Home > business, marketing > A Rural Oasis that Feels Right

A Rural Oasis that Feels Right

How does your business feel?

How does your business feel?

A few businesses appear as though they are instant winners. Some take a while to build themselves up to success. Some start with a great idea but burn out quickly as the idea does not translate itself into a commercially viable product or service (I remember meeting someone in a pub in the late ’90’s who was setting up dotcom company which was delivering a clean shirt, pants, socks, a razor and toothbrush to a customer’s office after a night on the town).

I spent some time with a business this evening which had got the ingredients right on its product. One of the keys for this business to get right was how it felt when you walked in through the front door. It felt right. It felt relaxed, welcoming, warm but not hot. It smelt right and you felt as though you were completely welcome. The business is a spa, The Grange Spa, in Lincolnshire.

It is an oasis in this very rural county. The nearest competition is about an hour away. The couple that own it, Matt & Emma Craven, are warm and welcoming. Behind their friendly exteriors are sharp marketing minds that know exactly who they are aiming at as ideal customers. Matt told me precise socio-demographic characteristics of each segment of the population they are targeting.

They started in April 2009 and “footfall” is starting to increase through their doors, finally. It’s tough but it is starting to work. Clients were walking in as we spoke having treatments, using the gym and swimming in their gorgeous pool. Matt uses Twitter and Facebook to help him reach out to potential clients.

But, these social media tools are not necessarily being used by some of their ideal customers. Nevertheless, many of their prospective customers network socially albeit not through the internet but at book clubs. Women with children in their mid to late thirties.

So, Matt and I got chatting about the possibility of combining their spa with women’s book clubs. The spa has beautiful furniture and private areas where a women’s book club could meet to talk about this month’s book, chat and then spend an hour using the spa. We then talked about the joy of using Google Chrome which is when Emma seemed to switch off for some reason.

But more, importantly, take a look at The Grange Spa’s web site and see for yourself at what this oasis offers and how it feels. If you get a chance, swing by and say hello to Matt, Emma or any of their friendly staff to sense for yourself just how good their business feels. If you have your own business, then ask yourself how it feels. Does it feel right? If not, make some changes. It’s important for your customers.

  1. 11/07/2009 at 3:16 pm

    Great post. “How does it feel?” is a great way to point to “corporate culture.”

    Just a couple of observations. The website transmits the real culture of the space. Often people try to give the appearance of the culture without the reality an the ground. It never works over the long run.

    There is a way to use print to find people who are interested based on location, instead of demographics.
    Demographic categories are blunt tools. They are the best surrogate up until now for the real kernel, individuals who are “interested” in the service and are close enough to take advantage of it.

    By using information rich QR codes( CodeZ QR is the first example I’ve seen) print can give data about who clicked when and where.

    The new thing is being able to use the staying power of print with the data gathering of where. With digital media the “am I interested” decision has a nano second window. With print that stays around, that nano second can happen over a long period of time.

    • 14/07/2009 at 3:29 pm

      Hi Michael,

      Thank you for your interesting comments.

      QR codes are an interesting development for print, indeed. I put together a quick guide for using them on my blog recently. Also, you should take a look at Microsoft’s ‘Tag’ system which is similar and has been used in a print scenario too.



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