Both methods of branding can be effective but if both branding identities are presented simultaneously then one defeats the other and the customer becomes confused....
We worry about creating a "branding" of low price or discount
Is that better or worse than creating a "branding" of being "expensive"...
I'm not sure if you are implying that we are not different than other retail products that consumers shop for or if you are looking for the differences between general retail products and custom framing services....What makes what we do so uniquely different than every other retail product?
Isn't that the whole purpose of determining what image ("brand") you wish to portray?
I go back to my original post about "product mix"
A skillful "butcher" can be more things to more people than just prime cuts. I might hazard a guess that he may actually sell more "lower" priced offerings that "Prime" cuts with the majority of his sales coming from more "middle of the steer" cuts
(I actually already know that answer)
Yes, and the labor time is often similar for the poster frame or ready made and mat as for the medium-end frame and mat, with a difference of sometimes $200 or more on the ticket. One of my sales today took quite some time: Two restorations, 7 prints, 4 prints brought in, 11 frames: around $1300, all materials in-stock. That's a lof of product and framing for the money. There is profit in the materials but the labor is still there. It seems like six months ago we had several two frame orders for that size ticket every weekend. Now the lower ticket is the norm. I am not complaining. I just feel like we are working much harder at the shop, with more labor and stress, for less profit.Bob, I really like using Nissan as an example. We have been working on doing that - maintaining brand yet offering a broader range of products than in better economic times.
The problem we are experiencing is that the labor costs (design time) many times remain the same for the lower end as for the higher end. We have always tried to give all that we can of ourselves to our customers. You cannot now tell a customer "well, I can't spend this much time with you because you want our value line". And this is a cause of concern for me and I am sure for others who have employees at the front counter who need to be paid.
The question is can a shop be everything to everyone?
I feel the same way -- very stressed out and working harder than ever. And although we haven't laid anyone off yet we are being very careful about hours and extremely generous in agreeing to requests for unpaid time off. But of course that means more work for me personally.I just feel like we are working much harder at the shop, with more labor and stress, for less profit.
Same goal here. Hope it doesn't take too long to get to the better times because it sure is harder to work like this than when I was in my 20's!Still, an order is an order in this economy and my goal is to work really hard to get through these times and come out the other end when times are better with a slew of repeat customers. Meanwhile I'm glad I am not any older than I am already...creak, groan.
Exactly my point. They do not sell their entire inventory side by side. They don't even sell $5000 cars from the same building. I suspect people wanting a 02 Taurus would be intimidated by the marble floors of the Hummer dealership. They may even consider it a waste of money. The Caddie buyer wouldn't be wooed with a row of desks and a wobbly ceiling fan precariously attached to a drop ceiling. Why do we framers think we should have unlimited flexibility to sell from both ends?They carry Cadillacs, Hummers and Saab, but right on the adjoining lot is their used cars lot with those "under $5,000" babies.
I think that's the point a lot of picture framers might be missing.Still, an order is an order in this economy and my goal is to work really hard to get through these times and come out the other end when times are better with a slew of repeat customers. Meanwhile I'm glad I am not any older than I am already...creak, groan.
Bob,Bottom line: There are merchandising options that will successfully blend high to low end products without either end suffering. Perhaps we ought to critique the Larson line of moulding which goes from OEM metals to what for many framers is indeed a high end offering
This is one I find amazing! So many of us reduce our markup on exactly the frames the customer is most likely to pay a premium for! uh?How often do we charge much higher than "market" for such pedestrian things as poster specials and than reduce our markups substantially on "high end" stuff because we think it "expensive"?
You have to do this or your would not make enough to survive on the really cheap mouldings. We also have a sliding scale of sorts to take care of this, and we have a different scale and mark up for different groups of vendors, but nothing like the LJ one. My mark up table for, say UFP would not be the same as for Roma. In addition, we add a freight set price for mouldings that we don't stock. Moreover, we have fixed prices on certain frequently used inexpensive mouldings such as the whole value line.My scale don't slide much but I had a difficult time making both cheaper mouldings and more expensive mouldings make any sense at all without a sliding scale.
Kirstie is correct; in the real world we ought to make some adjustments. May I suggest on things that look like we ought to charge more for, we don't. Too often, we rely upon either a static, straight line method that doesn't allow for that individual, additional mark up or the sliding scale where we rely upon a method as Cliff suggests.
Either case is not advisable, yet, a hybrid of common sense "what it ought to sell for" method, while a little more work, is a better method. Truth is, most of us will take the easy way and lose.
Bottom line: Find a method that works best for you. We started talking about "product mix"; this is a great example of "pricing mix"
Thank you for the solution to one of my concerns of offering specials. We are working on our value line right now (yes, I know we are slower than most to get things done!) and I like this philosophy. A limited selection of nice value line frames and poster specials. And the rest at our every day prices.I am very grateful for the business and I am happy to give the consumer great value for the money. I just wonder how we are setting ourselves up for the future. It is these concerns which have led us to purposefully keep our poster special offerings small. If you want black wood or 15 style metal, then we have a great price for you. If you want close-outs, or value line, another very good price. Same for ready mades. But the rest of our beautiful offerings will remain at our usual everyday competitive prices.
I am embarrassed to say that for the first time in 25 years I actually discounted twice in the past few months. I was working with customers and just wanted to finish up. However, our policy is not to discount and we absolutely do not. I ended up saying "You know what? I will personally dry mount this piece for you on my own time, after hours. We won't even put it on the receipt". I could not believe that came out of my mouth but it worked. And I felt so cheap doing that but it was several hundred dollars in our cash register. And we have to pay our bills! I am worried though about the ramifications of my actions. And I don't feel comfortable allowing my employees to do this either.surferbill said:Towards that end, I've told all my staff to just "make the sale."
I think most of us can absorb a little loss of profit, if it means paying the rent and staying in business.
If I have to discount to make a sale, I'll discount.
If I have to pick up and deliver a job to make the sale I'll do that too.
I am missing something here. Why a different mark up for different group of vendors? If you use a sliding scale wouldn't it be the same all across?You have to do this or your would not make enough to survive on the really cheap mouldings. We also have a sliding scale of sorts to take care of this, and we have a different scale and mark up for different groups of vendors, but nothing like the LJ one. My mark up table for, say UFP would not be the same as for Roma. In addition, we add a freight set price for mouldings that we don't stock.
Good question. It made me look at our price codes. We actually have four sliding scales. Now I have to take stock once again, because your question is relevant.I am missing something here. Why a different mark up for different group of vendors? If you use a sliding scale wouldn't it be the same all across?
As far as freight is concerned we add a "non stock charge" per frame rather than per foot. This way we are assured of getting our shipping covered for each chop sold.
Bob,Hi Kirstie-May I ask you a question? As many times as we have talked, i do not know your pricing philosophy. Do you have a more "straight line" markup ora "sliding scale" on your POS. If a sliding scale, you do "de facto" discount. may I suggest that if a "straight line", then you do have the ability to offer a "Surf" type of one time discount to close the sale at probaly the same or better margin than the "sliding".
It requires a little "polish" in the presentation, but I think you will have no problem. EXtending that to staff will require some training; again, with you, I see no problem. Selling at different segments does require differing selling skills