American Idol keeps our interest year after year, in part, because they are not afraid to mix it up and have fun.
This year, when contestant Lauren Alaina didn’t make it to her assigned spot on stage because of a run in her stockings, the cameras and Ryan Seacrest went backstage and found her with her dresser who was hurriedly putting makeup on her legs.
Another touch is that the producers put solo musicians right up on stage alongside contestants to interact with them; some of them almost steal the show. This year they let contestant Haley Reinhart’s musician dad accompany her playing guitar. It was a sweet human touch.
American Idol tells a lot about the background of the contestants, their hometowns, their families and kids, their jobs before Idol, etc. Not only does Idol tell about them, they vividly illustrate them by going back to the hometowns and shooting there.
The main thing to keep in mind is that American Idol producers are “having fun mixing it up.”
Retail businesses can do the same thing. Here are a few examples of what a furniture store could do.
- Give a random gift to a customer. When a prospect is walking out, hand her a beautiful throw. When she asks why you’re giving it to her, smile and say … “Just because.” She’s going to rave about you to her friends, maybe even to her 200+ friends on Facebook.
- You can also do the above with Social Media. You can send out a Facebook or Twitter notice that the first ten people to come to your store in the next hour will get a free … Then they’ll rave to their friends on Facebook … think 10×200+!
- Take a customer “backstage” and show him what happens behind the scenes. Treat him like a VIP visiting your operation. Remember Haley’s dad? Maybe you could recruit your dad or mom to give these special tours to your customers.
- You can also go “backstage” on a web page with pictures. But to make it fun, do a video and have the crew choreograph a song and dance. You know you have some latent performers on your staff who would love the opportunity. Post it on your Facebook Page, your website, and, of course, on You Tube where it might even go viral.
- Customers Gallery. Both in-store and on web pages. When a customer decorates a room with your furniture, get a great photo of it and show it off. Customers will feel flattered you selected them to show off.
- About Us Page. Include all the interesting facts about your business history, but also look for opportunities to have fun with it. Show yourself back in the 80s with the bad hair and write a funny caption under it. If you have old video, edit it, and load it.
The main thing is not to overthink this approach. If you or your staff have an idea for “mixing it up,” just go for it.”
And remember, don’t worry about tying in the above with a 20 to 50% off sale. That’s missing the point.
Easy Web Tip #116: American Idol succeeds because the producers are not afraid to mix it up and have spontaneous fun with the show. You can do the same and increase your retail sales.