Monday, October 22, 2007

Less is More When it Comes to Your Store…

While speaking at a regional PMA meeting this weekend (thanks to Jerry Sullivan at Precision Camera in Austin, Texas for all his hard work), the topic of store design came up, and it was clear from some photos depicting successful photo retail stores that less is certainly more when it comes to creating an inviting place to shop.

Today’s retailers are so aware of the cost per square foot of their stores that the instinct to cram as much as possible in each space is a strong one. It’s like watching your seven year old grab a handful of candy at the supermarket check-out counter; she just can’t help herself!

I implore you to try.

The effective use of open space and simple design can be far more appealing than trudging through nooks and crannies stacked with inventory and ‘sale’ signs. Think of your store as a stage for storytelling---what do you want to convey, and what do you want your customers to know?

You’d be amazed at what you can do with a small footprint. Find one underused area in your store and consider converting it to an open design with a colorful and thoughtful display. Then watch to see how many people are drawn to it.

Imagine a time-starved woman with two small kids in tow coming into your store searching for ideas for Christmas gifts. Is she more likely to respond to an environment that is aesthetically beautiful and colorful in design or will she prefer to search through stacks of product?

As for this mother of three?

My money’s on Choice A.

How To Turn National News Stories into Local Media Coverage for Your Business

Our previous post explains the difficulty Francis Ford Coppola experienced after a break-in last month where years of his work and favorite photos were lost when his computers were stolen from his home.

We sincerely hope his valuable equipment and the cherished information it contains is returned to him.
We can also help our customers learn a lesson from his experience.

Digital Photography for Busy Women includes the FRAME™ Method, which is a simple checklist I created to help people understand what to do with their digital pictures after the moments have been captured. One step includes archiving pictures on two formats in two different locations. This strategy can protect your customers’ most valuable photographs and data from fire, theft or natural disaster.

Taking a national interest story and tying it in to how your company can provide a solution is an excellent way to gain news coverage from your local and regional media. For example, the piece about Coppola’s burglary could be tied to a new workshop you’re introducing to help protect customers from losing digital pictures. It could also be connected to using your online digital photo storage service or other related product. You can even offer a tip of burning two copies of photo CD-Rs and giving one to a loved one for safekeeping.

Consider contacting your local reporters to let them know that this is an important issue and you’d like to offer some advice to readers. Keeping in touch with your local newspaper can provide numerous opportunities to promote your business by offering advice and guidance to readers in your community.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Francis Ford Coppola Loses Computers/Back-Up Hard Drive to Theft

Francis Ford Coppola is a man at a loss.

In more ways than one.

When it comes to valuable data, few people would argue that 15 of Francis Ford Coppola’s work, scripts and personal photographs would qualify as having substantial financial and sentimental value.

Coppola recently told an Argentine newscaster that he had lost 15 years of valuable data, including precious family photos, scripts and other works. He pleaded for the return of his computers and back-up hard drive, all of which were stolen when his home in Argentina was burglarized last week.

This is yet another reason why, when it comes to backing up our favorite photos, we need to have two methods IN TWO LOCATIONS for the best possible protection.

We hope his valuable scripts and cherished photographs are recovered and retuned to him soon.