Long story short without getting into all of the green beans, its ties back loosely to our branding theme. We are a business to business company but brand like an everyday consumer related product.
We’re sending out Sea Monkeys kits to all of our customers as little Christmas gifts for their office desks. A little card with copy tying back to our core branding ideology.
Sorry for being so vague, but after I thought about it, every time we put time & energy into our branding, people tended to take and use it as their own. Our name is trade marked, but we still spend a lot of energy policing it locally. We had to take down our web site because it was basically a how to beat us at our own game tutorial. We had to redo our brochures because other businesses were knocking them off.
Yes Tom I did. I put too much information on the old site. Stabbed too many times by my own sword. I’m working on a new flash site that is cleaner, simpler and with less critical information.
In our market we know about every potential customer that’s a good match for our company. And they know about us. We do the research, talk to other sub-contractors for residential or commercial, to decide if the prospects are good business partner matches. We go through a qualifying process before we even approach them.
One of our growth strategies is to tie up 100% of our existing customers projects. To work for all of the project managers and superintendents in that company by creating habitual dependency.
This is without allowing any one customer to be more that 18% of our total business in their category.
BTW- my wife hates it when I talk on these bulletin boards; she thinks I’m giving our competitors an advantage.
I sometimes feel the same way. I try to share how I have learned to be a better advertising machine and how to close sales. Am I thinking smartly when the guy down the block with some capital and half a brain opens his doors and utilizes my techniques? I think we all share a passion for marketing. Marketing by essence is to spread the word and that's what we do. I've slowed down a bit and now share with a chosen few whom that can offer complementary information in an area in which I may be weak.
I just realized for the first time the sting of "imitation" recently when someone who admired my web site copied it word for word onto her own (page after page).
When I found out I did 2 things - I sent to her an Email telling her to cease using my copy written materials immediately or to immediately pay to me $3500 for the rights to the materials. Additionally I notifed her that I was placing on my site a notation with a link to her site showing the world that she had copied my copy written materials word for word, telling her that that notice would remain on my site until such time as I was completely satisfied that she had removed all of my materials from her site, stressing to her that high profile that my site has and how I was sure that she would not want that type of negative press :no:
So Drew, I do understand..... However maybe one day in confidence you will please induldge me in the lesson of the "jumping bean" LOL
Yellow Pages, flyers, classified ad, graphics on the truck, and we have an ad on a local community website. I have also had my sales manager cold call for commercial accounts. It was very effective, but we haven't done that for a while.
Thanks, we’ve received tones of calls from our clients and want-to-be clients commenting on our Christmas cards that were send out this week. They’ve said it’s the coolest card they have ever seen. That says something when a client stops in their tracks in the middle of the day, just to call you and tell you how wonderful your marketing and communications are, and how wonderful you are as a business partner.
We love to hear comments like “You’re not like anyone else”. That just means we don’t have to compete with all of the other post construction cleaning companies. With careful planning and creative thinking, we have defined our own category. We’re not subjected to competing via bidding and industry pricing, or as seen as a commodity service provider.
The key is don’t think like a cleaning company. Throw everything out the window you think you know about marketing and customer communications and development and adopt new paradigms, a new set of rules. Almost like the Seinfeld episode where George is failing at everything he touches. Jerry, jokingly suggests that to change his luck, to change the path he is on, George has to, “Do the opposite of what he would normally do”.
Well it’s not as simple as that, but you get the idea. Good Luck.
Just got another call from a big construction company owner saying that was the best card he had ever received, that he has never called anyone before thanking them for just a Christmas card.
You would have thought we put a crisp 100 dollar bill in each card. LOL But its worth a million dollars in relationship building.
Well I’m really happy, because my wife is receiving a lot of the calls and it makes her feel special because she is over customer relations, and that all of her hard work, dedication and what she provides is appreciated. And that I’m not as crazy as she sometimes thinks.
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