Indianapolis -- A "Results-Driven" and "Sales-Driven" program of education helped kick off the Do it Best May market here at the Indiana Convention Center, the twice-a-year home of the Fort Wayne, Indiana-based co-op's major markets.
"Driven" is the operative word here at the market, with "Driven to be the Best" serving as the overarching market theme. The market also marked the debut of the co-op's new paint destination department -- The Color Bar. "Why paint? Because paint cotinues to be a key differentiator for driving consumer traffic into stores," said Nick Talarico, the co-op's VP of sales and business development.
The paint category has the added benefit of being relatively insulated from the consumers' shift to online shopping, he said.
The debut of The Color Bar follows last year's introduction of new and improved color selectors, and a new look with the private label Do it Best paint brand, Best Look. "We needed to do more," said Talarico. "Selling paint is not about selling cans, it's about selling color."
The new Color Bar is equipped with a number of features designed to sell colors. In additon to various specialized end caps, it has a side-by-side Best Look paint comparison display, a color-inspiration flip book and a design that's friendly to scalability, cross merchandising and female shoppers. (On that last point, the design includes a color trends desk area, replete with a hook to hang a customer's purse.)
From the power of paint, the co-op's kickoff transitioned to the power of marketing in a digital age. VP of Marketing Rich Lynch described the importance of getting the marketing mix right, and at the right time.
"If a customer Googles your business right now, do you know what comes up? You better know, it better be right, and it better be good," Lynch said. He added that not all weeks on the calendar are equal, when it comes to marketing. And the important thing is to win the weeks that matter most.
He urged members to participate in the co-op's Best Rewards program, which can provide the data needed to identify those crucial weeks and weekends of sales. Those who don't participate may be "flat out missing an opportunity to be a better marketer," Lynch said.
Dealers in Indianapolis were also urged to recognize that the future is now, when it comes to improving, expanding and growing.
"Growing the business really is everybody's business," said CEO Dan Starr, alluding to the idea that the competitive landscape requires change and adaptation -- whether that's expanding the store, boosting marketing, or learning how to be a better dealer. "If you're waiting for the perfect time to grow your business, stop waiting, because the time is now."
In-depth presentations on "The Levity Effect: Why it Pays to Lighten Up," and "Street Fighter Marketing: Pulling in Customers without Breaking the Budget" were prominent on the menu of educational sessions.
The co-op's market runs through May 22.