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Tip Sheet

Tip Sheet: April 2006

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Nine fresh ideas to better your business

Give employees range to innovate and let them win once in a while, more.

[componentheading]MEOW MIX[/componentheading]

[contentheading]Be Cool With Cats[/contentheading]

One quick way to make your store feel more homey: get a cat. Unprofessional? Nope, it’s fun, friendly, and quirky. At least that’s the feeling at one of Abercrombie & Fitch’s new Hollister stores in Kansas City, where a resident cat lounges on its choice of the store’s many comfortable chairs. If this big, corporate entity can do it, so can you.

[componentheading]MY NAME IS URL[/componentheading]

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[contentheading]Get A New Address[/contentheading]

Type in www.webuybigdiamonds.com and you’re directed to the website of Raymond Lee Jewelers, “South Florida’s biggest estate buyers”. Smart move! Could you increase your off-the-street purchases by purchasing your own, easy-to-remember URL?

[componentheading]BOSS HOG[/componentheading]

[contentheading]Let Staff Win[/contentheading]

You may be the boss, but that doesn’t mean you should win all arguments. Ease up, says Phil Dusenberry of top ad agency BBDO in a profile in Fast Company magazine. Cede a debating point, the execution of an idea, or even ownership of a concept at least once a day, and your staff will praise your open-mindedness and feel more free to act boldly.

[componentheading]EYE IN THE SKY[/componentheading]

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[contentheading]Chalk One Up[/contentheading]

Looking for a new location? One way to get a quick overview, literally, of a spot you’re interested in is by using Google Earth. The free program provides detailed satellite pictures of locations around the United States. How detailed? (This writer used it to find his boyhood home … learning that the new owners had one silver and one white car, and that they had installed an above-ground pool in the backyard. Why not in-ground? Live a little!) All in all, one cool tool!

[componentheading]WEBBED FEAT[/componentheading]

[contentheading]Get Ideas Here[/contentheading]

Great site for web design advice and inspiration: www.webdesignfromscratch.com. Other sites show you what was hot two years ago … this one shows you what works today.

[componentheading]SPECIFIC, TERRIFIC![/componentheading]

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[contentheading]Sept Parameters[/contentheading]

Automotive giant Chrysler has found the best creative results are not produced by people with unlimited range to innovate. Instead, the company’s most successful projects come when boundaries are strictly defined. So be specific in the goals you set: “I want a new earring post that can be removed in 15 seconds with a single hand.” or “I want a new customer-service initiative that will increase our feedback ratings by 50% with an expense of less than 50 cents per customer.”

[componentheading]ROYAL TREATMENT[/componentheading]

[contentheading]Ply The Press[/contentheading]

Opening a new, high-end store? Collect your store’s finest pieces, and perhaps even bring some special pieces in from outside, then have a special event where you invite all the newspaper and magazine editors you can find to try them on. Pamper them, give them full makeovers, make them “Queens for a Day.” You’ll be paid in full by all the breathless feature coverage you receive.

[componentheading]AUTHOR, AUTHOR[/componentheading]

[contentheading]Make It Literary[/contentheading]

Want to give your marketing copy more impact? Try what Roy Williams, the “Wizard of Ads”, calls “Frosting” or “Seussing” it. The first technique, named for poet Robert Frost, means “transforming drab communication into razor-edged wordsmanship.” The second, after children’s author Dr. Seuss, invites you to make up your own words to spice up common, predictable sales prose.

[componentheading]LIVE THE MIRACLE[/componentheading]

[contentheading]Read This[/contentheading]

Inspirational quote from Albert Einstein — undoubtedly, one very smart man. “There are two ways to live your life. One is as if everything is a miracle and the other as though nothing is a miracle.”

[span class=note]This story is from the April 2006 edition of INSTORE[/span]

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