Advertising At Home
( Originally Published 1898 )
Advertising, like charity, begins at home. In other words, to advertise a store, first get your store. There are so many horrible examples of how not to keep a store, that enumeration of the different bad ways is hopeless.
It is useless to advertise outside of the store and not inside.
The first requisites in a system of advertising is cleanliness and order and general rightness in the appearance of the store.
After that comes courtesy and the quality of the goods. It is hard to tell which of these is the more important.
A pleasant, cordial, attentive, but not obtrusive and obsequious manner, makes and holds trade. No matter how insignificant the transaction, it doesn't take any longer to be amiable than to be crusty. There is such a thing as being too pleasant—familiar —that is not good. It leads to a lack of respect. A merchant should always maintain his dignity in the store and in his advertising.
Advertising should be the bulletin of the store—a mirror in which the store's characteristics and goods may be reflected. If the advertising is good, and the store bad, the advertising cannot possibly pay.
People may be drawn to the store once, but they will not return.