See Andy's other stuff:

LinkedIn
RSS Feed

Follow Andy

Contact Me >>

Newsletter: #967: The “Lessons from I Luv Video” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

Video may have killed the radio star, but Netflix, Redbox, Hulu, and Amazon are all out to get the video store. Video rental stores have it hard these days. But I Luv Video, a beloved video store in Austin, is still earning loyal customers, despite their old school face-to-face format.

Here are some ways the oldest, largest video store in the world, does it:

1. Amnesty Day
2. Beer on Tuesdays
3. Expert employees
4. Cut-up Blockbuster cards
5. Check it out: Pulp! The Classics

1. Amnesty Day

Photo thanks to our teammate, Bridgette.

Photo thanks to our teammate, Bridgette.

The Achilles’ heel of video stores? Late fees. We’ve all had that DVD we’ve kept weeks or months past its due date and decided it was better to just never go back to the store than pay an outrageous fee. But at I Luv Video, Amnesty Day comes on the first and fifteenth of every month — and it’s no coincidence those are typical paydays. On Amnesty Day, late fees are half off, and no late fee will go over $20 (even if you lost The Big Lebowski under your couch for a year).

The lesson: It’s not worth it to lose a customer forever over a late fee. Instead, I Luv Video shows their customers they understand and value their relationship more than a couple bucks.

Learn more: I Luv Video

2. Beer on Tuesdays

Photo thanks to I Luv Video.

Photo thanks to I Luv Video.

Every Tuesday, I Luv Video hands out beer in their store. It creates a relaxed environment where customers can talk to each other about movies, get to know the employees, and really take time to peruse the store’s vast collection. It’s a great excuse to get people back in their store every week, but it also helps create a real sense of community.

The lesson: A sign outside their store on Tuesdays says it all: “A Redbox never gave me a beer.” These events offer something I Luv Video’s competition can’t: real-life relationships with their local video store.

Learn more: I Luv Video

3. Expert employees

Every employee at I Luv Video is a movie expert. You can tell them about three movies you like and they can suggest 20 more. Their knowledgeable staff doesn’t just set them apart from their online competitors, they also add to the store’s quirky personality. For example, you might find short employee reviews taped to movie covers like this one added to Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette: “Save your money and buy cake -Aaron.”

The lesson: With recommendation algorithms on Netflix and Hulu, it’s not enough for I Luv Video’s employees to know a lot about movies. Letting them show off their genuine personalities is what makes their stores remarkable.

Learn more: Dog Canyon

4. Cut-up Blockbuster cards

Photo thanks to our teammate, Bridgette.

Photo thanks to our teammate, Bridgette.

When you make an account with I Luv Video, you can either pay $3 for registration or hand over your card from some other video rental place for the I Luv Video staff to cut in half. Tons of surrendered, cut-up Blockbuster cards hang from the rafters at I Luv Video. They’re proof of all of the converted customers — and they inspire even more people to do the same.

The lesson: How can you show off how loyal your customers are to your store?

5. Check it out: Pulp! The Classics

Photo thanks to Pulp! The Classics.

Photo thanks to Pulp! The Classics.

Murder, romance, money, and intrigue — literary classics like Wuthering Heights and Pride and Prejudice are full of them. Here’s what they would look like with equally scandalous covers.

Check it out: Pulp! The Classics

Email to a friend:

Privacy: We won't save or reuse these emails.

Comments

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. News You Can Use In Word Of Mouth Marketing 12/20/2013 | Mom and Pop Today - January 3, 2014

    […] Video may have killed the radio star, but Netflix, Redbox, Hulu, and Amazon are all out to get the video store, writes Andy Sernovitz.  “Video rental stores have it hard these days. But I Luv Video, a beloved video store in Austin, is still earning loyal customers, despite their old school face-to-face format.” He looks at five (5) ways they are keeping the doors open and the lights on.   Andy Sernovitz blog […]

Get My Newsletter!

Subscribe to Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! for a weekly email full of unusually useful ideas for smart marketers. Great marketing is about brains, not bucks. The best business ideas are easy to do, inexpensive, and fun. Learn to simplify your business, earn word of mouth, and thrill your customers:

Never display this again