I’m a little bit obsessed, to the point that I’ve actually learned how to make it at home.
I’m a sushi nerd and marketing geek. And when those two things combine, you get slightly bonkers blog posts like this one…
One of my favourite places to get sushi when I’m travelling is Yo Sushi! For those of you who haven’t sampled its wonders, Yo! is a chain of sushi restaurants where the chefs are in the middle of the room, with a conveyor belt running around them, and the customers sitting around the outside of that.
(By the way, this post might sound like I’m being paid to promote them. I’m not. I simply saw in their restaurants a strong analogy for good marketing.)
I was sitting in a Yo Sushi! in Aberdeen with my girlfriend a few months back… And I realised that if more of us marketers ran our businesses like Yo Sushi!, we’d all be doing a lot better and making even more money.
So, here it is:
The Yo! Guide To Improving Your Marketing!
1) Put A Team At The Centre (Not One Person)
Your business shouldn’t rely on just you.
At Yo Sushi, they have a team of people working in the centre of the restaurant, creating the food (the product) and then putting it onto the conveyor belt for us, the consumers.
They’re working constantly to create more of what the customer wants and then making sure it gets in front of the right (hungry) people.
There’s never just one person trying to cater to everyone. That would be madness because that one person would quickly get overwhelmed and never really get to focus on the one thing they’re good at.
You should focus on the thing that makes your business the most money and get other talented people to do the rest.
Yo! makes sure that it hires people who can do specific things very well… Then it gives them that work to do!
The owner isn’t running around trying to do it all. You shouldn’t be either.
2) Always Be Marketing
The real genius of the Yo Sushi model is to have a conveyor belt around the kitchen where customers sit. As the food goes past, you take the appetising plates and bowls, only for more to replace it as the conveyor is restocked.
You’re constantly being shown the tasty options that you could be enjoying. Just reach out and take it.
Oh and as if that wasn’t enough, you can always take a look at the screens where they show you even more of the stuff you could order.
Imagine if you could have your own products being placed in front of hungry prospects on a regular basis…
You can. It’s called your mailing list. Use your list to put the right offers in front of the right people and do it regularly.
One of the top reasons some marketers are successful and others aren’t is down to consistency. The successful ones are always marketing, even when they’re writing a blog post or making an informative video.
3) Little And Often Makes The Money
No one really wants to see one huge product launch after another.
Very few people have time to read massive e-mails or big sales letters on a daily basis.
Instead, use the same approach that Yo! does to increase its profits:
They market to you in small amounts, often.
Every time something tasty goes past you on the conveyor belt of dreams, you get the idea that it’d be good to have that dish. It might go past a few times, but eventually, there’s a strong chance you’ll grab it. Sale made.
They keep it very simple, enticing you in with small portions that don’t seem like a big commitment… But you’ll always end up eating more than you planned.
‘Just one more portion of sashimi won’t hurt…’
Then you get the bill and wonder how the hell you spent £60 ($100) on lunch. It’s because you’re being given small, attractive, low-cost options on a regular basis.
Are you doing the same thing in your marketing?
Do you have a low-priced lead product that gets people to commit at a low level? If not, think about what you can offer for $7-$37 that people will benefit from.
That low-cost product gives you the chance to find the buyers and get them to commit to a low-priced purchase. Once they’ve committed once, they’re more likely to want more and be prepared to pay for it.
You could even offer instalments on the cost of a higher priced product, so they don’t have to spend a large amount all at once.
Little and often wins the race.
4) Have An Option For The Bigger Spenders
It’s all very well having a low-cost product, but that alone won’t make you the big bucks.
When you’re eating at Yo Sushi! the basic level is to only eat from the plates on the conveyor belt and to drink the free water that’s on the table.
But some people (like me) want more than that and are happy to pay for it.
So, they make sure that there’s a suitably garish menu at hand at all times, full of extra (usually more expensive) hot dishes, as well as drinks and sides.
The result? They make more money from pretty much everyone!
The lesson for you? Make sure you have a premium product or three that you can promote to your ‘tribe’.
Sure, most people won’t buy it, but some will. In fact, some of your people always will, leading to you making more money than you would if you just sold low-priced stuff.
Oh, and here’s a top tip that took me a long time to learn:
It takes just as much effort to sell a low-priced product as it does to sell a higher priced one. It’s all about positioning. So why not sell a higher ticket item?
Don’t just sell low-priced stuff. Cater to the big spenders too.
So, there you have it. How a simple sushi restaurant chain can help you improve your marketing.
The lessons are simple and have stood the test of time. There’s no reason to think that they won’t remain true for a long time to come. Which makes me think…
I reckon Yo Sushi! will be around for a long while to come. But will your business?