PEMBROKE, Mass. — If your dry cleaning shop is in a strip mall, I’m sorry to tell you that your storefront is boring, forgettable, nondescript.
A mall dry cleaner in Peoria has a front identical to a mall dry cleaner in Miami, which looks just like a store in Portland, and so on. Whether a drop store or a plant, few passersby take notice. There’s lots of glass, a door with hours printed on it, perhaps a 2-foot-high wall, and not much else. Your front matches the optometrist on one side and the tax office on the other.
No one walking by would ever turn to look at your shop. And if he or she did, nothing would register. It could be that your shop is four miles closer to his house than his current dry cleaner, but you will not get the prospect to give you a try. That’s because he will not see you, even though he looked right at you. And that is your problem, Mr. Strip Mall Dry Cleaner: lack of identity.