John’s lawn care brand is very easy to recognize. Green vans, green uniform, green badges, and green souvenirs with logo for free – green is the center of the company. He definitely mastered the art of brand awareness – he found the right way to remind people of his service, just like bitten apple reminds us of Apple.
Second, John’s customer relations manager are always on the phone ready to address any questions. Clients can reach them even without listening to the long menu of choices. That is pretty much it: the only way to contact GreenForLife is either an email or phone.
Ashley has been running the tutoring service for many years now. The town has about 20,000 students in K-12 grades, the target group for the tutoring service. About 3 years ago, the brand has seen steady growth and turned into a so-called service monopoly, but on the local level.
Right in 2015, this progressive and forward-looking CEO registered Facebook profile for her business. With just few clicks, she established media presence and started her marketing campaign online. You’d be surprised how this decision changed the brand.
Two years down the road, Ashley had all mothers from the town following the page. No phones, no emails, just social media. The tutoring service grew larger and plans to open the online platform to expand their customer segment.
With growing outside-of-town audience, the service experiences decline in their local segment.
Electrical services LightUp has been around for about 4 years. As of now, company provides service to Connecticut and suburbs of NY state. David developed his own branding and communication strategy. Something like a door-to-door sales, but a 21st century version.
David has both the phone and email list of all his customers. And, he always has a story to tell. Every Friday, Facebook followers get LIVE broadcast of Markus, the head electrician, who shares his life hacks and expertise at 9:30pm every week.
LightUp became a successful social media brand. More and more people follow the Facebook and subscribe to newsletter, but the number of customers does not grow as exponentially as number of followers.
His customers are always welcome to share their feedback online, but there is no hotline they could call to.
Now that you’ve read all these cases, here are the questions for you to answer:
Rank each of the following from least to most important:
What are the characteristics of your target audience: size, location, objectives, behavior?
How well do you brand and story relate to the services you provide?
How often do you talk to your customers in-person?
What is unique about your brand?
Your answers should line up to one branding strategy that you should test on your business.
And, before you start doing that, read the following professional review on each of the cases we gave you above:
John has got the best customer relations of all: he is quick to reach and quick on solution. But, his business won’t grow unless he takes on social media and spread around the message about his brand and story. As of now, he has successful small business that is ready to grow into a mid-size.
Ashley used Facebook as her channel to finding and expanding customers. But, branding is all about connecting with your users, not just finding them. Her customer strategy has gone off the course: the number of interested potential clients grows, yet her business fails to increase the number of loyal customers. The solution is to personalize the brand and stay connected to each user through any platform.
David has revolutionized his brand through Facebook – he created a great social media platform. However, most importantly, he forgot about his service. The Facebook page turned into entertainment and educational platform. Gaining followers, he did not increase the number of actual users because there was no incentive for people to order his service: all the information was given away for free. Rule of thumb with social media is to tell story and not reveal your secrets, let your customers wonder what’s next to come. Finally, always talk about your brand and the service, don’t go off the route.