Timeout New York described retail outlet STORY as one of the top 15 shops in New York City – and it’s a shop that completely re-invents itself every four to eight weeks.

STORY is a 2,000 square-foot store on Manhattan’s 10th Avenue retail strip. It describes itself as taking the point of view of a magazine, but changing every few weeks like a gallery to sell a new range of products as any other retail store would. For each change cycle, STORY completely reinvents itself – from the design and layout of the store to the merchandise they sell. Their goal is to bring to light a new theme, trend or issue with each re-invention. You can read STORY’s story here.

The beauty of re-inventing yourself is that there’s a clear purpose for people to come back and see you again and again. They know you; you know them; it’s just that there’s a different environment in which your subsequent interaction occurs. However, to re-invent your entire shop is a big and bold move. If it’s a step too big for you to take, what’s a baby-step you could take in this direction?

Well, why not consider just a small element of your business. If you could re-invent this element on a regular basis, is it something that would appeal to your customers? Would it get you talked about by them to other potential customers to develop your word-of-mouth marketing? Is it something that could gain you exposure and publicity? And is it a reason that you could keep re-engaging with your customers to encourage them to return when they might otherwise not have a reason to return?

If so, what could your element be?

  • If you are a coffee shop could you create some interesting drinks – or could you have a guest baker as a supplier of unusual cakes for a week?
  • If you are a fashion store could you have curated outfits complete with accessories that are your interpretations of what the celebrities wore at that week’s particular high-profile social event?
  • Or if you are a hardware store, what about arranging a ‘security week’ where you focus on specific issues such as home security or personal security? Could you invite representatives from appropriate companies to be in your store at certain times to answer questions on a topic that customers might have?

Your next steps…

Make a commitment to yourself that in the next six months you will have a re-invention of a small part of your business.

  • Think of a number of interesting elements you could consider and write them down. Now choose one of them to focus on – and throw the list with the others on away. This prevents the rest of the ideas from distracting you.
  • Consider your calendar and pick a date when your re-invention will be ready for customers.
  • Think about some interesting people, suppliers, or other local businesses who may want to be on-board with you.
  • Make a detailed plan to make this happen – and get others in your business excited by it too.

Just do it…

The minimum thing you should do is to start a list in your notebook entitled “Elements of my business to re-invent”. This puts the concept into your mind and you can add ideas whenever they come to you.