Marketing with dusty bottles

Anytime I walk into a liquor store, wine store, or for that matter, any store that sells stuff in bottles, something jumps out at me.

If the bottles are dusty  – they may as well be GLOWING, the way they grab my attention. It’s a curse from my college days.

When I was attending the U of A in Fayetteville, one of the jobs I had to make ends meet just happened to be at a liquor store.

While the stories from that place could fill a book, only a few qualify as business lessons, and perhaps a few more as life/motivational lessons.

One of the things that always annoyed me was a slow day at the store. No one liked slow days because it made the time go slowly (duh), but more importantly, it meant you had to dust.

Dust bottles, that is.

That means you had to pull every single bottle on every single shelf (ie: wine, liquor) and remove the dust with a feather duster. If it was really bad, a damp rag was necessary to clean the bottle. Every…single…bottle.

Thousands of em, or so it seemed.

We even dusted them when restocking from a case that had been open for a while.

On a really slow day, you could dust the entire wine section and maybe even the liquor section. Tedious, boring work that always seems like “make work” (dig a hole, then fill it up, repeat. Just to keep busy). Of course, once it was explained to me that people notice little things like that, it stuck (no, it didn’t make it any more pleasant). If your bottles are dusty, what else didn’t you clean? In a restaurant, that’s not a question you want anyone asking themselves.

Little things mean a lot. Like how 25+ years later I still notice dusty bottles, even in a convenience store.

Clean, dust-free bottles are marketing. Just like clean trash cans in Disney World is marketing. Just like no gum or sticky floors in a movie theater is marketing.

Are you marketing with dusty bottles?

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