Locally Owned and Locally Loved – My Small Business Fan Letter to a Store Making a Difference for People, Pets and a Top Zoo

Businesses spend a lot of money and effort on branding and marketing to capture the consumer’s attention. The best marketing campaigns are a reflection of what a business does for customers and how it helps them succeed. That is why I found a Good Neighbor Pharmacy network slogan “Locally Owned. Locally Loved” a perfect fit for Lindenwood Drugs.

It was a disastrous customer experience at another small business that first led me to the pharmacy on the corner of Lansdowne and Jamieson in the Saint Louis neighborhood of Lindenwood Park.

design desk display eyewear

My UPS package was shipped to a UPS store owned by a franchisee in Richmond Heights, Missouri for pick up. The UPS store staff received the insured package and then rejected it, sending it on a week-long odyssey where it was lost. I spent many hours on phone calls and sleuth work trying to find the package I needed desperately. Despite several visits to the UPS store on Clayton Road where the package was shipped for pick-up, the staff was rude and offered no help. The shipper was assured at another UPS store I could pick-it up at the Richmond Heights location to avoid porch thefts. Instead the staff at the UPS store accepted it initially only to propel it into the lost package abyss because I wasn’t a box holder. They didn’t seem interested in helping me get my package.

So what does a UPS package rejected by a UPS store have to do with a pharmacy in another neighborhood? Tom Hunt, owner of Lindenwood Drug offers a free service for people to have UPS packages delivered to his business for pick-up.

“It helps us create traffic plus it is a service to the community,” explains Hunt.

four brown gift boxes near a glass paneled door with wreath

His pharmacy serving as a UPS Access Point also helps fight crime allowing people a convenient way to avoid becoming victims of “porch pirates.” One in four Americans say they’ve experienced package theft according to a survey by Comcast.

After days of searching and tracking down an insured package UPS had classified as lost; I picked it up at Lindenwood Drug avoiding losing it again to porch theft.

While Hunt is keeping neighborhoods safer, his primary focus at Lindenwood Drug is keeping people healthy. The pharmacy is well known for personalized options including compounding service and delivery at competitive prices.

Lindenwood_pet_1452505_563791443702493_382433641_nLindenwood Drug’s healthy living services extend to animals as well. The Lindenwood Park business is one of a few pharmacies in St. Louis that will make human medications in dose strengths for animals. They make medications in flavors for dogs, cats, horses, birds, reptiles, and pocket pets where none is available in a veterinary form or human form that is palatable for pets. The pharmacy’s Facebook page is filled with gratitude from pet owners who found a specialized solution for their animals at Lindenwood Drug.

Hunt and the other pharmacists at Lindenwood Drug fill prescriptions for animals at the Saint Louis Zoo. During his decades of veterinary pharmacy experience, Hunt has learned a lot about animals like puffins are susceptible to lung infections and Asian elephants are prone to the herpes virus.

Whether person or pet, the staff at Lindenwood Drug offer personalized and professional service that extends well beyond the charming pharmacy’s walls. Tom Hunt and his staff seem to have your best interest in mind, like a good neighbor should. No wonder they are a part of the Good Neighbor Pharmacy Network and why many customers travel past other drug stores to shop at Lindenwood Drug.Lindenwood_1965648_682687301812906_5338784854066700399_o (1)

Made in the USA: Online Reality Series Get on The Shelf Invites Consumers to Have a Say

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Made in America an important selling feature.

Made in America an important selling feature.

When shopping  do you check where the product originates or is produced?  I know I do.  It is a global marketplace we live in and consumers know not all nations’ standards are the same.  In China, about 38 percent of Chinese surveyed in a recent Pew Research Center poll reflected food safety is a very big concern in China.  This is a jump from 2008, when only 12 percent of Chinese respondents agreed.

It is little wonder with these concerns, “Made in the USA” is currently one of the hottest labels around!  Seventy-four percent of the Americans in a Consumer Reports National Research survey had tried to buy a U.S.-made product in the past year.

Made in America is not just a marketing slogan!  It is important to your family and your future.  Did you know these facts about manufacturing in America?

The United States is the world’s largest manufacturing economy, producing 18.2 percent of global manufactured products, according to the World Bank. China is second with 17.6 percent.

U.S. manufacturing produces $1.8 trillion of value each year, or 12.2 percent of U.S. GDP. For every $1.00 spent in manufacturing, another $1.48 is added to the economy.

Manufacturing supports an estimated 17.2 million jobs in the U.S.—about one in six private sector jobs. Nearly 12 million Americans (or 9 percent of the workforce) are employed directly in manufacturing.

Walmart is again giving American inventors and manufacturing a boost with the return of the popular original online reality series. The first episode can now be viewed at getontheshelf.walmart.com, and the retailer is asking the public to decide which new products from American entrepreneurs will appear on its shelves this fall.

