Building a Brand: Align Your Sales Cycles with Your Promotional Plan.
You know when the Lawn Care Sales Season hits. Depending on your geographical locale, it starts somewhere in the Spring and runs through to the Fall. This is when you have a captive audience. Plan you marketing efforts to ride the wave as best you can. Always remember that the timing of your marketing efforts and building a brand is essential to its effectiveness and ultimate success.
The lawn care business is a need-based business. So, timing plays a large role in how you will roll out your marketing initiatives. In marketing the Decision-Making Unit (DMU) is the person that holds the power of decision. This can be a homeowner, or a contractor, or a building manager… The trick here is trying to forecast when the DMU will be at a decision-making point in time.
This can be difficult to figure out. Think about the DMU and what their main interest is. Think of what keeps them busy and when they have time to listen to your pitch. If you can time the delivery of your message so that it hits at the exact right time, then your marketing activities will be a success.
In the Lawn Care industry, most of your advertising activities will take place during the lawn care season’s warmer months. Get out there now and deliver multiple hits to the customer in a short period of time. This is more powerful than sending out 15,000 mailings.
The main idea here is to
FISH IN A POND
WHERE THERE ARE FISH!
People say that your name should be out there all the time. And that is true, but, when building a brand, it’s important that your name be out there A LOT MORE when during the season!
Companies like GE or IBM can spend millions of dollars building a brand. But neither you nor I have the money to do this. Therefore, the best area to spend your marketing dollars is on direct response marketing. On the other hand, there are some basic areas where small budget brand building is a must.
You have to have a logo that people can identify and relate to. This is a good start. But there is so much more to this. Once you have your logo and a tag phrase or a slogan, figure out where you are going to put it.
Some proper places are business cards, brochures, paperwork, signage, and uniforms. On such items you want to make sure you represent your business in a consistent manner so that your customers are not confused. Most if not all small sized businesses do not have the marketing budget to build a brand the way these huge corporations do it. So, this small-time branding on your stationary, signs, uniforms, etc. is about as close to building a brand in your customers’ eyes as you will get… but not to worry, this will be enough.
Do not Waste Your Money on Small Business Branding
So many small business owners out there pour dollar after dollar into building a brand. Well, that does not work and it is just a waste of money. For instance, sponsoring a sign at a charity golf outing is a big waste of money if all you get is a sign with your logo on it by the tee-off area. Don’t get me wrong, you may be donating money to a good cause (which is a great thing to do), but this is NOT a marketing initiative that is going to give you any return on your investment. If you want to make such a marketing initiative a success, you need to be out there on the course, shaking hands with the golfers, meeting them when they walk by your sign and handing out promotions and giveaways.
But be smart with your advertising dollars, because if you are a small Lawn Care company you really don’t have much money to throw away on a lonesome sign by a golf tee. Just remember, if a tree falls in the woods and nobody is there to hear it… right?
Looking for tips on Building a Brand: Build Your Street-Cred!
Lawn Care is a relationship business. Therefore, you and your employees need to be out there meeting and impressing people with your company. Credibility goes a far way in small business and it’s no different for Lawn Care Business Owners. Consistent delivery of high quality services is the straightest path to building credibility. Stay focused on quality and your credibility will take care of itself.
In the same vein, if you use direct response marketing and you develop a cache of credibility in your region, you will inevitably develop somewhat of a brand over time.
“A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person.
You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.”
~ Jeff Bezos