Top Of Mind Awareness is the main goal of every lawn care business interested in growth. Think about it, if someone called your business and said ‘you were the first people we thought of for this job’ wouldn’t that absolutely make your day? Doesn’t higher customer awareness = higher sales = higher profits? It seems to make logical sense, but should you be spending most of your time trying to dominate your area with Top Of Mind Awareness marketing? That is a topic we discussed on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.
One lawn care business owner wrote “how do you create brand awareness? I’d say it first starts with getting a good logo and sticking with it. Put it on all of your advertising material. Then use that marketingÂ material a LOT. Make fliers, business cards, signs, banners, even newspaper, TV and radio ads. Anything to get your name out there. Eventually, people will know who you are. When you market to them specifically with cold calls, door-to-door visits, etc, they will already be familiar with your company and your services. This should make it easier for you to sell.
As I sit here, I can think of two other lawn care businesses in my area that stand out. One of them is nothing special. It’s just that they are a big company, I see their trucks everywhere I go and they have been around for a long time. Another lawn care company I see, I remember them because their trucks are all painted yellow and green. They might have a couple of them or they could have a lot, I don’t know but I remember them because of their paint color. They are all painted lime green with some nice advertisement graphics. Their crew wears matching lime green shirts to complete the theme. When someone sees them, they say ‘hey, we see that lawn care company all over town. They must do some good work. There are truck and trailers all over the place around here with people doing lawns, but I want to hire the professional company that really stands out.’
But not so fast says one marketing expert who wrote “should Top Of Mind Awareness be one of your goals? Long term, yes, but definitely not short term. It’s much too expensive and in terms of ’smart marketing’ for a small business, it’s anything but.
Yes, a good logo is important, but even more important than that is a strong USP orÂ (unique sales proposition). One that communicates very clearly the benefits your customers will receive. You should include this USP on everything you send out.
A perfect example is from a product called Head-On. Their USP is ‘apply directly to the forehead’. Nobody remembers the logo, but they 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 lawn care business of choice. However, create a strong USP that makes a strong case for you and you’ll now be cooking.
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 with a list of five thousand 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.
This is such an important lesson, I need to repeat it. Don’t try to tackle a list of 5K prospects. Unless you have the budget for it, it’s foolish and expensive.
Instead, starting with a list of 1,500 carefully selected prospects within your target area will help you more easily become the lawn care business of choice in your area. Contact those clients 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.
Creating a great USP is definitely not an easy thing to achieve, for any business. Aside from the consistent contact I mentioned previously, it takes a killer USP to really make people stop and say, ‘wow’.
The secret to coming up with a great USP is to use one that no one else has the guts to use because they are just too afraid or too conservative to use. Once you have it, you then need to 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 you 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 marketing dollars annually. It’s so we won’t forget who they are. And that’s even after decades of spending that kind of coin!!”