Monday, August 18, 2014

Is anyone reading those flyers?

Very interesting article by Jen Kline in a recent DigitalSignageToday (you can read Nobody's reading those flyers here) suggesting it how difficult it is to grab a passing "eye" in today's fast-paced retail and commercial environments with traditional comment/contact boards.

Whole Foods goes beyond flyers to digital Comment Board
In other words, if you're relying on posted flyers in your store or business hallway, you're probably missing almost everyone that could (or should) be interested.  The same, it is argued, applies to occasional emails (the once-a-month sale or every other month employee highlight newsletter).

A digital platform, Kline suggests, allows for constant -- and consistent-- distribution of useful information to your shoppers ad employees.  And, of course, once the platform is established, updates should be straightforward.

Kline argues that a digital process is more exciting and advanced than traditional flyers and emails.  It demands (or at least encourages) attention -- meaning your message has a better chance of being received. And, you're able to add contemporary and eye-catching content, too.

A well-designed board not only displays information, it communicates your business objectives, enhances branding and encourages customer engagement.

Take a look at the latest Whole Foods Market Customer Comment Board; compare it to ones you've seen covered with flyers, cards, post-its and ask yourself: which would help communicate your message, your brand, your objectives better?

Friday, August 15, 2014

Energy Savings is Top of Mind for Buyers; Now What?

We've all read how important energy savings are to today's home shopper.  Some marketing analysts say energy savings are considered right after the floorplan and location -- in essence, the #3 determining purchase factor.

And, today's buyers recognize they're not merely "doing good" with energy efficient features...they can actually save money!  Take a look at KB Homes' interactive touchscreen presentation's display highlighting a specific floor plan's energy savings as compared to a comparable resale home; it's definitely an eye opener!

Buyers want to see the impact of verifiable energy efficiency savings
A recent BUILDER interview with Cliff Majersik, Institute for Market Transformation's Executive Director, highlighted a dilemma facing home builders, buyers and mortgage lenders related to energy efficiency: mortgage lending/prequalification doesn't take these real, month-over-month into account in determining a buyer's ability to purchase.

As a result, these significant, verifiable and month-over-month savings don't translate well into the bulder's purchase price, either.

Majersik contrasts this situation to the costs associated with homeowner's insurance -- which is included in the qualification process.  If a buyer can recognize $400, $800, $1,000 savings in their out-of-pocket expenses related to the purchase of the new home...why not factor those savings into the lending process? And, see an associated increase in the builder's selling price, too.

It's an interesting question; what do you think?

US Senators Bennet and Isakson have proposed legislation (S. 1106 -- known as the SAVE Act) that would include a borrower's expected energy costs when financing a house.  The BUILDER interview as well as information regarding the SAVE Act are available from the BUILDER website here.