Monday, October 29, 2007

Extra Bases in Boston

Boston Baseball Fans and some normally indifferent to the game are even more enthusiastic leading up to the 2007 World Series. The reason – not just the Sox’ chance or a second title in three years – but furniture.

Those who bought sofas, dining room sets, etc. last spring at Jordan’s Furniture, a group of four retail stores near Boston, stand to have their full purchase price (up to $2,500) refunded if the Boston Red Sox win the World Series.

This promotion created news coverage at the time and thus amplified Jordan’s own marketing of the event. The press also reported that sales volume was substantially above the prior period and that during the last week of the event the store was “mobbed.” Jordan’s hedged their expense of the promotion through an insurance policy.

What does this have to do with the furniture business or yours? Why is Jordan’s so much more successful than most furniture retailers?

Sports relates sales promotions are common. But this one was unique. It was not a ho-hum official sponsor of, hire an endorsement from a particular sports figure, or buy and be entered in a drawing for World Series tickets.

A key question for any marketer is or ought to be what business are we in. For Jordan’s, the answer appears to be show business. The thought of dragging your family to look at mattresses, living room ensembles, and dining tables is not appealing. It becomes a chore to be avoided.

But if you could see first movies on a giant Imax screen, have free popcorn, and have a year-round Mardi Gras. In short be entertained and while your at get that desk and filing cabinet, you’ve been wanting for your home office. Going to Jordan’s during this promotion was participating in an event

Barry and Eliot, Jordans’ top executives and spokesmen, have long used entertainment to position their company as a venue as well as a furniture store.

All of this adds perceived value to what could seem like a boring commodity, encourages shoppers, and engages customers.

You don’t have to swing for the fences the way Jordan’s has, but what are you doing to get past first base with your customers?

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