Being a successful business owner is no easy task. Gone are the days where you can just open the doors and people would flock in. Customers can often buy the same items without leaving their couch – often for less through Amazon or Walmart. And if that wasn’t enough, we’ve all spent over a year trying to weather an unprecedented global pandemic that killed a half a million people in the United States alone. Unless there’s a real good reason to go out to a physical store – people probably won’t. They need more than just a place to “buy stuff”. They need an experience.
We’re not saying that every business should turn itself into a circus featuring clowns with big red noses handing out balloons. Experiences need to be authentic and personalized to each patron. Customers should be rewarded for their patronization as well as your business benefitting their health and well-being. And this benefit shouldn’t be limited to them individually. Your business should strive to be a civic contributor. If it isn’t, why would should it even exist? This is all part of creating the experiences that will attract and retain customers.
“The Mirror” is a series of 20 questions which assesses a Resident of Melvin’s Neighborhood (your customer) in terms of their effort to better their life. It’s not a picture a where they’re at (like how pretty much all self-improvement apps operate), but how much they’re trying. There is no perfect “you” and we’re sure not going to try to tell anyone what it is. But what we, with the assistance of Melvin, can do is help your customers on their journey to improve their plight in life and maybe make that journey a little less bumpy. “The Mirror” is the map to help show them the way. Your business, a member Front Porch in the Neighborhood, can be a huge part of making that happen for them.
Rather than designing your marketing around “one off” pieces, which is the norm for most small businesses, Melvin’s Neighborhood utilizes subscriptions. A subscription is a curated collection of campaign nudges that interact with and connect a patron with the Front Porch (you the small business owner) in a unique way. If the data dictates, a nudge campaign from a Front Porch’s subscription will make it into the a Resident’s morning well-being email, Melvin’s marketing foundation. These emails and component nudges align with the information gathered from their most recent “Look in the Mirror” as they pursue building their Perfect World of health and well-being. Subscriptions tie a Neighborhood business or organization (Front Porches) to that pursuit – and in turn reward the Front Porch through increased patronization, loyalty and revenue generation … as well as benefiting the community.
Action Points serve as the focal point for campaigns and subscriptions. The nudge content that fuels subscriptions is designed to address the issues raised in the calculation of Action Points generated by the answers given by a Resident of Melvin’s Neighborhood during their most recent “Look in the Mirror”.
In order to effectively address a Resident’s applicable Action Point, each subscription is modified to fit the characteristics of it for it’s marketing strategy; in this case Nutrition. Then the subscription is modified to a specific business niche – like the grocery industry.
In this subscription, Melvin’s Neighborhood has developed a core set of campaign and nudge materials designed to assist a Resident in addressing the Nutrition Action Point. This is accomplished through the following objectives:
- Awareness of what you eat
- Understanding the nutritional value of the foods you buy
- Incorporating a more effective grocery store navigation strategy
- Preparing more healthy and economical meals at home
Each subscription, including the Nutrition/Grocery store one, features a core of volunteerism. We’ve highlighted a few volunteer causes a grocery store can use to effectively assist the Residents of Melvin’s Neighborhood in their nutritional journey. We believe a fundamental tenet of all our subscriptions should be a focus on the sustainability of our food supply through an embrace of nature and the environment. Additionally we hope the embrace of this subscription achieves a belief in self-efficacy and a sense of mindfulness in our communities.
- “Showing Our Stuff” (neighborhood community fairs)
- “Pop-up Community” (pop-up business ventures)
- “Love Comes From the Ground” (community gardens/farmers markets)
The bleedingEDGE Experience Platform
The bleedingEDGE Experience platform is the conduit connecting the Front Porch (Merchant), the customer and the community. It is Melvin’s vehicle that triggers the customer experiences and memories that will give you the advantage over any of your competition no matter they are.
The data acquisition vehicle fueling the bleedingEDGE Experience Platform is Melvin’s loyalty system comprised of Gems (points). Each Gem-based loyalty program runs independently for each member Front Porch (Merchant) – fully able to be customized (e,g. point conversions). Points earned are automatically redeemed for each patron during a purchase, making the Resident experience completely effortless. The data acquisition isn’t limited to patron purchases though. Melvin’s Neighborhood also makes use of geofencing technology. Set up a geofence anywhere (even nowhere near your premise) and you can notify your customers at anytime anywhere.
The platform’s output features an automated array of sixteen templated 1 to 1 communication and loyalty triggers designed to raise the experience of patronizing your business beyond that of “buying stuff “. The technical backbone behind the platform allows complete flexibility and customization. With our assistance you can market whatever campaign you can think of – including co-op experiences with other small businesses.
Your business creates “experience campaigns” that can be triggered by any one of these programs. What you choose to offer is attached to whatever event or activity you set up ahead of time. Every morning each Member will receive an email synopsis of four to six engagement nudges that are most relevant to them. These emails are the conduit to activities in the community, as well as personal tasks that can be undertaken that will directly help them elevate their personal well-being determined by their most recent “A Look In The Mirror”. These messages could be advice from a doctor, special deals from a neighborhood small businesses or even alerts of volunteer opportunities sponsored by a community non-profit. In addition to the morning email, occasional reminder text messages can be included in your campaigns.
Below are a roster of campaigns/nudges included in each subscription that your business can use to anchor it’s marketing strategy.
“WOW, you must have been hungry” (Purchase follow-up)
We know you’re a good customer, but jeez … yesterday you took it to another level. We would be rude not to acknowledge your patronization with a nice perk. We’d like to offer you a $20 gift credit. Just come in any time in the next two weeks and $20 will be deducted from your next purchase.
“Not like you need another reason to get out of house – but preparing for your 4th of July BBQ might be a good one. Come in and buy your meat (even plant-based) and we’ll give you a $10 gift credit to use at the deli for some of our delicious side salads. What’s 4th of July without organic baked beans.
“It’s been so long Alex. Did we do something wrong last time you were in. Please tell us what we can do win you back. Stop back in and we’ll give you 25% off you’re next purchase (up to $100).”
“You’re on the threshold” (Point accumulation announcement)
“You’re so close. Or as we in the Neighborhood like to say, “you’re on the threshold”. Only 100 more Gems and you’ll be part of our VIP Club. Being a VIP entitles you to so much stuff. Just stop in and will tell you all about it.”
“Join us on our VIP night” (VIP Club program)
“We are proud to announce our deli has just recruited a new head chef. You won’t believe what Stuart has planned. And as a beloved VIP, we invite you to an after hours tasting next Friday, May 15. Only VIP members of the store will be allowed to attend.
“We just got this in” (New product announcement)
“Our chef Stuart is holding a ground breaking ceremony at our new community gardens. We invite you to stop by at 8:30 next Saturday just a block south of our store and stake your claim to your own plot of land to raise what you want. We might even buy it from you after you harvest it in the fall. Stuart will also be serving frittatas with the help of our friends at Beyond Meat.”
“We got a great deal” (Bulk buy pass along)
“You’re not going to believe it, but we just got a great deal on “Impossible Foods” ground beef. The price is practically two for one and you can’t tell me you don’t love those burgers — because we know.”