the_lost_symbolLast month I noted that Wal-mart was selling hardback best-selling books for $9, which is some $5 below cost price. Why are they doing this? To win customers of course. But which customers? Marketing expert Seth Godin suggests that the sort of people who buy hardback best sellers are the sort of people who have plenty of money to spend.

“Every industry has people who are worth more”, he says. “Don’t treat people the same – find the ones that matter more to you, and hug them!”

That’s a pretty useful business rule for local shops. Use it to target the shoppers you need. Be aware of it in terms of winning supplier support from your competitors.