Sometimes the quality of your service just isn’t enough (although it is very important!). As a business owner I realised quite quickly you have to keep people interested. You have to capture their imagination and get the local community involved in events that help increase the profile of your business, which in turn increases the footfall and eventually increases your profit.
A good example of this was the Naughty Mutt Nice Halloween Dog Parade. It was a simple idea, which started with lots of tweets, and Facebook posts. As interest snowballed, I put out a Facebook Advert (at £1 a day for 7 days). I also created a Facebook Event, and spoke to The Henley Standard who created a Diary mention.
On the day, I didn’t really have any idea what the turn out would be (if I am honest). ‘We might get one ‘ghost’ dog in a pillowcase’ I thought. That would, of course, have been better than nothing. However, the reality was very, very different. I had captured the attention of the dog loving community. Come 5pm, on Halloween evening, I stood outside the shop. Trick or treat bags in hand. And slowly, but surely, they came. Everywhere you looked, in every direction, were families walking down the road with a ‘peculiar something’ at the end of a dog lead. Bride of Dogcular, a huge tarantula, a hula girl, pumpkins, ghosts, convicts – you name it, the dogs were dressed up as it.
In a brave moment two days before I had tipped off The Henley Standard (with a readership of 30,000), and The Henley Herald. But my brave move paid off, and along with the dogs came two journalists with cameras in hand.
People talked about the Naughty Mutt Nice Halloween Dog Parade for months afterwards, and we made several new customers from the publicity. The new owner of Naughty Mutt Nice intends to continue with this successful event – and Hello Henley will be there to help!
A spooky success!
Here are the links to the local press features: