Be Great Today

JMRohn Keiser, CEO of OneCoast, started our “Be Great Today” series. His first post sparked interest and excitement within our company! We will be asking other OneCoast team members what “Be Great Today” means to them and how they work that into their professional and (sometimes) personal life! Sharing her thoughts this month is Majda Rensberger, Vice President of Marketing.

Q: What does “be great today” mean to you?

MR: Being great today to me is being in the present every day and letting the desire of being your best self lead everything you do in that day. It’s about focus and clarity on what you want to accomplish and how you want to make an impact today on something or someone. It’s about self-accountability and setting a standard for yourself that is above the standard others hold you to which drives you to reach a little higher and do more than what’s expected. It’s a reminder that what we do today is what matters most and having the courage to know that we are in charge of the outcome of our day is ultimately what I believe will make you great today.

Q: What can you do to “be great today”?

MR: Wake up every day with a determined spirit that genuinely believes I can make this day count. This will ultimately spill over into everything you do or anyone you interact with. Know what you want to accomplish and end the day knowing that you’ve done it. It could be many small tasks checked of your list or taking steps to get to your higher goal but feeling a sense of completion at the end of the day, feeling proud in your own work and what you contributed to the day and others.

Q: How do you encourage others to do the same?

MR: By empowering others to take a leadership role in their positions and encouraging them to challenge themselves every day and think bigger. By helping them see their potential and hopefully inspiring them to see the greatness I see in them. Being genuine with my actions and words every day and in all my interactions with others I believe has an unspoken impact that leads to greatness.

Q: What is your favorite motivational quote?

MR: “The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past…we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude…I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you…we are in charge of our attitudes.”
― Charles R. Swindoll

Charles Swindoll’s perspective on the impact of our own individual attitude every day is what I live by every day. To me it translates into self-accountability and self-control. It is our attitude and spirit that impacts everything around us. It’s a reminder to step back and look at ourselves in the mirror and continue to ask ourselves how we can be better, how we could improve upon something, how we can mold negative into positive, create a solution to a problem, go the extra mile even when no one is watching, and inspire others by being yourself. It all comes back to self and when you understand that, you become your biggest challenger, critic, motivator and driver.


Majda Rensberger is the Vice President of Marketing for OneCoast. In her 9 years with OneCoast, Majda held a leadership position in the development of the industry’s first National Sales Model (OneCoast ND One), implemented operational structures and led the development of the company’s Integrated Marketing and Sales Model.

Majda heads up the Marketing and Showroom departments where she’s responsible for marketing and branding strategies of OneCoast and their vendor partners, helping them effectively market their brands and drive B2B sales via e marketing, social media, mobile and public relations platforms. Majda is a member of the OneCoast Senior Executive team involved in the company’s strategic planning and new business development.

Majda has been a GHTA (Gift and Home Trade Association) member since 2009. During the November 2014 annual industry conference Majda was elected to serve on the Board of Directors where she’ll be involved in moving the Gift and Home industry forward.

Majda has a degree in Marketing & Communication from Columbia College and comes with a background in advertising and sales.

Rebranding 101 | Part 3 of 3

askus2lThis has been such a great series! It all started with the simple question, “How do I/we change the image/perception of our store?”

Through this process, we were able to touch base more than one aspect of giving your store a new look and feel. Knowing that this is a multifaceted task, we wanted to wrap up with Part 3, marketing and the fine details!

Marketing

One of the most important things with marketing to a younger consumer is understanding how they connect to companies and how they prefer to be marketed to. We are talking to a tech savvy customer who is constantly on the go and needs information at their fingertips. They are the social media lovers, online shoppers and mobile communicators. So your marketing has to be where your customer is and that is online. Several things to consider and evaluate:

  • Website
    • What does your website say about who you are (company/store) and who you are targeting (demographic)? Does it reflect the personality of the store and the image that will attract the younger customer? If you haven’t made any changes to your website in a while, it is time to give it a face lift. That could be as simple as changing the colors.
  • Social Media
    • Evaluate the social media platforms you should be active on. It is no longer enough to only be on Facebook. Consider Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. (We’ve linked to OneCoast’s social media outlets so you can see what we’re talking about!)
    • Are you posting frequently and creating excitement on your page that will tease the customer to come in?
      • Post pictures of new products that come in or even pictures of products that will be coming soon.
      • When shopping at markets, post pictures of product you are planning to bring in and ask your customers to vote.
      • Make sure you are creating reasons to have a good dialogue with your customers online and giving them a reason to come in.
    • Social Media should be a big focus for you if you want to stay connected to the younger customer. I would highly recommend connecting with Retail Social Media Expert Crystal Vilkaitis from Crystal Media.
  • Events
    • How often are you hosting events? Consider doing them once a month? Make them hip and exciting? Become THE place to be. There are so many great event ideas that would appeal to the younger consumer. We have many event ideas right on our resource center. Click here.
    • Make sure to market your events so that it encourages the customer to invite their friend and spread the word for you. Best way to do that is by offering a strong incentive for them and their friend. Use email and social media to market it.
  • Online Reviews
    • There is no better way to create a positive online presence and attract new customers than by online reviews. Have you ever tried looking for a new service online and gotten 10 different responses? Did you notice that you usually make a choice to call the one that has the best customer rating? This is what happens every day when your customers are looking for new products and companies online. Leverage the power of online reviews by asking all of your customers to rate you on google or yelp. I’ve looked up your store and noticed that you already have some wonderful reviews. Make sure to go on Google and Yelp and add your company information that will help tell your story.
  • Sponorships
    • Another way to get in front of your targeted customer is to become visible where they are. See if you can sponsor local high school and college events and get involved in their community.
  • Email
    • If you don’t already, you should work on building a healthy email data base and some type of loyalty program that helps you continue to build your data base. Email marketing is an important road of communication to a younger consumer and demographic. This is one of the primary ways they prefer to communicate with companies.
  • Mobile
    • Text message marketing is one of the most economic ways to reach your younger customers and bring them into your store. It is easy to set up and manage. Just like building your email marketing data base, you would have to focus on growing your mobile subscribers which you can utilize your email marketing to do. Text message marketing has a 95% read rate within the first 15 minutes of receipt and helps to drive impulse behavior and traffic to your store. Consider JATXT as a source. OneCoast uses them currently and find it very simple.

Here’s Part 1 and Part 2!


Majda

Majda Rensberger is the Vice President of Marketing for OneCoast. In her 9 years with OneCoast, Majda held a leadership position in the development of the industry’s first National Sales Model (OneCoast ND One), implemented operational structures and led the development of the company’s Integrated Marketing and Sales Model.

Majda heads up the Marketing and Showroom departments where she’s responsible for marketing and branding strategies of OneCoast and their vendor partners, helping them effectively market their brands and drive B2B sales via e marketing, social media, mobile and public relations platforms. Majda is a member of the OneCoast Senior Executive team involved in the company’s strategic planning and new business development.

Majda has been a GHTA (Gift and Home Trade Association) member since 2009. During the November 2014 annual industry conference Majda was elected to serve on the Board of Directors where she’ll be involved in moving the Gift and Home industry forward.

 

Rebranding 101 | Part 2 of 3

askus2lLast month, we posted the first part of our “Rebranding” series! The series was started because we were asked “How do I/we change the image/perception of our store?” It is such a great question and sure to help any retailer to stay fresh.

Here’s a recap of Part 1. As promised, we are delivering part two!

Now that you have gathered information and generated some buzz from your VIP and focus group events, it’s time to move the efforts “in-store”, products, decor/ambiance, displays and staffing.

Product Mix

Review your product lines and make sure that you have a good mix of products that appeal to the younger consumer. You will learn a lot from doing your focus groups and research online. If it’s fashion they are looking for, evaluate whether you have enough fashionable lines in your store. If it’s gifts, what kind of gifts would they buy for their friends? Make sure that the product mix appeals to your targeted consumer. Also don’t forget that your OneCoast Territory Manager is a great resource for this. They can help you in selecting the right product mix across different vendors we represent to help you achieve the look you are going for.

Decor/Ambiance

This is very important as the store has to have a “cool” or “fashionable” appeal for the younger customer to feel good shopping in. This is one of the questions you should ask in your survey so you can best understand what changes you can make but I would assume that freshening up the store will have a big impact.  You can accomplish big things with a small budget. Fresh paint and re-merchandising your product offering can give even the older items a fresh look.  Think of the needs of a younger consumer and try to capture that in your merchandising. They are impulse shoppers, treasure hunters and deal lovers. One idea could be to have a couple of “impulse tables” driven by price points and impulse items (“Great Gifts under $10”).

Exterior/Displays

Evaluate your store exterior presence and window displays. Does it attract the younger consumer? Would they stop if they were driving by it? This will be important as you work to change the perception. We need to get them to see the store differently and addressing the exterior can do that.

Staffing

Another important step would be to evaluate your staff and make sure that you have staff that is representative of the customer you want to shop in your store.  Younger staff will bring younger customer and reflect the right image.

Hiring someone who can help manage and run your social media and online marketing efforts will help you create a presence in which your target demographic is actively participating in. You truly do need someone that understands this and can help get you on the right track.

 

Excited for Part 3? So are we! Stay tuned and you won’t be disappointed!


Majda

Majda Rensberger is the Vice President of Marketing for OneCoast. In her 9 years with OneCoast, Majda held a leadership position in the development of the industry’s first National Sales Model (OneCoast ND One), implemented operational structures and led the development of the company’s Integrated Marketing and Sales Model.

Majda heads up the Marketing and Showroom departments where she’s responsible for marketing and branding strategies of OneCoast and their vendor partners, helping them effectively market their brands and drive B2B sales via e marketing, social media, mobile and public relations platforms. Majda is a member of the OneCoast Senior Executive team involved in the company’s strategic planning and new business development.

Majda has been a GHTA (Gift and Home Trade Association) member since 2009. During the November 2014 annual industry conference Majda was elected to serve on the Board of Directors where she’ll be involved in moving the Gift and Home industry forward.

Rebranding 101 | Part 1 of 3

askus2lWe received a question via Ask Us on how to reach a new demographic of customers. It is a key to any business to ensure that you are reaching your target audience. We asked OneCoast’s Vice President of Marketing, Majda Rensberger, to weigh in on the subject.

Since there is a lot of prepping, working and evaluating with something like this, we present our “Rebranding 101” series. This will be a three part series that will cover prep and evaluation, what is going on in-store and product mix and last but not least, marketing.

With any successful plan, you have to do some pre-work to evaluate your current demographic, product offering and overall store experience.

There are many ways to gather information about your current demographic and the demographics that you wish to target.

A great way to get to know all your customers (current and future!) is to invite them to VIP event, like a focus group.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Start Simple: Turn this into a mother/daughter event or friends & family event in the demographic you wish to target.
  • Minimize Distractions: Plan the event after hours. This will allow to focus on the conversations instead of worrying about running the business.
  • VIP Only: Make this exclusive! Play music, serve some treats and offer a gift cards to your store in exchange for their feedback. Gifts cards are a great idea because this will bring them back to your store. Sweeten the deal by offering a “free gift” for the attendee and a friend when they come back to the store.
  • Ask Questions: Distribute a questionnaire to have your guests fill out. You can give them a quick tour of the store, ask for their feedback on feeling/perception of the store, shopping experience, products, how often have they shopped here, would they refer the store to a friend, etc. They can fill it out as they are going. Want to save some paper? Survey Monkey is a great choice and something they can do on their mobile devices (phones, tablets, etc.).
  • How Did You Hear About Us: This is an important question! This will show you how effectively you reaching your target customer. BONUS: Ask them how they would want to hear from you. This will help later on when you begin marketing!

Excited for Part 2? So are we! Stay tuned and you won’t be disappointed!


Majda

Majda Rensberger is the Vice President of Marketing for OneCoast. In her 9 years with OneCoast, Majda held a leadership position in the development of the industry’s first National Sales Model (OneCoast ND One), implemented operational structures and led the development of the company’s Integrated Marketing and Sales Model.

Majda heads up the Marketing and Showroom departments where she’s responsible for marketing and branding strategies of OneCoast and their vendor partners, helping them effectively market their brands and drive B2B sales via e marketing, social media, mobile and public relations platforms. Majda is a member of the OneCoast Senior Executive team involved in the company’s strategic planning and new business development.

Majda has been a GHTA (Gift and Home Trade Association) member since 2009. During the November 2014 annual industry conference Majda was elected to serve on the Board of Directors where she’ll be involved in moving the Gift and Home industry forward.

Maximizing Graduation Sales: Helping Customers Create the Perfect Gift

By Majda Rensberger, OneCoast Contributing Editor
3/14/2011

Retailer1While still a few months away, the excitement about the upcoming Graduations is already buzzing through the community of Grosse Pointe Woods in Michigan. With two major high schools and state colleges to serve, Graduation is an important gift giving occasion and for Small Favors, a specialty gift store, a big opportunity to increase their spring and summer business. 

“Small Favors has been a labor of love, slowly growing and changing during the course of five years and finally finding its way to our new store location in April 2010,” says Betsy Enders, Co-Owner.

Their business began five years ago with the idea to create party favors that were cute and inexpensive. Specializing mostly in local corporate favors, Small Favors operated their business out of a basement office space.  Over the next five years they were doing local gift shows with various clubs and organizations in the community getting more exposure as a gift business. They learned a lot about the gift market and  buying for retail and “with all of the positive feedback from customers, we started thinking that our business might have potential outside of the basement and decided to open a retail gift boutique,” says Kasey Malley, Co- Owner. 

Retailer2Today, Small Favors is a fun, bright specialty gift store that not only sells unique gifts but also helps customers create that special gift ready to go.

“Graduation is really big here and for our business extremely important,” says Betsy. When a mom comes in to shop, she is not only buying for her son or daughter but also her daughter’s six best girlfriends.”  Like Christmas on a smaller scale, Graduation calls for multiple gift purchases. It’s an occasion that a majority of the community is a part of and giving it a special focus in your store will ensure a stronger spring business.

Bringing out your Graduation early will get customers thinking about Graduations and potentially secure early sales. Small Favors starts promoting Graduation before Easter and continues all the way through July. To position themselves as the Graduation gift giving destination, Small Favors attends the local high school spring benefit, a fashion show with boutiques, to showcase their graduation gift products. This gives them great exposure to both parents and teenagers in the community looking for gift ideas but also creates a stronger relationship with this important segment.  “We make sure that we are always visible at events like that,” says Kasey. “Both high schools also do all night graduation parties and moms that organize it approach us to donate gifts and prizes. We always do that to make them feel that we are part of their graduation and community.”

In addition to high school events, Small Favors also advertises in both schools’ newspapers. It’s an inexpensive way to reach your primary market when it comes to Graduation but also builds your brand with the younger market.

All For Color Small Hamper | SKU TCNF6611

All For Color Small Hamper | SKU TCNF6611

Getting Creative

“One of the reasons our customers love us is that they know we’ll go above and beyond for them” says Betsy.  “They come to us for ideas on creating a unique gift. “What can be my gift?” is what we focus on with each customer. That means that we put together a gift presentation that can include items bought in our boutique as well as items they’ve brought in.” Small Favors truly creates a gift ready to go, specially created and wrapped for one unique individual.

“One of our customer’s favorite grad gifts is the laundry bag…,” says Kasey. “We had the customer bring in a bottle of detergent and a roll of quarters that we put inside the bag. To make it extra fun, we had the customer print and laminate laundry instructions that we tied to the laundry bag as the finishing touch.”  This is an example of a creative gift that tells a story and is made for one specific person.  It goes beyond the product itself and captures the true spirit of customer service at its best. It also gives you the opportunity to use products in your store in different ways and for different reasons. “This truly is our point of differentiation and it creates a great sense of loyalty with our customers.”

All For Color Spa Wrap | SKU SW6815

All For Color Spa Wrap | SKU SW6815


“We love graduation gifts that go beyond graduation like laundry bags or bath wraps,” says Kasey.  Often times you can create a graduation display with items you already carry by simply showcasing them in a new way and giving them a different reason to be bought. Small Favors uses a round table located in the center of the store to create themed displays based on holiday or occasion. Their Graduation display is a burst of color that catches the eye and gives the customers gift ideas at a glance.

Retailer4Special occasions bring along special sales increases in the retail business and deserve a special focus. “Any time there is an occasion, we see our business increase,” says Betsy.  Graduation specifically gives you the opportunity to not only have a strong spring business but to create an image with the high school and college community that have a strong impact on your current and future business. So celebrate this important occasion with your customers by helping them create memorable and creative gifts that they will be proud to give.