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306 Parker Circle
Lawrence, KS 66049
Phone: 785-760-5071
Email: mike@clnonline.com


A view of the industry through the eyes of independent and chain retailers.

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Dude, You've Been Airlined. Again

These are "friendly skies"?

by Rich Kizer & Georganne Bender (January 18, 2010)

We're going to learn a new verb today, class: Airlined.

We've been airlined a lot lately and we're not happy about it. We've had it with airline surcharges. We bet you are, too.

First we were nailed with fuel surcharges on flights. The cost of flying was going up, so the cost to the customer was raised to offset the expense and to protect profit margin. Then the slippery slope got even slipperier: now you're gonna have to pay for your bags. The first one might be free, but you'll going to have to fork over $15 for the second one. Preserve the bottom line!

But it gets even better!

Birds of a feather flock together, so most airlines have implemented a bag charge, a charge, by the way, that began to increase again this week. You know there had to be some great conversations in airline boardrooms: "Listen, if passengers are willing to pay for the second piece of luggage, why don't we nail them for the first?!" And just like the banking industry did with ATM fees, the customer gets shafted airlined again.

But it gets even better!

Food on flights is a thing of the past, and on some airlines, so are blankets and pillows. "Do you have any idea what it costs to clean those pillows and blankets?"

But it gets even better!

You want an exit row? That's an additional 50 bucks. If you plan to travel on any of the traditionally busiest days of the year think Thanksgiving and Christmas that "let's surcharge them!" mentality kicks in once again: add at least another $10 per flight for the privilege.

But it gets even better!

A Japanese airline now requests that passengers visit the bathroom before boarding the plane. "Awww geez Mom. I don't have to go!" It's supposed to make for a "greener flight," but we think it's really about the lesser amount of fuel burned because passengers weigh less when they get on the plane. All together now! "Use the john before you get on!" Next up, a toilet charge for an in-flight potty break....

All these up charges and surcharges add millions of dollars of additional revenue, one little screw at a time. Hyper-critical? Maybe. Tongue in cheek? Yep. But wouldn't it be wonderful if we all could offset any increase in doing business by immediately passing it on to the customer? How much better would your business be if you didn't have to re-examine how to conserve, save, and best utilize every asset you have? Seems to us the airline industry could learn a lot about creative associate involvement, company pride, and customer service as a competitive strength from the people reading this article.

Come to think about it, maybe you can airline your customers, too. Charge them an entrance fee. Hey, price stickers are expensive; let's add a ten cent charge for every item purchased. You want a bag? No problem: that'll be twelve cents per bag; twenty five cents for one with a handle. The opportunities are endless, right? Wrong. You can't airline your customers, you don't live in that world. You'd lose customers because they have too many choices. You have to be responsible and look at what makes you better than the competition; the things that make a customer choose your store first.

Southwest Airlines stands alone as the only airline that's made a decision to focus on the same things that you focus on to keep customers coming back for more: nice people to do business with, fair prices and outstanding customer care. And isn't that how it's supposed to be?


1. The $1.99 An Idea Luncheon, Sun., Jan. 24, 12:30 - 2:00 pm, Room 208AB.

Back by popular demand and hosted by Rich Kizer & Georganne Bender, The $1.99 An Idea Luncheon is just the place to learn, laugh and win money! Join Rich and Georganne for an informative, fun-filled program that puts you in the spotlight your 15 minutes of fame!

Have you longed to host the door spinning in-store events you've heard Georganne and Rich share at seminars? Do you want to be next to hold an event envied by creative retailers across the country? Would you like to have at least one no-cost, low-cost in-store event penciled in each and every month on your promotional calendar?

Share your store's best success ideas with other CHA members: Have you run a promotion that drew customers to your store in droves? Great! Share your idea and line your pockets with $1.99. How about a unique display technique that sells product so fast you can't keep it in stock? Cool! Share your idea and win a $1.99. Have you discovered the way to your associates' hearts? We're all ears and you'll be a $1.99 richer.

