Yankee Candles are Hard Currency

My mother is a veteran shopper, and she always had strong opinions on products and services. Growing up, I heard them so often they were like the Ten Commandments: immutable, inviolable, sacred. Nowadays, I think on those pearls of wisdom as I market my own business and services…

Yankee Candles are hard currency.

Jar candles abound in the holiday season. You can find expensive ones at your local specialty store and cheap ones at your local drugstore, no candle but a Yankee Candle will ever find its way into the home of my mother, an avid candle consumer. She is fiercely brand-loyal. “Yankee Candles are hard currency,” she says whenever she gives or receives one, “their value is undisputed. When you give it as a gift, that person knows it’s a good gift. If they don’t like the smell of roses or buttercream or whatever, they can re-gift it.” Remember when people used to flip greeting cards for the Hallmark logo? It’s the same principle. If you create a product or service that becomes the gold standard in your field, you will succeed through any season, be it holiday gift buying or recession belt tightening.

Don’t focus on what we spent…focus on what we saved.

This was drilled into us from the first time we were old enough to carry shopping bags into the house under my father’s watchful eye. “It was clearance,” she’d counsel, “so it was over 50% off the original price. Make sure you let Dad know.” As business owners, we know what we do for our clients, and we know the value of our products and services. Many of us also provide extra services to clients which are taken for granted. But again and again, I find that customers don’t even realize what they’re getting. This is natural: they’re focused on what they’re paying, it’s up to you to share the value of what you’re giving them. Whether it’s through your website and brochures, or with regular social media updates on your value-added services, or even in the language in your contract, you need to communicate your value. Remind customers what they’re getting, not what they’re giving away.

Shopping is therapy.

Once, when I was a teenager feeling teenage angst, my mom took me shopping for a little pick-me-up. It did the trick! When marketing our own businesses, we need to make the process fun for potential clients. I used to have a milkman who would let us know when he was close to winning his company egg nog sales contest. I have a designer friend who designs her own holiday card every year. Have fun in your business, and others will have fun, too! We also need to listen. If a client comes to you because they’re frustrated with their current provider, they may need to vent that frustration and you may need to gain their trust. Listen and reassure. Make the process easier on them.

Remember Mom’s Marketing Wisdom and have a wonderfully successful holiday season!

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