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Steve
10-18-2007, 07:04 PM
I thought this was interesting too. I was on the web site

http://franchise.screenmobile.com/page2.html

and they were discussing the benefits to owning a franchise

2. Market Saturation - The purpose of franchising to work together, to create brand awareness, and eventually top of mind awareness in consumers (TOM.) This can be done in multiple ways. One such method is the pooling of funds on a regional and national level. As a participating franchise you magnify your impact in marketing awareness.

It makes you wonder as you market your business, is one of your goals to achieve Top Of Mind awareness. So when someone thinks of lawn care they immediately think of you.

It's quite a large goal to achieve but I feel it is totally possible.

This is part of the reason why you need to constantly be out there in the public eye with new things you are doing.

What's your take on this?

pmblair
10-19-2007, 12:16 AM
I think that's the main goal of every business... at least in their area. I know that if someone ever called us and said "You were the first people we thought of for this" that it would absolutely make my day!

Higher customer awareness = higher sales = higher profit!

Steve
10-19-2007, 03:01 AM
When you think of lawn care on your area, does a certain name come to mind first?

What kinds of things does that company do to create such brand awareness?

pmblair
10-19-2007, 09:35 AM
Only one really stands out in my mind... but that's just because I go to church with the owner... lol

Hmm.... how do you create brand awareness? *Get a good logo and stick with it... put it on all of your advertising material... and then use that material a LOT.... fliers, business cards, signs, banners, even newspaper, TV and radio ads... anything to get your name out there... eventually, like the stupid Head-On (Head-On, apply directly to the forehead... Head-On, apply directly to the forehead... Head-On, apply directly to the forehead...) commercials, people will know who you are.... *Then, when you market to them specifically (cold calls, door-to-door visits, etc), they will already be familiar with your services.

High exposure = brand awareness.

FourSeasons
10-19-2007, 09:53 AM
Quote[/b] ]When you think of lawn care on your area, does a certain name come to mind first?

What kinds of things does that company do to create such brand awareness?

Now that I have my own lawn care company I can think of 2 that stand out. One of them is nothing special. Its just that they are a big company and I see their trucks everywhere I go.
Another one I see I remember because their trucks are all painted yellow and green. It might only be a couple or a alot of them but i remember them because of the paint.
Thats because I'm paying attention to them now.

Before I had my own business none of them stood out to me. And I still don't see any around here that do anything special to stand out.

I'd really like to paint my trucks lime green with some nice advertisement graphics with lime green shirts to match. That way when some one sees me they'll know its me and say - hey, we see that guy all over town. he must do some good work. *There is truck and trailers all over the place around here with people doing lawns. I want to be that one guy that really stands out. I'm going to get a new truck first though.

Steve
10-19-2007, 03:27 PM
When you think about this. It's like running for mayor! I mean to get that much attention on you or your business you really need to become a marketing machine and a total self-promoter.

Then think, how many business owners have you ever heard of doing anything that really stood out!

At least to me when I think about it, it's rare.

What's your view?

pmblair
10-20-2007, 12:46 AM
I agree with you, Steve. I think it's definately like running for office. You have to do as little work to get as much attention as you can.

Here's another idea I JUST thought about.... if any of you have local public access channels, why not do a 10-15 minute segment every two to four weeks with tips and tricks on homeowner lawn care? Maybe a special about how to identify different grasses and what ones do better in your local areas... Then try to get it aired on the p.a. channel... You'd be helping "Johnny Homeowner" that does their own lawn, but they would also be more likely to look to you when they needed something else done... and then you have the homeowners who hire people to do their lawns.... and business managers and owners...

The advertising possibilities are endless... and you shouldn't even have to pay to air it....

Steve
10-20-2007, 02:32 PM
I had looked into that in the past. At least here they wanted 12 episodes already recorded before they would air a single one!

It would be free to air it but you couldn't discuss anything commercial.

I thought there were way too many restrictions.

But that would be nice ideally.

Maybe these restrictions are different in your area?

I also think with youtube and webpages, all of these things can now be done online with no restrictions.

But you do gotta love the idea of doing a This Old House for lawn care on tv.

pmblair
10-20-2007, 11:41 PM
I was up early this morning (around 6am) going to my mom-in-law's house to help her set-up for a yard sale... I was listening to a local AM radio station... they had a lawn and garden show on from 7-8am... took callers' questions and comments, talked about their own topics, etc... I thought "Hmmmmmm... Maybe I could get in on THIS gig..." lol

Steve
10-21-2007, 12:52 AM
Quote[/b] ]"Hmmmmmm... Maybe I could get in on THIS gig..." lol

What ways were you thinking of it? Do you mean calling in or another thought?

pmblair
10-22-2007, 01:26 AM
I was actually thinking about talking to the show's producer to let me come on the show once a month or something like that with a special tip for lawn care... I wouldn't ask to be paid, just to simply let me plug my business and website a time or two.

