written by Cliff Marsden
We are optimistic that the worst is over from the Covid-19 shutdowns and the outpouring of violent demonstrations that followed the horrific murder of George Floyd. So we wanted to take the time to follow back up with Cliff Marsden and create a helpful guide to relaunching your business in these extraordinary times.
Let’s revisit for any of you that are tuning in for the first time, or aren’t familiar with Marsden Brothers Promotions (MPB). Here’s a little background on the company. Cliff’s parents started the business with one store in 1961, and grew to five stores, which ran productively for 42 years. In 1975, Cliff, who has a GG as well as being a goldsmith, joined the family business.
He worked alongside his parents, and his brothers, until the late 1900’s when his father passed away. In 1974, under the banner of, “Marsden Brothers Promotions”, the family began conducting liquidation sales and running them alongside the Family’s retail stores in Idaho and Wyoming. Cliff, and his brothers Joe and Dennis, are all successful jewelers who have each operated his own store.
At its peak, Marsden Brothers Promotions was running events in 42 stores during a typical holiday season. Today, the MBP approach is, “quality over quantity”, and they take more of a family approach to each customer, and every event. The brothers, along with their team of experienced professionals, have guided nearly a thousand fellow jewelers into retirement, helped with relocation or consolidation, and have been called on to guide businesses through other necessary changes to help them remain competitive.
In these extraordinary times we wanted to reach back out to Cliff Marsden and his extensive experience, to seek some guidance and wisdom to aid in your route to get back on track to relaunching your business.
Cliffs Best Advice?
- Now is not the time to play it small
- Consumers are savvy, the problem is, since 2008, the customers have become very savvy when it comes to someone running a sale. A SALE per say, does not get the consumer to react as it once did. The problem is that they see discounts at every store running for 50%-80% off every day of the week. So what are you going to do differently to encourage them to come to your store? Again, just a sale is not the answer.
- Go all in or don’t attempt it at all
- “Use innovative incentives to grab your consumers attention” as prescribed by Cliff Marsden, GG.
- Advertisement coupons, or “reward bucks” featuring dollar bill-esque qualities to grab consumers attention. We have some really strong feelings about how to reel your customers back in. We are suggesting you use direct mailing to your own customer base and we’d go as far as suggesting to go as deep as fifteen hundred to twenty five hundred recipients or more. Send them a direct mail piece that includes a coupon allotting them to spend up to $100 in your store with no restrictions. You may choose to put your own restrictions in, but if it was our customers, we would suggest you don’t. I would also make sure it has a time limit of no more than 30 days. The biggest thing you need at this very moment is to just get YOUR customers back through your doors as soon as possible.
- Another suggestion would be that you could consider, would be $1 watch batteries, limiting to three watches per household. Again, you need to have a time limit of thirty days. The real point is that you are trying to get customers back into your store as soon as possible. You may feel like you are losing money by doing this, but in the long run you are losing more money by not getting them back through your doors. This is an investment that you are hunting for a return on.
- Sales, in the average sense of the word, do not really work anymore. What you have to do is change that “sale mindset” to an, “event mindset”. An event is built differently than a sale and the consumer responds to it differently as well. You have to be more creative, and put more thought and effort into it. A sale is really not the answer.
If you have any specific thoughts or questions, and would like to call Cliff and/or visit with him, you are welcome to do so. He is eager and welcoming any and all to do so. You can reach Cliff Marsden on his cellphone number at, 208-589-2691.