Hello! My name is Lanny Fuller. As a writer, I really enjoy telling stories, so I am thrilled to share one with you. It's certainly not your typical love story, but check out how I fell, and continue to fall, for Buckle!
Several weeks ago, I read a quote that caught me off guard. “Selling is a one night stand, while marketing is a continuous relationship.” I respect and understand the message behind this clever metaphor, but it separates what should be a unified relationship between selling and marketing. A large objective in many marketing campaigns is to increase sales, right? So how do we marry this seemingly different couple? Recently, I had an experience with Buckle that provided an answer.
As I stepped into Buckle, I was greeted within 30 seconds by an up-beat, smiling woman. I responded to her greeting with words that most sales associates dread hearing, “I have no idea what I am looking for today.” With no hesitation, she began asking me basic questions about what I normally wear. Before I knew it, I had a dressing room full of outfits that matched my usual style. Feeling vulnerable, I decided to escape the dressing room to admire myself in a larger mirror. To my surprise, I was met with now two sales associates giving genuine input like, “definitely the dark wash jeans” or “that jacket might be too long.” Within fifteen minutes the Buckle employees felt like a team of fashionable friends!
In addition to all of the much-needed fashion advice, I was also gaining knowledge about different brands. My new Buckle friends seemed to know what brands aligned with my typical style. Why was this new information important to me (the customer?) It expanded my resources for the clothing I shop for, which created initial brand loyalty. Buckle exposed me to everything from Fossil watches, to BKE jeans and other denim brands, to the different vocabulary used to describe products like "military" jackets or "slim fit" jeans. By the end of this experience, I left the store a self-proclaimed, fashion expert.
So, where did this experience lead me to? Like most of my relationships, I followed up by finding Buckle on Facebook which then led me to their website, Buckle.com. And, as much as I thought I was a fashion expert, the vast amount of products left my finger frozen on the mouse. Where do I go? What do I do? My thoughts were racing. Then, I found my savior - the 'shop by outfits' button. This link led me into specific categories based on different styles. I now had the comfort of my Buckle fashion team while sitting in my home. How could this be?
Simply put, a sale is the action of selling something. Whereas marketing can be defined as removing barriers to meet consumer needs. From the initial contact in the store, the Buckle saleswoman focused on creating a unique relationship with me by asking questions to remove the barriers from my needs. She was never concerned with “making a big sale.” Creating an intimate connection not only led me to buy from Buckle, but it also led me to feel like I have a new friend and to continue my relationship with Buckle. Going back to the original quote, Buckle successfully turned my “one night stand” into a “lasting relationship.” Little did I know how lasting this relationship would be. Recently, I was hired on as a copywriter intern for Buckle.