As I entered the store, I could see that the movie inventory had been reduced. A lot of DVD movies were for sale. What I really liked was the look and feel of the store was the same as the last time I stepped inside the store two years ago. Around the outside perimeter of the store, the newest movies were listed in alphabetical order. I took a quick walk around the outside perimeter of the store trying to find 3 age-appropriate movies to watch for myself and family.
I was able to find some movies and I proceeded to checkout. The person working behind the counter was able to find my old membership by verifying my name and address. He also informed me that the movies I was renting had a 24-hour cost of $3.20 and $.99 for each day out. I could return the movies by 10.00pm the next day and avoid any late fees. Very interesting pricing structure. I remember paying one fee for new releases and a different fee for older movies. In addition, late fees were charged the same rate as the daily rate.
The whole experience made me really think about how services that may not be totally automated can still be marketed and branded to show value to clients. Here are some of the benefits I discovered.
- New releases are still positioned around the store.
- I can quickly review movies by physically handling the covers and reading the information on the back cover.
- When I return the movies, I just dump them, I do not need to go through a special process of logging in and selecting different menus.
- The store was busy. Fewer locations creates more demand.
- If I have a question, I can talk to a representative directly and get a quick answer. that
This example should show you that people still make a difference in this era of technology. Apple gets this. For this reason, they have a team of people at the Apple Store answering client questions and creating sales. Imagine the Apple Store switching over to transaction machines for clients to purchase products from these machines. I can’t picture this ever happening in the foreseeable future.
Continue to find ways to add value for your clients. Don’t compete on price or technology alone.
I really hope the remaining Blockbuster Stores can make it with this new approach to sales and service. It is very refreshing and people may come back.
What areas of services and products do you need to take a closer look at and find ways to rebrand and market? It may be something to consider in 2012.