The five weekly “webisodes,” which go live on Tuesdays beginning at 12:01 a.m. ET from Sept. 24 through Oct. 22, 2013 feature a group of finalists under the same theme, such as Kid Stuff or Great Gadgets. The video shows give viewers a chance to learn more about the entrepreneurs behind the inventions and watch as they pitch their product to a panel of Walmart.com judges.

After each weekly online episode, voters have 72 hours to cast their votes for the winner, who will have their product sold on Walmart.com. A grand prize winner will also be selected based on the number of preorders of the product, and will receive additional support marketing from Walmart.com plus an introduction to the Walmart stores’ merchandising team to potentially be sold in Walmart stores. Last year’s three winning products are sold in select Walmart stores and on Walmart.com.

“Get on the Shelf celebrates the resilient and tenacious spirit of American entrepreneurs, many of whom have been working hard for a big break like this,” explains Kelly Thompson, senior vice president of merchandising for Walmart.com said in a statement. “The web series creates more exposure for finalists to share their inspiring stories, which makes for captivating reality TV that’s also interactive since American consumers can vote for the next great product at Walmart.com.”

Travelers Can Benefit from Twitter Airline Offers

Twitter is not only a great small business marketing tool; it turns out it can reduce the cost of both business and leisure travel! 

Two airlines are offering deals to people who use the Twitter social networking Web site.  United and JetBlu are sending out tweets to consumers putting them first in line for some discounted air fares.  The airlines hope the messages will help them fill planes that might otherwise fly with empty seats.

Last month, JetBlu sent out a tweet offering a last minute $9 dollar one way fare from JFK to Nantucket.

Consumers have to sign up to receive Twitter updates from United and JetBlu and you have to be able to act fast to cash in on the deep discounted tickets. The last minute fares are typically only available for a couple of hours

Interested in learning more about JetBlu?  Check out a streaming video from SBTV.com at http://www.sbtv.com/?segid=3810   Follow me on Twitter to learn more about small business issues and events to give you a competitive edge.  Just go to http://twitter.com/danitablackwood

Marketing Campaign Powered by the Sun Offers Free Wi-Fi Service & Power to Recharge! Could It Work For YOU?

Does your laptop need a charge?  Looking for Free Wi-Fi Service when you are traveling on a business trip?  Look for the closest giant solar flower.  No, really.  “Solar Flowers” reaching up to 18 feet high are sprouting in six cities across the nation. These oversized sculptures are not only good for reviving spirits, they deliver power to revive cell phones and laptops too!

Boston is the first city to host the giant flowers partially powered by solar panels on the back of their petals and the base of their stems. Each of the five Solar Flowers provides seating for up to 10 people, access to free Wi-Fi service and power to charge cell phones and laptops.

The environment friendly bouquet is part of an exhibit called “Harmony Between Man, Nature, and Machine,” and a marketing campaign from Toyota.  The car maker says the giant solar flowers help demonstrate the balance the Prius helps strike between the needs of man and nature.

Toyota’s outreach extends to transit commuters who will discover solar ventilation bus shelters as another part of the “Harmony Installation” campaign. The special bus shelters feature solar panels on the roof that help run fans and circulate air within the shelter. This experience is designed to demonstrate Prius’ available Solar Powered Ventilation System, which uses a fan to draw outside air into the cabin to reduce cabin temperature when the car is parked in direct sunlight.

After Boston, the “Harmony Installations” will travel to New York, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles—so if you need an earth friendly recharge; look for the giant solar flower near you!  If you are interested in connecting with consumers in a new way check out the many resources at http://www.sbtv.com/InternetMarketing/  You will find podcasts, articles and streaming videos—all free 24/7 to help you make new and lasting connections in business!

The Scent of Sales- Should Fragrance Be Part of Your Marketing Strategy?

Many people have a favorite fragrance and your favorite small business may have an aroma too!  Fragrance as a marketing strategy for small business is a growing trend.  Some business owners are finding ways to connect with consumers and build brand awareness by appealing to customer’s noses!
Did you know Omni hotels are perfumed with a mix of green tea and lemongrass? It is one example of the way scents are playing a bigger role in today’s business climate.  Studies have shown that a scented environment leads consumers to stay longer and spend more.
Another retail chain of culinary shops uses scents to entice shoppers.  It is just one in a growing number of businesses using fragrance to help consumers to connect with their products and business brand.
Several department stores use scent machines to highlight a special or attach an aroma to their marketing strategy for growing business.  One researcher says a familiar scent can do a lot. ““Smell is directly linked to emotion and memory processing in the brain, which makes aromas capable of influencing our mood and behavior, “explained Rachel Herz, Ph.D.