Tuesday, 10 June 2014

We're a fashion retailer - we just don't sell clothes

Paperchase chief executive Tim Meglund was quoted yesterday as saying the above quote - "we're a fashion retailer, we just don't sell clothes" about the company as they posted their annual results.

I have long believed something similar of every company - that they are all marketing companies, that market different products or services.


  • An estate agent is a company that markets properties
  • A retailer is a company that markets their own or someone else's products
  • A manufacturer is a company that markets it's products to retailers and consumers

For me, that is the raisin d'ĂȘtre of every company - to raise demand for their product or service by marketing.

What does this mean for me
You have a couple of options, depending on the type of products you sell.

If they are made by you, then you need a marketing campaign to raise awareness and demand. You can use a local marketing consultancy, usually at a reasonable cost, or go it alone. Social media, word of mouth, offering incentives, local radio or newspaper advertising, handing out leaflets - the list goes on and on. You will know what us a good fit for your business.

If the products are made by a larger manufacturer (and I'm talking the real big boys) then you have a reliance in the fact that these big boys will be spending money on advertising already. You can mirror their advertising with your promotions. For example, if Plenty kitchen towels are putting out TV adverts, newspaper adverts and a social media campaign (as they are now) then this is a good time for Plenty to be highly visible to your customers, and perhaps offered on a promotion. Again, you will know how best to make this work for your customers, from a choice of the options above.

So, don't just think of yourself as a retailer - there's a little fashion retailer and a little marketer in all of us.


Not everything can be bought on the High Street - MP3 version of NOW That's What I Call 21st Century

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