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Local Business Marketing: a blast from the past

Face of the brand

When I got started on updating my blog, I was disappointed to find that one of my most popular blog posts about local business marketing had been lost somewhere along the way.

Persistence pays and I found the original copy so I can republish it. A few years have past, but the message to local business is even more important than ever.

So, here it is: with a few slight changes:

Your Business Needs a “Flo”

I just checked my mailbox, and there was Flo, striking a pose.

You know Flo, the enthusiastic Insurance Agent from Progressive. The one who gets SOOOOO excited about helping customers save money on their property insurance?

Because of my years in local business marketing, I know hundreds of property and casualty insurance people, from representatives to agency owners. But, I opened the envelope.

Why?  Just to see what’s new with Flo.

And that is the genius of Flo. In the nameless, faceless world we live in, Flo is a face you know and someone you “trust.”

“Flo” brands the most impersonal business. Property and casualty rates are highly regulated, and insurance agents can’t offer “sales” or discounts. Progressive is a huge company that sells online and through Independent Agents. With her perky smile and retro “big hair,” she is warm and funny and connects on a human level. Flo makes it personal.

Actually, “Flo” is a stand-up comedienne in LA. As the “Progressive Agent” she has gathered a huge following. People seek her advice on hairdo’s and Halloween Costumes.

You, however, are the real thing – a living breathing human that can connect with your prospects in genuine way.

While I don’t recommend red lipstick and big hair for everyone, I do have some ideas about how you can create a powerful brand for your company. A powerful brand starts with passion.

1) Always be memorable – Cheryl Webb is a REALTOR® with Keller Williams in Frisco, Texas. Not just any REALTOR® – she’s the Red Shoes REALTOR®! She turned her passion for crimson footwear into a powerful brand. Several years ago, she was featured on the front page of the local newspaper sitting on a pile of – you guessed it – red shoes. In the seven years I lived in the Dallas area, I met hundreds of Realtors. Cheryl is the one I remember.

2) Express your values – There was a restaurant owner in Atlanta who was committed to closing his restaurant on Sunday to give himself and his employees a day of rest. Experts in the restaurant business said it wouldn’t work. The restaurant developed a fanatical following and became a leader in the Quick Service Industry. Today, Chick-fil-A has over 1400 locations and is listed as a Most Admired Company.

3) Have fun with it – If you do, your clients and customers will, too! Think about what puts a sparkle in your eye and a spring in your step. When you share it with others, it will evoke the desired reaction.

I challenge you to put more of yourself in your marketing effort. What is it about YOU! that makes you the one to choose from the thousands of other insurance agents, financial advisors, chiropractors, dentist, and real estate agents Google finds in twenty seconds?

Get out of your comfort zone and give it a try. What is it you that clients can connect with? Please share your thoughts.

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