Nourish your wallet and your mind! Your imagination will go into overdrive as you share the ideas you've used on your path to success. The $1.99 An Idea Luncheon promises to be an insightful and profitable event you can't afford to miss!

2. First Out of the Gate: In-Store Events to Drive Sales in the 1st & 2nd Quarters, Mon., Jan.25, 12:00-1:00 pm, Room 208AB.

Described this way: "EVERYTHING You Need to Run In-Store Events that Build Sales and Increase Traffic!

At CHA Summer 2009, Rich and Georganne shared enough traffic-building, door-spinning, no-cost, low-cost events to fill your promotional calendar for the months of September through January. This seminar comes full circle with even more sales-building, in-store events and promotions for the rest of the year!

This seminar promises to be a storehouse of insider tricks of the trade and practical suggestions on how to spin the doors in your store! You'll learn retailer-tested, tried and true major and minor in-store events and promotions, including marketing ideas and PR plans for each month in the first and second quarters. You'll receive a Promotional Planning Calendar you'll fill in as we go along plus all of the how-to instructions, ad slicks, templates, store meeting notes, and more you'll need to thrill your customers and drive your competition crazy.

This seminar is the next best thing to having KIZER & BENDER working in your store! Get ready for some crowd control: Retail Sales Building Events for the 1ST & 2nd Quarter Calendar is loaded with "Non-stop Traffic-Building, Profit-Producing, Attention-Grabbing, Sales-Generating, Competition-Miffing, Customer-Winning Retail Promotions you just can't afford to miss!"

3. Social Media Lab: Learn the Steps to Join the Conversation, Tues., Jan. 26, 12:00-1:30 pm, Room 208AB.

Have you heard the buzz term, "Social Media" but you're not sure what it means? Are your kids and customers using Facebook and Twitter, but you're not sure how you can use them to promote your business? Or, do you want to be on Facebook and Twitter, but you just need help to setup accounts?

If you answered "Yes" to any one of these questions, then plan to attend CHA's Social Media Lab! Georganne Bender will show you step by step how to be part of the conversation; you'll learn

A) What's the difference between Facebook and Twitter? Which should you use?

B) How to join Facebook; Do you need a personal, business or fan page? How many "friends" are too many? What's the difference between the "Wall" and my Profile?

C) How to create a Twitter account: What should your account name be? Who should you follow and who should follow you? What does that "@" sign mean?

D) Who, What, When: To whom am I talking? What am I saying? When am I saying it?

Bring your laptop loaded with photos, and join this hands-on session to leave with both a Facebook and Twitter account created for your business. (Note: laptop is not required, but recommended, to participate. Computers will not be supplied.)

To register for the CHA show and sign up for workshops and seminars, visit www.chashow.org.

(Note: Rich Kizer and Georganne Bender are professional speakers, retail strategists, authors, and consultants whose client list reads like a "Who's Who" in international business. Retailers depend upon KIZER & BENDER for timely advice on consumers and the ever changing retail market place.

Named "Two of Retailing's Most Influential People," KIZER & BENDER are experts on consumer and generational diversity, marketing and promotion, and everything retail. They are widely referred to as retail anthropologists because they stalk and study that most elusive of mammals: today's consumer.

Any speaker can talk about customers, but Georganne and Rich actually become them. In addition to focus groups, one-on-one interviews, and intensive on-site studies, their research includes posing as every kind of customer you can imagine and maybe even a few that you can't! The result of their research is literally straight from the customers' mouth: solid, ground-level intelligence that you can use today to better serve your own customers and build your business.)

KIZER & BENDER Speaking!

Keynotes | Seminars | Consulting | Store Design

103 North 11th Ave., Ste. 206, St. Charles, Illinois 60174

Phone: 630-513-8020 | 24/7

Mobile: 708-347-2682

Fax: 630-513-8098

Web: www.kizerandbender.com

Blog: www.kizerandbender.blogspot.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/kizerandbender




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