AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

One-Minute MarketerJunk Store Knows Sophisticated Experience Sells

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Junk Store Knows Sophisticated Experience Sells

In Target’s earning call last quarter, the CEO talked about frustration with the consumer perception of price credibility.west end salvage

I don’t much care about that, but I do know the Target “experience” is not that good these days. If it’s price only, then buy online or Walmart. Make the experience better and maybe we will not care about slightly higher pricing.

We are in a new world where experience rules the day. The box stores don’t get it, but West End Architectural Salvage in Des Moines, Iowa does get it and more. The store is cool. And it has a coffee shop and sells beer. They bring in fashionable junk, repurpose it and make it look like something out of HGTV.

It is so neat and unique, people hold birthday parties and meetings at the “store.” It’s the perfect combination of reclaimed junk, food, beverages and vibe. Making it an experience where the price matters less and less and the value climbs.

So Target CEO, if you really want to make a change, work on the experience. Amazon and Walmart have you beat on price before your product hits the shelves.

Written by:

Mark wrote his first direct-mail fundraising letter in 1981 for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. The effort raised a few million dollars in undiscovered wills and legacy gifts. From that day forward Mark discovered a love of the big idea that moves the needle.

After 12 years at KWWL, Mark became a business owner as a co-founder of ME&V — rebranded as AMPERAGE in 2015. After 25 years of leading creative teams in video production, graphic design, PR, writing and web development, Mark transitioned out of ownership in 2021. Today he serves in an employee role as special projects consultant.

He is creatively ambidextrous — son of an artist and engineer — and famous for distilling complex ideas down to a few words and a few visuals. Mark is a writer. When he found that many nonprofits struggled with complex branding puzzles, he wrote the book, “NonProfit-NonMarketing .” He also wrote a novel called “Reenactment.”

Mark is an active blogger OneMinuteMarketer® with nearly 1,000 readers each week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. One of his most popular YouTube videos is on “How to Look Good on Zoom.”

One of Mark’s fondest business memories was being named to INC 500 two times and attending the INC 500 conference with other winners. Mark is considered by some a Civil War expert (and that explains his novel). Mark also served as an adjunct professor in the business and in the communications departments at Wartburg College.

Mark is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is currently vice president of the University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board.

Mark is married to state Sen. Liz Mathis, and the two love to travel, even when it means being trapped by a volcano in the Czech Republic for three weeks.