Spotting new customer groups – the Best Buy model

BusinessWeek has a story on Best Buy, the international retailer of consumer electronics and entertainment software. Headlined “At Best Buy, Marketing Goes Micro – Returning military? Polish speakers? No niche is too small for local stores to identify and target”, the article notes that as “the economy slows, Best Buy is encouraging its outlets to go off script”.

In essence, the retailer is “trying to go hyperlocal, asking on-the-ground employees to spot fresh customer groups”. And that “local ingenuity and insight is contributing to a relatively rosy forecast from Best Buy, considering so many consumers are on the ropes”. In one store “Eastern European workers from cargo ships or oil tankers, temporarily docked at Baytown’s busy port, are spending their precious shore hours scouring the store’s aisles. They take a 15-minute cab or shuttle ride to stock up on iPods and Apple (AAPL) laptops priced cheaper than back home”

The go local model predicated on a grassroots strategy certainly extends not just to other retailers, but also to service industries including the hospitality industry. Discerning hotels that derive marketing feelers from line level employees and operations supervisors stand to reap considerably more benefits.

Published by

Vijay Dandapani

Co-founder and president of a New York based hotel company for 24 years. Grew the firm to five hotels in Manhattan and also developed a greenfield project at MacArthur airport, New York. Speaker at numerous prestigious forums including Economy Hotels World Asia, Lodging Conference, NYU, Columbia University Real Estate Roundtable, Baruch College's Zicklin School and ALIS. President and ceo of New York City Hotel Association since January 2017.