SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Forum Support Team
- Jul 14, 2008
Only if you do your Billy Idol impression
I agree, Ylva. Creating an "experience" for our customers doesn't mean it has to be identical to something Disney might conjure. In fact I would think that the personalized, down-to-earth, experience of being cared for and about while participating in the creation of a unique and lasting item intended to bring both tangible and intangible pleasures into the customer's life present a welcome alternative to the faux-feeling qualities often inherent in the "experiences" offered by corporate retail environments.Hm
The many times that customers have exclaimed, after the whole designing process; "my, I didn't know how much fun this was going to be" come to mind.
Maybe not a 'true experience'...but certainly not regular retail shopping either. Seeing the look on their faces when they come and pick up the finished framed art, and the anticipation....hm....I think that would count as an experience.
The many hugs I get from customers. The tears, the gratitude. Still not an experience????
You can't generalize it all. We build a customer base, we have loyal customers who come back for what? Price? Service? Quality? Or the whole fun experience of actually designing something that will look great on their walls?
Exactly. That is the entire basis of the Food Network show "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives".maybe enough big differences make an Experience...My favorite Hamburger joint was a hole in the wall that somehow escaped any Health Dept citations (remember SNL Cheeburger, Cheeburger?) and it was all about Experience. They could have added a buck a basket and I would have paid it LOL
So am I, but a 'Sistine Chapel experience' is what Rob's example seemed to promote. But I'm not very bright, so I get confused easily.I hope we aren't mixing 'Experience' with something like walking into The Sistine Chapel for the first time (or 3rd, 5th or 7th time).
And Bob sez this defines '"experience":Everything about the restaurant is "theater" - from the interior design, the high ceilings, the dim lighting with hidden spots that illuminate your plates, the etherial music, the wonderful bar and well trained waitstaff, the uniforms of all the waitstaff- with different attire for each of the hierarchies of waitstaff, to the place settings, the choice of flatware and crystal- to the food offerings and platings, portion size, quality of the bread and how it is presented (not dumped in a basket on the table but served by a bread "concierge" with assorted styles/flavors)- to the soft butter and rock salt served with each piece.
So I reckon what's being said is that Rob's, Bob's and Bluestone's former shops were more like the Sage "experience" and the majority of mom-and-pop's out there right now are more like the hamburger joint "experience"?A hole in the wall that somehow escaped any Health Dept citations (remember SNL Cheeburger, Cheeburger?) and it was all about Experience. They could have added a buck a basket and I would have paid it.
I wonder how this young man was feeling after what was clearly a first visit to a framers....
Yep he asked for guidance from a professional and was treated with contempt by many on this form.... it saying a lot for the attitude of many in the framing industry.
I wonder will he visit a framing shop again...
The addition of Pre-Paid Phone Cards plus the conversion of the old backy barn into "Uncle Vic's Bargain Barn" has made you an Experience.We were in Decor magazine more than once. Were our stores an experience? Not any more than, say, Kirkland's was. So.. old is new again? Lol.
Wow, another post where Bob or Rob are self-promoting, or licking a fellow PPFA-er's ... What a surprise.Here's a great example: Take any of Jim Miller's classes and you will know exactly what, in the education biz, is a capital "E"
Paul, what's the beef with Jim's comments here? I have not read through the whole thread, but I agree with them wholeheartedly, as well as what you said here:It seems unproductive to argue whether a consumer can or cannot have "an experience" in a frame shop, or how to create same, since that phrase, in the context of this thread, could mean almost anything.
What are we really talking about here? Larger-than-life first impressions? Inspiring thrills and WOW moments? Building customer satsfaction and confidence for the long term? Is it a matter of gallery appearance? Demeanor of the frame designer? Expertise of the sales techniques? Quality of the framed results? All of the above?
Personally, I am not concerned about creating "an experience" in my store. It's a frame shop, not an entertainment venue, and I can't imagine trying to make consumers think, "I can't wait to come back to this frame shop and do this again." My focus is on identifying what customers want right now, informing them where I can, doing my best to satisfy their real framing needs, and building a good reputation that endures. If all of that amounts to "an experience", I want it. But it seems to be a moving target, since one's "experience" could be another's disappointment.
Absolutely. This thread has gone way off track. I finally wnet back to the beginning of the thread, and I read the article, and the links from it, including this one about branding and sales on Instagram:Did you guys not read the article I posted !!!
It is about a moms and pops business using the internet to move forward.... it is not about trying to make the old model of shop local work...
I have a very small business with only a brochure website I have no shopping cart... I have being expanding my business, some of my customers are now in the US, France, UK, all are way beyond what I expected my customer base would be when I converted my business over two years ago to it's current model.
