Here is a very dated commercial from 1988 during the origin of Club Z, making the customer feel special. A classic ad strategy.
And here is one of the first from 1986. Note the classic advertising theme of offering an exclusive upper crust feeling:There are many marketing lessons to be learned from studying Zellers marketing plan and retail success. Ironically the success of Zellers at convincing the Canadian public that you didn't need to spend big dollars to feel like you were upper crust, high class, or of high quality took the wind out of the sails and sales of "The Bay" AKA Hudsons Bay Company, Canada's oldest company and parent company of Zellers. Another high end retailer Eatons, was not able to adjust to this and went bankrupt in 1999. This was a direct result of Zellers marketing and advertising strategy and it's ability to change public perception and shopping habits. They shifted the paradigm and other companies were not able to adjust. As I type this today, Zellers itself has now fallen victim to another shifting paradigm and now huge US based retailers are now dominating the Canadian marketplace leading to the sale to Target. I look forward to seeing how Target will imprint itself on Canadian retail.
As a small business owner or manager, you must study and learn from the leading businesses in your industry. If you are in retail, follow what Wal Mart and Target will be doing and use it to your advantage. Large advertisers like these can change customer buying habits and introduce buzz words into society that you can use to enhance your advertising. Let the companies with the dollars establish these trends and "catch the wave". "Work smart not hard". Until next time I'm Larry "The Ad Man"