Now you might wonder what the Kmart “Ship My Pants” ad has anything to do with your small business, but in my opinion it has everything to do with breathing new life into your current or future venture. If you haven’t had the opportunity to see the video, here it is in all its creative glory. It may offend some of you, but I’m certain that most of you will at least have a healthy chuckle.
Alright, so what’s my point here? Well, ask yourself when was the last time you shopped at Kmart? Of course you may not have a Kmart in close proximity, or it may be a shopping experience that you’re not necessarily aligned with. The glaring statement when it comes to this brand is that prior to this particular ad campaign, Kmart was pretty close to flatlining. Get the crash cart and the trauma team here stat. It seems that Kmart was looking for a team, a vision, and a campaign that was going to resuscitate their brand in a major way.
I can picture the ad team sitting around trying to figure out the what, the why, and the how when it came to applying those defibrillator paddles to jumpstart the heart of Kmart’s business and to get it back into rhythm. I’m sure this campaign was born from caffeine overload, fatigue, and a few of the creative folks sitting around a table joking about how they could push the envelope a little, and probably ended up with a few of them shipping their pants in the process.
Again, you may be wondering how this all relates to your small business. Here’s the thing. The sheer size of Kmart’s footprint, although nowhere near what other retailers’ presence might be, had a much larger fleet to correct the course. You too may be experiencing a similar need to correct the course of your business and get it back on track. You may also not be in a position to make a move so bold, nor may it necessarily be the right approach, but a bold move is sometimes what we entrepreneurs need to take when our businesses need a shot in the arm.
I’ve often talked about an entrepreneur’s need to continually assess their business just as we nurses have to frequently assess the ever-changing status of our patients’ physiology. This physiology can certainly translate into the function of the business and keeping your finger on that pulse is a must. I honestly think that nurses are some of the most creative professionals out there. Just think about the ways we’ve had to troubleshoot issues that have come up and how quickly we’re able to implement a plan of care that meets the need of our patients.
If after assessing your business you find that it could use an infusion to boost your message, improve your community engagement, or increase your sales, then evaluate whether a bold move might need to take place to catapult your brand. Start small and don’t think that you need to have Kmart’s advertising and marketing budget. Go back to your current or past clients to find out why they “bought in” to your products or services.
Use Survey Monkey, make a friendly request in a newsletter, Tweet it out, or simply call them and ask about their experience. Let them know that you’re working on something bold and you would really love (and get consent) to share their experiences. I’ve talked to many of my past clients and they’ve been very open about sharing their own what, why, when, and how they’ve used the services I’ve delivered to them. You might be amazed when you hear about what a client might actually implement into their daily routine just by being a customer of your product or service. The story behind their results could in some way be a catalyst for your next creative plan to rejuvenate your brand.
Now go out there and be bold.