Bob, just my opnion, but, Paul teaches a framing course. He sees Jim as competition so Paul is just trying to protect his brand.not sure why Paul is so upset
Bob he works out of the back of a van. The square footage is about 10 sqftBTW some folks may not understand the sales per sq ft figure that CVM posted. But, it's HUGE. Not positive but i'm guessing average framer might do $150/sq ft. My best stores never broke $400.
I believe that you may be mistaken. I don't doubt that you saw LJ as competition, but I do not think that they saw you that way. I think New England Picture Framing Academy may have been a more direct competitor. Not saying that you are not running a quality school, but LJ is an industry dynamo, you are in the industry providing a needed service.Sure Bob, that must be it.
When I started The American Picture Framing Academy, my competition was a company owned by Berkshire Hathaway. ...
Do a search of Markoff's... you'll see an obvious pattern. It's disingenuous and it reflects poorly on the organizations/vendors sponsoring, and on the indi(v)cuduals themself. I challenge you guys to let generous postings of information and opinion demonstrate your credibility without the hucksterism. Do you really need more than that? I hope not.
My customers are buying "cathy" or "chickie" when they come here, many just give me their stuff and tell me to do my magic."Those of you who think going to a frame shop is an "Experience" are delusional. Same for those who think we have public celebrities, or that we should be featured in a reality show. In fact, you couldn't be less in touch with reality.
You operate a service business. You fill a need. You're not Disney World, the Super Bowl, or even a day at the beach. Your frame shop probably looks more like a warehouse than a castle. The floor is not clean enough to eat off of and the clutter probably wouldn't pass a fire inspection. You are not an experience"
Thanks in advance for keeping this forum the cooperative and friendly resource that we all enjoy. I just wanted to pass on that we are here to help this forum succeed/stay on track, and have heard your concerns.Common Sense Policies: (repost)
Periodically, it's good to take a few steps back and look at the big picture. We receive a lot of feedback from new and current members, and there has been a shared and growing concern lately. At times, certain members are making posts that give the appearance of a hostile or unwelcoming environment. A small minority are sometimes abusive and/or self involved. This creates an atmosphere where new and existing users may not feel welcomed, and may hesitate to participate. It is against what we envisioned this forum to be, and stifles participation.
The staff has discussed this at length, and will be making an extra effort to get things back on track. Rule number one has always been "BE NICE!", and this is an opportunity to take a look at our own posts to make sure the forum is a welcoming and friendly resource for our peers. The moderators will also be taking a more active role in the future, to keep things on track.
Working together in a positive way, we can make sure this forum remains the number one resource for our industry.
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Wow... so now the cannon is pointed at me, for sharing the concerns of many. We don't need any martyrs. Suffice it to say, I'm probably one of the most tolerant and patient moderators the forum has ever seen. (perhaps to a fault!) If the previous administration was still here, frankly - you wouldn't be here having this discussion right now, and allowed to continually trash your peers. The fact that your account has survived so many of these campaigns shows how mellow we are. NO ONE has had more chances than Paul Cascio. No One.With all due respect Mike, you really should do the right thing and recuse yourself from matters involving me. You've had a vendetta against me since I called you out for refusing to divulge your affiliation with a software company whose products you were promoting. Your provocative post here is further evidence of this vendetta. It's the second time you've done this in order to bait me and then suspend me.
I've done nothing today but respond to the comments in posts that were directed at me. But you make a post that is both unfair, and an abuse of a moderator's authority, in my opinion. It was designed to bait me so you can suspend me when I defend myself. And I have no doubt you will. I contribute a lot to this forum and the industry. Your pointed actions bring down this forum and show a personal bias that's obvious to all. Every forum needs fair and reasonable moderation, but you sir are neither.
YES!>>>>>> but not so caustic that some of his opinions need to be squelched.<<<<
I don't see even the slightest indicator that anyone’s opinion is being squelched.
I do see a personality that completely sucks away the cordiality of a group of adults talking business.
I think few would disagree with this. My question is what are some successful ways of doing this???We don't need to target the rich, just target customers who are buying their framing at Michaels, Hobby Lobby and the like. No one here lives off of $3000 frames. But if you can convince the consumer they can get real custom framing, with real professional design advice, at about the same price they're paying for the cookie cutter framing they've been buying, you can increase your sales dramatically.
All of us know that our prices are about the same, or even better in some cases, so why not sell that which differentiates the work of trained, dedicated professionals, from the untrained, fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants advice of a minimum wage red smock? And for the record, that's not a knock on the store level employees at these chain stores. It's simply a recognition that they don't have the training, knowledge and experience that independents do. Most of them have never made a custom frame, and some have never cut a mat.
We have competitive advantages that we're not playing up, and not taking advantage of.