to be a supercenter discount business or help everyone non-profit.

  1. Product and Service Overload. Have you ever just wandered around and picked up things you didn’t need and regretted having done ? Yep. You know the feeling of there is just so much going on, I could get lost in what won’t satisfy my needs if I even have any, but will possible satisfy my wants. Creating this feeling for your customers. Is not a good thing. Do you really want people purchasing items that they do not need, will not use or tell others they regret purchasing? Can you really service the public properly with things beyond the original scope of your organization. Your goal is to get your customers to use, love and share about what you have to offer. Consider really focusing on what works for your business and your customers.
  2. Service Levels. Let’s see 100 customers to one employee. That doesn’t really sound like good odds. It actually sounds darn near impossible for anyone managing that level of flow of customers (existing or potential ones) or individuals in need at a high level of service that will make them want to return or recommend to others. Personally I cannot say that I know of anyone who doesn’t have a story of being extremely aggravated when facing those types of odds. Ensuring that your achieving customer satisfaction is how many companies continue to grow. As yours expands, keep a close eye on service levels. When they start to slip, so do the feelings associated with your brand.
  3. Lack of Knowledge. The more you grow and expand, the more knowledgable every employee should be. Skipping out on being able to explain the products or services and to be able to recommend one more specifically to the customer is a huge disservice to your organization’s mission and goals. Every department and employee should be familiar with the products or services that affect their job and customers.
  4. Poor environment. Cleanliness, overcrowded shelves, small aisles, limited parking, etc, are things that can deter people from attempting to purchase what they are looking for when visiting your business. Opt to review where your customers go and how they feel while navigating through your business.
  5. Budget Customers. When setting up your business, deciding to attract budget customers comes with a price. People are looking more for price than quality. These are also people who will more than likely only share with others if they feel they received a deal, will only shop with you when you offer deals and will definitely be the first to complain when they didn’t receive more than the deal. Marketing to budget customers can be done successfully. It’s not seen often. It’s definitely not seen as good for the business if one through four above is occurring.

Again, this isn’t an attempt to persuade you to not shop at any “mart”, but a look at how you can quickly fall into a bad hole of turning off customers if you follow any of the items listed above.

What do you think? Are you moving towards a more custom business or supercenter? Please leave your thoughts and comments below. They may be used in the future for another article.

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Above Promotions is a full service publicity, marketing and promotions company, founded with the purpose to serve an array of clients that are looking to expand their presence in the marketplace. From a local to international market, Above Promotions Company can provide the exposure that goes above your expectations. Visit http://www.abovepromotions.com today.

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Ebony T. Grimsley is the Creative Director and Owner of Above Promotions Company. She is also the recent author of “Because You’re Small: Effective Marketing Strategies for Immediate Implementation.” To find out more information on the book, please visit http://www.abovepromotions.com or purchase online at Amazon, Booktango and other online bookstores.

 

 

 

 

Twinkies No More?

Hostess is on the bankruptcy path once again. Photo Couresy of AP/NBC News. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL
Hostess is on the bankruptcy path once again. Photo Couresy of AP/NBC News. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL
Hostess is on the bankruptcy path once again. Photo courtesy of AP/NBC News. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL

We’ll get back to scandals, sex and other shady things in the news next week. Today’s post had to created and shared. Could it be? The iconic brand from most adults childhood will be no more.

This morning on the TODAY Show, the CEO of Hostess, Greg Rayburn, stated that the bakers’ union and the executives could not reach an agreement and the company will begin liquidating assets today. It’s hard to imagine a company that has been around since 1930, can crumble over wages and benefits. Unfortunately, according to Greg this is the reason for the demise of an iconic brand.

As I scratched my head thinking, “when was the last time I’ve even had a Twinkie?”, I heard the Above Promotions account executive say the same thing. It became clear to me that we may not be the only ones who hasn’t had a Hostess anything in over a decade. And although I would like to think “Wow! That’s crazy. 5,000 bakers just put over 18,000 people out of work.” I do not feel this is the reason the next time I’m in Publix, the space Hostess once occupied will be filled with something else.

Consumers have evolved and become educated. Hostess has remained the same and has not done a good enough job to combat those knowledgable consumers. As to where we can see other snack companies such as Frito-Lay and Nabisco evolve over the years and introduce various options, including ones with less chemicals, Hostess seems to have dug in its heels and showed it will not change. I cannot recall Hostess even demonstrating an attempt to overcome the news feature when the TODAY Show deconstructed the Twinkie. Seriously, there are at least 18 items in a Twinkie, I would not consume and a few of those could be found in cleaning products.

Where was the innovation? Where were the re-branding efforts? Attempts to market to a new demographic. So no, we can’t blame the bakers, President Bush (original attempt for bankruptcy filing in 2004) or President Obama, nor the cost of ingredients going up for the brand’s demise. This rests solely at the feet of the company’s leaders. Change is a vital part of business and every company has to be prepared to go the direction of consumers. If it is not working. The public isn’t buying it. It’s time for a change. Maybe if not in a new line, at least some updated marketing and attempt to engage with the public once again.

When we think about it. Maybe the brand dies years ago. The news heard around the world today, could just be the delay of the funeral.

What do you think? Is the bakers’ union to blame? When was the last time you consumed a Hostess product? Will you miss the brand? Will someone save the Twinkie?

Tell us your thoughts and it could be used for a future post.

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Above Promotions is a full service publicity, marketing and promotions company, founded with the purpose to serve an array of clients that are looking to expand their presence in the marketplace. From a local to international market, Above Promotions Company can provide the exposure that goes above your expectations. Visit http://www.abovepromotions.com today.

********************

Ebony T. Grimsley is the Creative Director and Owner of Above Promotions Company. She is also the recent author of “Because You’re Small: Effective Marketing Strategies for Immediate Implementation.” To find out more information on the book, please visit http://www.abovepromotions.com or purchase online at Amazon, Booktango and other online bookstores