Steve
10-22-2007, 01:36 AM
That's a good idea! It would be interesting to see what kind of response you got from such an appearance.

Have you thought of what kinds of things you would talk about?

pmblair
10-22-2007, 01:58 AM
Not right off hand. I would get together about a half dozen to a dozen ideas in writing to take with me to talk with the producer to give him/her an idea of what I could talk about.

LawncareMarketingMagic
10-22-2007, 06:33 PM
Here's my 2 cents worth.

Quote[/b] ]It makes you wonder as you market your business, is one of your goals to achieve Top Of Mind awareness. So when someone thinks of lawn care they immediately think of you.

Should this be one of your goals? Long term, yes, but definitely not long term. It's much too expensive and in terms of 'smart marketing' for a small business, it's anything but.

Quote[/b] ]Hmm.... how do you create brand awareness? Get a good logo and stick with it

I'm afraid I must disagree with this one. Yes, a good logo is important, but even more important than that is a strong USP that communicates very clearly the benefits your customers receive. You should include this USP on everything you send out.

A perfect example is the one already stated, Head-On, or whatever it is. Their USP is 'apply directly to the forehead'. Nobody remembers the logo, but the sure as heck remember the benefits of the product.

Again, this isn't to say a good logo isn't important because it is. Just don't think that because you have a great looking logo you're going to suddenly become the LCO of choice. However, create a strong USP that makes a strong case for you and now your cooking.

Quote[/b] ]What kinds of things does that company do to create such brand awareness?

To create brand awareness on a budget, you need to do 2 things: 1. Become the big fish in the little pond, and 2. Be consistent with your marketing.

First, don't expect to develop brand awareness to a list of 5K names. Instead, start with a list of 1,500 names and consistently communicate with them. Send them a flyer one month. Then a postcard the next. Then a letter the following month. Then a Christmas card the next. Then call them on the phone the next. Then.....well, you get the idea.

With a smaller list you're able to do more 'damage' because you're not spreading yourself so thin. Then once you have that awareness with the smaller list, you should be able to afford expanding your list so you can develop the same awareness with a larger target market.

Steve
10-22-2007, 07:36 PM
I always appreciate Chestin's insight! He is fantastic with this stuff.

Quote[/b] ]I'm afraid I must disagree with this one. Yes, a good logo is important, but even more important than that is a strong USP that communicates very clearly the benefits your customers receive. You should include this USP on everything you send out.

A perfect example is the one already stated, Head-On, or whatever it is. Their USP is 'apply directly to the forehead'. Nobody remembers the logo, but the sure as heck remember the benefits of the product.

Again, this isn't to say a good logo isn't important because it is. Just don't think that because you have a great looking logo you're going to suddenly become the LCO of choice. However, create a strong USP that makes a strong case for you and now your cooking.

This really makes you wonder. What lawn care business USP (unique sales proposition/position) has ever stood out in your mind.

At this moment I can't think of a single one that stood over any other. Can anyone else?

Quote[/b] ]
To create brand awareness on a budget, you need to do 2 things: 1. Become the big fish in the little pond, and

I am guessing what you mean here is to find a niche where you can position yourself in that niche as the leader?

LawncareMarketingMagic
10-23-2007, 12:44 AM
Quote[/b] ]I am guessing what you mean here is to find a niche where you can position yourself in that niche as the leader?

Although that's important too, that wasn't what I was referring to in this case.

What I meant by the little pond in this case was starting with a smaller list. Don't try to tackle a list of 5K prospects. Unless you have the budget for it, it's foolish and expensive.

Instead, start with a list of 1,500 carefully selected prospects within your target area and become the LCO of choice. Contact them early and often. And then contact them some more. Contact them so many times they have your logo, USP, phone number, and birthday memorized.

Okay, maybe not the birthday, but you get the idea. http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif

LawncareMarketingMagic
10-23-2007, 12:50 AM
Quote[/b] ]What lawn care business USP (unique sales proposition/position) has ever stood out in your mind.

This is definitely not an easy thing to achieve, for any business. Aside from the consistent contact I mentioned previously, it takes a killer USP that really makes people stop and go, 'wow'.

The whole key is to come up with a USP that no one else has the ....uhhhh....how do I put it nicely.....stones to say, and then get that message in front of your prospects as often as possible.

Get your customers to talk about the USP for you. Do a press release about your USP. Include pictures of your fulfilling your USP in your marketing materials.

Again, it's definitely not an easy task to develop that coveted 'brand' awareness, but then again, there's a reason why Coke spends 10's of millions of dollars annually so we won't forget who they are. And that's even after 30+ years of spending that kind of coin!!

Steve
01-16-2009, 05:15 PM
The whole key is to come up with a USP that no one else has the ....uhhhh....how do I put it nicely.....stones to say, and then get that message in front of your prospects as often as possible.

This is a very good point. I guess if others are afraid to use a similar USP that you created, then you will have an advantage over them.

Can anyone think of usp's that were edgy like that where competitors were scared of using something similar?