I watched the World Cup Finals with friends in a quiet Donegal bar. Yet the bar was anything but quiet on this evening. Serving food, to families and groups, drinks to regulars and blow-ins alike, the bar in question was absolutely hiving. Yet come here during the week and there wouldn't be a sinner in the place. This is an all to familiar event within the licensed trade and is the result of more people drinking at home and purchasing their alcohol from large multinational supermarkets, rather than the local independent stores or local pubs. As marketers and business owners, we need to find ways to entice our customer to our venues at additional times throughout the week by giving them a value added service, rather than cut price drinks offers. Endless deals upon deals wreaks of desperation, much like the never ending sales at major furniture retailers. You know the ones! This SALE driven traffic while definitely causes a spike in traffic ultimately devalues your brand as customers wait for the next sale or the perception of your none sale prices goes up over time. So value added it is. Over the past few months we've been assisting the Hudson Bar Belfast with one of their value added initiatives through the production of their Whisky Club, Wine Club and Beer Club membership packs. Design by Michael Murray, Hudson Bar The above image is the print of the membership folder that is given to those joining the Hudsons Whisky Club. By signing up to 10 tasting sessions within the bar, you are given the opportunity to learn, taste and discover new Whiskys in a fun environment with like minded folks. For the Hudson, they have 90+ paying customers filling the bar on a weeknight, that would traditionally be quieter. They repeated this success with their extremely popular, craft ale association, beer club and forthcoming Wine club. 4 nights a month in addition to their very busy weekend trade that they have filled with full paying customers. This is a perfect example of how your business can bring traffic to the doors. A couple of other suggestions could include: - Clothing shops bring a stylist in or have a beauty therapist in on a certain evening. - Restaurants could holding cooking classes - Butchers could show people how become a butcher or how to cook certain cuts of meat - Gyms introducing specific training for special events e.g. Tough Mudder As you can see from these examples, some of the best options to engage with your customers is to distribute some of your knowledge as an expert in your field to your customers. You don’t have to know everything and people respect you for being honest. However the knowledge you have gained in your industry over many years, people would genuinely be interested in learning some of it. Look at this blog as an example. I explain projects we have completed, how they work and the benefit you can attain from utilising them yourself in your business. They may not always be relevant to your industry, but you will take away ideas that can be manipulated and introduced to your marketing schedule. Additional Note Another fantastic example of a business introducing a community spirt is Slims Kitchen. Each Sunday at 10am they host the Free Association, where cyclists of all levels can meet at their Lisburn Road store and join others for a Sunday morning cycle. Those who attend are offered a complimentary shake after. It costs Slims Kitchen a few shakes each week, but really instils the community spirit of the brand.