“Thought Full” Marketing to Attract & Keep Bookstore Customers

September 1998
by Kare Anderson

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Editor’s Note: Publishers can learn enormously from the following tips Anderson offers bookstores. Anderson spoke recently at BookExpo America and to the Canadian Booksellers Association.

1. Brand Your Bookstore. Constantly promote and reinforce the main difference between your bookstore and the two other bookstores that your types of customers are most likely to choose. “Bay Area’s Liveliest Bookstore” is a more informative and memorable slogan than “Bay Area’s Best Bookstore.” That first slogan is how one event-filled store in my county characterizes themselves, and they live up to their motto.

In one vivid phrase or sentence, describe your bookstore’s main differentiating benefit. Is it specific, believable, and easy to remember? Does every store employee know it? How many customers would recall it when not at your store? Display the benefit as your motto for staff and customers to see frequently. Use it as your reference point in conversations with customers and to all levels of decision-makers at the store.

2. Prove Your Point of Difference. What are the two most obvious and quantifiable ways your store reinforces your main differentiating benefit in the eyes of your customers (depth of titles and staff knowledge in certain subject area(s), variety of convenient ways to buy, wide-ranging and numerous book reviews made available, convenient location, etc.) Retail is detail and this “detail” is to constantly find new business practices that…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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