How to attract customers – Day 33/139

Many business owners are struggling with getting customers. Here is one way to do it.

The convenience store Siwa in Alppila, Helsinki has an interesting advertisement shown directly to all customers entering the shop. They have a sign that says:

Koululaiset kauppaan yksi kerrallaan. Kiitos.

Schoolchildren may enter the shop only one at a time. Thank you.

This message is wrong on so many levels that it’s hard to decide where to start. The sign delivers a message that:

  1. the personnel is keeping an eye on you
  2. all the schoolchildren are thieves
  3. the personnel is stupid enough to think this sign would make any difference for the “bad kids”
  4. in general they don’t welcome customers in their store.

It seems the shopkeeper has a problem.  This message is so wrong that it sure isn’t hard to think of a better sign.  I printed them a new sign with the opposite message:

Schoolchildren should enter the shop all at once. Thank you.

The sign is printed on a folded A4 with 72 pt Times New Roman font. Now you can contribute too:

Make the shopkeeper a new sign and post your suggestion here.

Here is a chance to put your marketing skills to test.


6 responses to “How to attract customers – Day 33/139

  1. This is a locals shop for local people – we don’t need your kind here.

  2. The sign basically translates into “Kaikki koululaiset pidätetään yksi kerrallaan”.
    This sign threw me back years when one of my good friends (a real honest nerd) basically got arrested and searched by the shop staff. They didn’t find anything because he hadn’t taken anything. We boycotted the store for a while and I think they finally apologized. Interesting coinsidence; it was a Siwa.

    • Good story Olli.

      These shops almost never value their customers very high. They think they can’t differentiate their service in any way to attract (or lose) customers. The truth is that even a Siwa could have such people-oriented approach that people would love both working and shopping there.

  3. The problem here is that the people who are actually in charge of marketing have nothing to do with such signs. They’re probably the work of store-managers who, in their infinite wisdom decided that limiting a target groups access to the store is the smartest thing to do. Indeed it might turn out, that such a sign has no impact to a stores revenue what so ever, yet it does send a distinct message of distrust (how people act upon experiencing or noticing this will vary).

    • Thanks for your comment.

      It’s probably true that there is certain group of people that will use a shop’s services regardless of how they treat their (other) customers.

      On the other hand, there is no limit to the upside swing a positive attitude could bring to a store. Think of a shop where everyone would feel like they’d had found the job of their dreams and would act accordingly. It’s all up to the people.

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