Monday, October 13, 2014

Hot Metro Finds Ted Cantu Looks At Failed Michigan Businesses in Metro Detroit

The 2014 Fall months have not been kind to a number of failed businesses in Metro Detroit. This is due to a lack of patrons. Some of the owners blame the economy and others suffer because of lack of branding and marketing knowledge. There are three in particular that will be the focus on a new branding series for Michigan based businesses.

One of these businesses had a truly outstanding product. It was a sub like sandwich with superior ingredients and many of them were locally found. But they lacked the initiative to market it properly and to get the word out. Despite the use of Yelp, Facebook and they mostly relied on word of mouth. I drove by this place today and found it to be completely empty. I was unsure if the city had confiscated all of the kitchen equipment like they so often do. If that is the case this is most unfortunate.

There was another business just two doors down in this Wixom shopping plaza that sold fish and chicken. The reviews on this place were never really good and some of them hint that the product was from freezer to table. I walked into this place a couple of times and was not impressed. The service was mixed. When they weren't busy they would wait on you. The second time when I went into this place they were very busy and people were standing out in the lobby. There was maybe 10 people waiting while the radio blared on some metal station.

The last example for the series focuses on a women's clothing company. This one example in particular is an interesting one since the owner was reluctant on how to brand it. There was never any clear cut audience demographic outlined for the store so marketing it to any particular group proved difficult. There was also a problem with how to market this kind of company on the web and through social media with no demographic. The idea was that the clothes were basically for anyone who wanted to wear them.

The idea here was that it would appeal to anyone who found their taste in clothing, "Fun and Fantastic!". The age group was never defined because the owners thought it would alienate any potential sales and they didn't want to be offensive.

Unfortunately something else happened along the way. The woman that ran the place used to crank up the radio very loud and was usually in the back on the phone talking and ignoring who ever walked in. This sort of thing turned people away and also became part of the brand. The idea was not only are we fun and fantastic but we couldn't care less if you walked in or not. This place closed after just 14 months.


Ted Cantu of Hot Metro Finds will be looking at what makes a retail store front work and what makes a business tick in these troubled times. Each one of these businesses could have been saved regardless of a perceived recession or the state of the economy. In each case of these businesses could have been saved.

A lot of this comes back to the owners and their willingness to take a failing business and to apply some basic principles. This gets right down to the following areas:

1. Who Is The Audience?

2. What Are They Buying?

3. Identifying Price Point

4. Addressing The Needs Of Your Demographic

And a whole lot more....

Being number one on the search engines is not necessarily going to get your business. It will only amplify your business and get more exposure. Things like addressing your audience, identifying your customer and building rapport with them, (social media) still needs to be taken under consideration.

For more information on the series and how it can apply to your business:

Contact: Ted Cantu 248-277-6141

Oakland County, MI

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