How to make your ice cream store grand opening a success.
Even though customer appreciation days and grand openings may have different names, the concept is fundamentally the same. It's a day in your store where you celebrate not just the opening of the store but the customer as well. Generally, it's a good idea to wait several weeks into the season to have a grand opening or customer appreciation day, it doesn't have to be on the exact day you are opening the store.
When putting together a customer appreciation day or grand opening there are several things you can do to make it a true success and the first step begins with knowing what to do. After you know what you're going to do, you need to get the word out and then finally make sure you put your plan in place.
What do I do for my ice cream store grand opening and customer appreciation days?
The planning phase involves identifying what makes your store unique in its offerings, products, and locations. Think of your store's dynamics such as the space of your shop, the location, the size, what services you offer, and what kind of store you are. Are you a walk-up store or are you a sit-down? Take all these things into consideration so you can blow this day (and your customers) out of the water. All of these factors are important because as you're brainstorming ideas on what to do, you'll immediately recognize the opportunities or eliminate the nonpossibilities. There are a lot of examples to pursue such as balloons and face paintings for kids or consider bringing in a local celebrity or a petting zoo. Also, look for opportunities to partner with local organizations such as a sports team, fire department or animal shelters to organize a pet adoption day. The more you brainstorm the more ideas that will come together to make your grand opening a success. You want to offer free samples of new products but you also want to make money on this day so be careful about giving away too much.
How do I get the word out about my event?
Nowadays there are so many outlets and options for you to spread the word about your event. First, sending out a press release can offer a big boost to the event because they have the potential to reach a wide audience whether through TV, radio, or newspapers. Whichever medium, try to get as much free press as you can. Make sure you pound the pavement and approach local organizations such as school organizations, church groups or social clubs to share the information about your event. If budget permits, you can also make lawn signs to put around town or do a direct mail piece to homeowners. Last but not least, social media. Every frozen dessert or ice cream shop should have a social media presence and each one of these channels can be used to promote the event weeks before it even happens.
How do I execute the plan?
You have everything planned out so now it comes down to the execution of the plan. Above all else, make sure you are fully staffed and your employees are prepared and trained because it could be a chaotic day. Make sure you're stocked up on giveaway items, whether that be hats, t-shirts, or key chains, these items will help build your brand as the customers take them home. Have a rain date in place as well. The last thing that you want is to do all this planning and preparation and then have it downpour on the day you are hosting the event. Make this clear to the outside vendors as well. Customer appreciation days and grand openings are a great way to drive customers and sales to your store, so make sure you plan carefully and execute the plan so that your day can be a success.