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Brainstorms

Brand Founder Stamps Cellphone Number on Inside of Products

This could be a great way to show clients how much you care.

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RALPH ANDERL, the founder of high-end eyeglass brand IC! Berlin, stamps his cell phone number on the inside of every frame his company makes to allow any customer to get in direct contact over an issue with their glasses. Every business owner claims to stand by their products, but it’s rare for one to make him or herself so available. True, a customer may not want your phone number inside his fiancée’s engagement ring, but could you do something similar — put your mobile number on all receipts or anywhere else to allow the customer to get in touch immediately?

Over the years, INSTORE has won 76 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at editor@instoremag.com.

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Brainstorms

Get Rid of That Hairy Arm!

A proven strategy to combat those people who always insist on last-minute changes.

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Ever had a client or even a manager interrupting and delaying jobs by insisting on last-minute changes? Then you may want to consider this strategy employed by advertising artists known as The Hairy Arm Tactic. According to the mythology, a graphic artist named Joe had a client who was forever insisting on “stupid changes.” Then something odd started happening: each time the client was presented with a newly photographed layout, he’d encounter the image of Joe’s arm at one edge of the frame, partly obscuring the ad. The client would look at it and yell: ‘What the hell is that hairy arm doing in there?’“ Joe would apologize for the slip-up. And then, as the client was stalking self-righteously away, muttering, “You gotta watch these guys like a hawk,” Joe would say: “When I remove the arm, can we go into production?” And the client, content to have made his mark, would call over his shoulder, “Yes, but get that arm out of there first!”

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Brainstorms

Sow Seeds of Disharmony In Your Customer’s Jewelry Box

A shiny, bright new thing can make everything else look dull and in need of replacement.

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The diderot effect refers to the way a newly purchased product fails to deliver on the happiness it promised, and instead causes our other possessions to suddenly look timeworn and in need of replacement. It takes its inspiration from an essay by the enlightenment philosopher Denis Diderot, in which he laments how a new dressing gown has made his other clothes look like rags and he suddenly feels “discordant.” How to put this psychological weakness into play? In much the same way Ikea or any home goods retailer does: through suggested add-ons. (“Now that you’re ordering that new dining table, shouldn’t you consider those glasses and plates, too?) Is it manipulative? We’d argue not. It’s not your fault that stylish new fashion ring is making her 20-year old engagement ring look a little dated and in need of an upgrade. 

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Brainstorms

Here’s How to Get the Most Out of Employee ‘Collisions’ In Your Store

Three ideas to boost the likelihood of serendipitous encounters.

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Tony Hsieh, the entrepreneur who found fame and even greater fortune with his shoe company Zappos, is a big believer in “collisions” — serendipitous encounters where workers randomly run into each other and share ideas. He told Entrepreneur magazine he’d even shut down a bridge linking his office’s parking garage to force workers to walk through a common area before they could get to their offices to encourage such collisions. Your staff may not be large, but could you shake things up to spark similar innovation? Occasionally get a bench jeweler out on the sales floor, insist sales staff take turns having lunch with other employees they don’t normally spend much time with, ask a new employee to review your procedures after their first two weeks, force yourself to strike up a conversation with that interesting-looking stranger at the Las Vegas show sandwich bar?

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