For some, the term creative emulation means copying, so I guess that’s what I’m talking about. But, I’m not talking about copying, like stealing, no, I’m talking about the kind that takes a much greater amount of creativity.
Some of the best marketing innovations I have witnessed came about by some smart marketer emulating a concept long established in one industry and brining it over to another.
For example – happy hour. This is a long-established practice in the bar business in an attempt to lure patrons during slower hours with cheap food and drink.
A flower shop could creatively emulate this with a Happy Hour Cash and Carry special during evening drive time luring those on their way home to pick up a quick bunch of flowers.
A plumber could offer happy hour pricing for appointments during specific slower days or day parts.
A personal trainer could put a healthy spin on the concept.
I’m sure an attorney specializing in DUI defense has already latched onto this concept somehow.
Or another example might be financing. Auto dealers, for example, are the kings of using financing deals as marketing messages.
I think more service businesses could and should offer creative financing – even if that simply means accepting credit card payments for services rendered. What if you took it up a notch and simply made payment plans part of your marketing message?
One more – affiliate sales forces. Online businesses and direct selling organizations pay thousands of sales folks through commission earned by promoting or recommending products and services to friends, site visitors and colleagues.
Could your business create an affiliate component and use this as a method of differentiation in your industry? What, nobody in your industry does that? Perfect, you’ve found an avenue for innovation. There are a number of services that can help you create and track such an innovation. Check out e-junkie for one of the simpler online ones.