Making a living by running a retail business is not always easy. Particularly in our tech-driven day and age, it can be hard to compete with the rock-bottom prices offered by online retailers. This brings up an important question: how do you promote your retail business and set yourself apart so that customers choose to spend their time and money with you?

In a nutshell, the answer is that you have to make your business stand out. As a retailer, this means that you've got to invest time in defining your brand and that you must employ some clever marketing techniques to promote your business to the masses. Here, we'll detail some creative ways to set your business apart, from creative indoor and outdoor display options to different ways to connect with your community to promote yourself. You might just be amazed by how these ideas can help draw in customers and ultimately, improve your sales.

Create a handy household item as a freebie.

Here's a classic yet perennially effective way to promote your business: create a useful household item, such as a magnet or a calendar, branded with your logo and business information, and then give it away to customers. The item will be useful, so it's likely it will remain around the customer's household and can act as a mini billboard, reminding the consumer of your business day in and day out. While this is a method which has been employed for ages by retailers, it also offers you an opportunity to create a creative, beautiful, well thought out item that will help remind customers of you. For instance, a calendar featuring beautiful images of your products or services can be a fun way to remind customers to give you a visit.

Include something special on the back of your business cards.

Every retail business needs business cards in their ad material arsenal; why not use them as an opportunity to promote your business in addition to offering factual information? One side of your card can be factual, with the name and location of the business, as well as web addresses. On the flip side, have a little fun and use the surface for promotion. Here are just a few things you could do with the blank space on the back of your business card:- Have a special or a coupon printed on the back.
- Offer a frequent buyer club, so that when they make a certain amount of purchases, they will get something free.
- List some of your unique products or services so that the customer is reminded of what you offer that they can't get anywhere else.

Come up with a tagline.

Channel your inner radio jingle writer and create a tagline for your business. While it's important that your statement is factual (don't say "#1 rated" if you haven't received such an honor, for instance), beyond that, you have plenty of freedom to create a tagline that suits your business. It might be simple and sweet, such as "the most unique toy selection in town!" or "holiday gifts for everyone on your list". Or maybe you want a zany or cheeky tagline, like "noodles so good you'll abandon your diet" or "fashions to make your best friend jealous". This tagline cannot only prove effective for your indoor and outdoor signage but can be used in radio jingles and in print ads, too.

Promote yourself as a local expert.

By positioning yourself as a local expert, you can not only improve your personal reputation but promote your retail business at the same time. Let's break it down. Do you own a pet food store? If so, see if you could contribute blog posts to relevant websites, or perhaps you could be part of a public radio advice show or offer to do a column about pet care in the local paper. When people hear or read your quality advice or words of wisdom, they will be far more likely to think of you the next time they are in need of a product along the lines of what you are offering.Image1

Use people to promote your business.

Few methods of marketing are as effective as having a real, live person promote your retail business. A sign held by an actual person, such as a human directional sign, or held in a backpack such as the Flex Blade Backpack Banner, can prove extremely effective in marketing your business. A person positioned near your business during business hours can capture attention, direct consumers, to your business, and can also hand out brochures or business cards to those who seem on the fence. It's a creative marketing method, and it is extremely effective at capturing consumer attention.

Use signage inside of your store.

If you read this blog, you already know that there are plenty of creative ways to display marketing materials and signs outside of your business. But don't miss out on a creative and easy marketing opportunity right within your walls: indoor signage! Creative indoor signage options can help people go from curious window shoppers to serious spenders. Highlighting specific products, services, or unique aspects of your business via indoor signage is an extremely effective method for starting conversations with customers.

Explore advertising inflatables.

Advertising inflatables are an extremely effective way to grab customer attention. They're suitable for all sorts of business sizes and situations, as they are available in a number of sizes, from indoor tabletop displays to huge outdoor displays and even costumes. Whether it's a puffy-costumed mascot, an inflatable object relevant to your retail offerings, or a versatile inflatable item such as a hot air balloon form, your customized advertising inflatable is bound to prove a savvy investment, as they practically command attention from passers-by!Image2

Display a branded game.

A customized game can be a powerful and creative marketing tool, and as an added bonus, it's a lot of fun for you and your customers. Above All Advertising offers all sorts and sizes can be customized with your business info; they can be put outside of your business, in a parking lot (if available) or can be displayed at local events or fairs. Branded games provide an opportunity to expose people to your business in a fun and engaging way, and creates a positive first impression!

Create window displays in places other than your store.

Where on earth would you create a display other than your store? Plenty of places. Really! Spaces like airports or train stations often have display spaces available for local businesses; you could create an indoor sign or hang up a large format print advertisement showing your products, urging tourists and travelers to check out your offerings. Another option is that sometimes, empty retail fronts are open to accepting a fee for displaying signage and advertisements. Exploring options like this can help expose your business to people who otherwise not happen upon you.Image3

Create a waiting area in your store.

A waiting area in your store, outfitted with branded furniture, can provide function and advertising. For one, it can act as seating for tired customers or for bored companions who might discourage them from shopping or spending money otherwise. Second, it's a way to promote your business in a quiet way, by making your business look good. Your overall look is more professional, and it makes people more confident about buying with you.

Conclusion: It can be a tough landscape out there for retailers, so they need to be very savvy and clever about marketing. By taking the time to explore creative and sometimes out of the box marketing ideas, you'll do your business a great service and will increase your customer allure and overall sales.

What are the most effective marketing methods for your retail business?