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The Aaron Brothers in my town is closing! How do I capitalize?

Discussion in 'Picture Framing Business Issues' started by FramingT, Nov 23, 2016.

  1. FramingT

    FramingT Grumbler

    I am a recovering former franchisee that has been in business for almost 12 years. Just before the recession hit, an Aaron Brothers opened a couple miles away. We got hit with a double whammy! It was hard to compete with the level of advertising and name recognition they offered, despite having a superior product, service and pricing. People sometimes come in with quotes where our regular price is less than their "half off" price. Although I am sad for the people losing their jobs, I am ecstatic to get business back! Tomorrow is their last day. Any thoughts on how I can capitalize on this situation? I already have a great professional website, Yelp page and Google page. I got one former AB customer yesterday, who was very punchy because he thought we would be too expensive, but was happily surprised when our price was less AND he could get his work in 1 week instead of 3. He found us through Google. How do I promote the fact that we do the same thing as AB, faster, better and for less money? Another AB customer today for a glass and back. She was referred by a family member she called after going to AB and finding they were closing. Maybe the online presence is enough? Any thoughts?
     
  2. David Waldmann

    David Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Google Adwords campaign targeting Aaron Brothers[your town/zip]?
     
  3. CB Art & Framing

    CB Art & Framing SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Go talk to their framing department and give your details. There may be people around for a while and they can still refer to you.
    Once they are totally closed, tape a sign on their door with your company and directions.
    Place a sign/banner in the street visible to their parking area.
     
  4. tedh

    tedh PFG, Picture Framing God

    Place a display ad in your local weekly, telling the story you just told us: "New customers are surprised that our regular prices are lower than what they paid elsewhere". Run it for four weeks, mentioning your quality and service. Ask them to try you out and see for themselves.

    Don't forget the last line: We can do it for Christmas!
     
  5. FramerCat

    FramerCat SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    When the Aaron Brothers near one of my shops was closing I went and hired their framer so that his regular customers had a place to go to find him. It is definitely a little too late for that to be the most ideal strategy for you, but if you need the help your new customers might be happy to see a familiar face.

    Ed
     
    tedh likes this.
  6. CandyB

    CandyB True Grumbler

    Another phone line and get their phone number. Answer that phone with "Frame Shop".
     
  7. FramerCat

    FramerCat SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I've tried this on several occasions. Without the cooperation of the previous owner of the number it is very difficult to do. The number goes on hold for up to a year and is then assigned randomly unless you can catch it at just the right time. At least that's the case in my state.

    Ed
     
    shayla and FramerInTraining like this.
  8. FramingT

    FramingT Grumbler

    Thank you for all of the ideas! Looking forward to a GREAT December!
     
    shayla likes this.
  9. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter PFG, Picture Framing God

    One thing might be worth considering is why the consumer chose them over you. Unless you cure that issue there may not be a compelling reason for that consumer to consider you
     
  10. David Waldmann

    David Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    That's a very interesting point, Bob. But I don't think it's probably valid.

    I am willing to place a bet that the reason 90+% of consumers go to a BB of any name is that (they think) it's going to be the cheapest option. We know that is not always the case, and in fact, probably often not the case. So if they want Cheaper, the average ICFS can probably serve them better than a BB.

    Another advantage of a prior BB buyer is that they are used to "the price I give you is the price you pay". IOW, the computer spits out the price and that's what it is. No flea market mentality here; how many people do you think say, in an AB, Ms, HL, etc "can you knock another 10% off that 60% off deal?"? I'm sure there are some, but the BBs are capitalizing on Retail. Where everything is priced and you don't argue/dicker* with "the man".

    *did anybody watch "Down East Dickering"? I loved that show, but it seems to have fizzled out. I guess Maine-iacs (genuine born and raised, not imported from New Hampshire [yes, BH, that means you], MA or CT) are not that interesting to the rest of the US viewing audience.
     
  11. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter PFG, Picture Framing God

    perhaps, David, but while AB was open, those consumers did not patronize Mary's shop. With AB closed and Mary remains the same, consumer will probably continuing to dive past her. Years back,we had amajor competitor in most of the malls we were in. They closed en masse and we saw very little uptick. The reason was the features/prices offered by them is what attracted their share of the 'common consumer pool'. We knew what it was and we chose not to 'compete' for that customer. The reality was so did that consumer 'know' what they wanted. In essence, what we 'lacked' the day before was the same as the 'day after'

    We just didn't absorb them; they found a new home

    BTW Great advice on Google AdWords. We coupled that with Marmaleads recently and I am amazed that we had any success at all LOL. We are seeing a demonstrable uptick because we are saying the 'right words' and consumers are responding. We weren't much better than blind squirrels stumbling across an acorn.

    Kind of like understanding what the AB client responds to LOL. If Mary's competition finds it first...otherwise she may have to settle for blind squirrels?;)

    Just a thought
     
  12. David Waldmann

    David Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Maybe there is nothing wrong with Mary's shop, she just is not getting the message out there (who can, against BB $$?). The whole point of this post, as I understood it, was to find a way to keep the ABC from driving past Mary's shop. Those ABCs are most likely going to still "need" framing. So how do you re-educate them, wake them up to reality, IOW, redirect them to a non-BB shop?

    Surely, going willy-nilly after a customer just "because it was there" is not necessarily a good business strategy. But my guess is that most frame shops could add customers to their repertoire via divers means. Ok, so I spend X and add 5% to my customer base. It "could" have been 50%, but 5% is better than most other things I could have done.

    Never heard of Marmaleads before, but a quick search shows that it's for Etsy. We're not on Etsy, though I guess we could, and maybe should, be. In one way or another. Never seriously considered it before. Probably not for our picture framing, but maybe for flooring and/or some other items.

    OK, just going back and reading all the replies again, and have to agree with
    Very true. But I think that the primary answer to that is getting them in your shop, showing them what you can do and at what price.

    I still think it comes down to snagging those consumers however (legally) you can. Once you get them on your website, on the phone or in your store, it's up to you to make them into a Customer.
     
  13. Daniel Smith

    Daniel Smith Grumbler

    "How do I promote the fact that we do the same thing as AB, faster, better and for less money?"

    Say it Loud and Proud. Not "we do the same thing as AB" - but that there is a PROFESSIONAL Option in town that is faster, better and a bargain for the quality you produce.
     
  14. FramingT

    FramingT Grumbler

    An update... December had a 50% increase in work in over last December! Since my online presence is already strong, I placed an ad in the small weekly local paper highlighting the following:

    We welcome former Aaron Brothers customers.
    We are your local independent framer.
    We offer everyday low prices without gimmicky coupons
    All work done on site.

    I find that in our community, people really want to support a small business. Often, they just don't want to do the work to find the small business. :) AB was at one of the busiest corners in town near a lot of other high traffic businesses. It required zero thought. (in answer to the post about why customers chose AB over us, this was really it. Once some one came to us because they couldn't get whatever they wanted at AB, they never went back) But now that they are gone, people are finding us pretty easily on Google.

    Thank you everyone for your input!
     

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