Maybe you’ve noticed how much confusion there is out there when it comes to marketing. There’s a lot of noise being generated over terms like “branding,” “social media,” “content,” or “digital marketing.” It can be hard to wrap your head around this stuff and even harder to choose a marketing company to work with.
We actually believe that too much of the money being spent on “marketing” these days is wasted as a result of this confusion. There are literally thousands of marketing tactics to choose from and too many so-called “marketing professionals” trying to hawk the latest “silver bullet” (SEO, anyone?)
What few people realize is that there is something more fundamentally wrong with their brand than not being on the latest social media platform.
The one thing that is holding many landscape companies back from greater profits and growth is this… their STORY!
Meet Scott Wentworth…
Early in January 2013, Scott Wentworth, owner and president of Wentworth Landscapes in Southern Ontario, asked to meet with us at Landscape Ontario’s Congress — the annual trade show held each year in Toronto.
Scott is a visionary. He has big ideas, good ideas and GREAT ideas. And lots of them. But when it came to communicating his ideas to the marketplace, Scott had a problem. Scott was stuck.
He had used web companies with terrible results in the past. Revenue was now stagnant after many years. Scott was poised for growth, but needed help. He needed a story. These are the three things we told Scott he had to do in order to tell his story well.
- Know Who You Are
- Clarify Your Message
- Distribute Strategically
1. Know Who You Are
Take the time to really understand who you are and what makes you compelling to your ideal customers.
We recognize that this may sound like common sense. But you know what they say about common sense — it’s not all that common. Many of our clients, when challenged, struggle to concisely and succinctly communicate the following...
- Why their organization exists
- How they’re different from their competitors
- What it is they do specifically
- Who their ideal customers are
And being unable to articulate these key points clearly causes many business leaders numerous problems. Problems internally with their team, and out there in the marketplace as they try to attract new clients.
That’s why, as part of defining who you are, we recommend that every company develop the following statements.
1. A Mission Statement
Explaining briefly but convincingly why your organization exists.
2. A Vision Statement
A compelling picture of how life can be different for your customers when they choose to work with you.
3. Their Values
A list of no more than five principles that are absolutely critical for you and your team. These will help drive alignment and accountability on your team.
4. A Unique Selling Proposition
Also known as a unique value proposition (USP or UVP) and sometimes called your positioning. This describes how you’re unique, how you’re different and defines your competitive advantage.
5. An Ideal Customer Profile
A description of who your ideal customer is, including details about...
- Where they live
- Their financial situation
- Their unique personality
- Their goals & aspirations
- Their lifestyle preferences
- Their pain points
2. Clarify Your Message
In today’s noisy and crowded marketplace, it’s more important than ever to be clear with your message. Those who confuse, lose.
This is equally true for attracting new business as it is for attracting new employees, especially talented “A-players” to your team.
Your website, in particular, needs to be crystal clear in its content and presentation of that content. It's critical that within 10 seconds of landing on your homepage, a visitor to your website can determine:
- Who you are
- What business you’re in
- What it is that you can do for people
- How they can get it
Dress for Success
The presentation of this content also speaks volumes about your brand and your ability to help people. Designing a brand identity system that allows you to manage a consistent and attractive presentation of your message across a variety of mediums like websites, vehicles, site signage and advertising is also critical to a clear message.
3. Distribute Strategically
First, choose which channels you'll share your message on. Second, decide when and how often you'll repeat that message. And third, measure the results and make necessary adjustments.
Marketing is not something that you wind up once and let go. It’s a process of learning where your customers are, when they’re there and what they respond to.
This tends to change, which is why constant measurement, analysis and adjustment is necessary.
Back to Scott’s Story…
We hope you can now see why it’s important to do these three things in this particular order. Trying to distribute a message without first clarifying that message is a waste of time and money.
It’s why some say that, “advertising is the tax for unremarkable thinking.”
Trying to craft a message without a deep understanding of who you are, what you do, how you do it differently, and who you do it for only results in confusing or ambiguous language — language that won’t move people to action. Remember, if you confuse, you lose.
We can’t tell you how many times we’ve seen business owners rush into designing and building a website without identifying who they are and what makes them uniquely different. Many also don’t clarify this message first. They experience constant frustration, blowing their budgets and ending up with zero positive business results.
Over the last 15 years of working with owners of small- to medium-size landscape firms, we’ve seen our clients experience huge benefits. Once they think things through properly and take the time to craft an effective message, they’re able to take that message to the marketplace through appropriate channels. And the results speak for themselves.
Our conversation with Scott back in 2013 was the beginning of a multi-year relationship between our two companies. He doubled his business in the first five years.
See how we did it below.
Wentworth’s new brand identity included a new name, clear messaging, an inspiring tagline, a fresh new look & feel, and beautifully designed collateral.
And here’s what the sales numbers looked like before and after Wentworth began rebranding with Compass Creative.
We’ve heard somewhere that business is an “intellectual sport.” We like that. It captures the complexity and the difficulty of business. There are thousands of moving parts to your business. And there are thousands of “little touches” required to build a reputable and memorable brand. But it also captures something of the excitement and the challenge of it all — something that we know gets you out of bed in the morning and keeps life interesting.
We think landscape professionals are some of the most fascinating people out there. Our mission is to help them grow their businesses so that they can do more of the good work that they’re already doing, enhancing people’s lives through the places that they live, work, and play in.
If you’re a landscaper who’s interested in marketing more effectively, schedule a call with our President, Jason Bouwman.