NCBA CLUSA recently sat down with member Flooring America to learn more about their ongoing mobile marketing tour and how it supports the cooperative's goal of becoming the most referred flooring retailer in North America.
This summer, Flooring America, a division of CCA Global Partners and the nation’s largest floor covering cooperative, is hitting the road for a nationwide Where Friends Send Friends mobile marketing tour. The tour will log more than 10,000 miles across nine states to support the country’s renewed movement to patronize local retailers.
“People want to shop local when they can,” said Frank Chiera, vice president of marketing and advertising. “They feel [Flooring America] stores take good care of them and provide the same value as large home centers. Customers feel like a person, not a number.”
The genesis of the tour arose from a desire to differentiate and elevate the Flooring America marque using the voice of real, satisfied customers. “The face of the brand is the local member,” Chiera added. The company’s research showed that eight out of 10 new customers were referred by satisfied family members, friends, and colleagues. “We thought ‘Let’s hit the road and find out what our customers are saying about us.’ We’re seeing huge weekend traffic and have teamed up with cooperatives near our store locations to hold simultaneous events.”
When asked what co-ops from small to large could do to positively impact their bottom line, Chiera lauded the power of social media. “I don’t care if you’re a startup or well-established social media is by far the best way to reach an audience that wants to engage with your brand. It’s a low cost way to stay in touch with your customers and find like-minded prospects.”
Chiera was quick to caution that social media is most powerful when brands have conversations with people rather than pushing out their marketing message. “You don’t want to be too self-serving. Search for content that your audience finds valuable and engaging. Work with bloggers and those in your community to create a core group of influencers who will become mini-repeaters for your brand.”