CHICAGO — What do you do if a high-end grocery store stands behind your drycleaning location?
Your business, by the hand of fate, doesn’t happen to face the upscale store, which has a large parking lot full of potential customers coming and going all day.
You have seemingly no visibility for your storefront, as it’s pointed the opposite way.
All you have is the bare expanse of your operation’s back wall. So you’re sunk, right?... No!
For one clever drycleaning owner, there was an opportunity, but it needed a big, bold idea.
Enter Ben (Kamran) Kohan, owner of Hilltop Cleaners in Encino, Calif., who has advice for any cleaner with a big space to fill: “Be bold. Be creative. But, mainly, do something!”
Hilltop Cleaners is right around the corner from an upscale California supermarket, Gelson’s, notes freelance writer Larry Siegel, who first reported it for Hilltop.
For a long time, Siegel writes, Kohan had pondered how to get the market’s customers to drive half a block further to his cleaners, which happens to be open 24/7/365.
The answer, Siegel explains, that came to Ben, was to get right into the market’s customers’ faces. He commissioned four huge banners to hang on the back of the cleaner’s building adjacent to the Gelson’s parking lot!
The banner idea, Kohan explains, came together with the help of several people: “We have our marketing designer we work with, Larry Siegel, and he helps us with most of our marketing designs.
“We expressed what we were looking for and we went from there. It was a lot of back and forth to get the right picture and message across. Once the design was ready, we went to our banner company to get the rest done,” Kohan says.
“We supplied the banner company with the artwork and size we needed and they handled the rest. Our in-house marketing manager/general manager is Raquel Toledo, who makes sure it gets to the right people in order to bring it to life,” he points out.
The banners, installed last summer, are definitely having an impact, according to Toledo, who says: “Nearly every day, our customer service reps tell me about comments from customers relating how the banners are ‘attention-getting’ and ‘cute.’ Definitely the desired result!”
Kohan realized an opportunity to reach the upscale grocery store customers, saying: “We have always had the thought and attempted different options, this was the most ideal way to get it done.”
Once the banners were in place how long did it take to get customer response?
“Immediately,” Kohan relates. “We have a lot of our customers who shop at Gelson’s, and we were receiving compliments that day. It was pretty heart-warming to hear the good things people were saying. We love our customers.”
Many drycleaning owners make effective use of signage. But are you possibly thinking of adding banners to your own drycleaning operation? Attracting new customers might be just a banner away.
Kohan shares some of the more memorable customer comments he has received about his banner. He says the following are just, “some of the responses we got:
‘It was beautiful.’
‘The banner is so big and nice.’
‘Love everything about it.’
‘It is very nice to see up there, rather than just a plain wall.’
‘I am a loyal customer and to see the banner makes it special.’
‘Love the idea of mixing everything together.’
‘It’s so happy!’”
With the success of the banners, Kohan provides some advice for other drycleaning owners.
“Promoting is everything,” he says. “You consistently need to promote your business to get it out there. Having a great marketing crew and staff that love what they do, makes it all the better.”
To read Part 1, go HERE.