This post is about one of the most difficult things for marketers to do in our industry: tell a story. Every brand and company has a story, and it’s one of the biggest marketing resources in your possession.
How can you refine your company’s marketing narrative? To help you on your journey, let’s take a look back.
Topper Linen and Uniform Service: A Case Study
Topper Linen and Uniform Service in Toronto is a fairly large independent that has about 25 routes and has been around for over 60 years. The owners and management of the company are first-class people in every way and had done a tremendous job building their business over the decades. Unfortunately for them, a couple of years ago disaster struck their business.
What started as a small spark turned into a massive fire that completely burned down one of their plants.
This is the worst nightmare for most laundry owners because customers are loyal until their linen and uniforms aren’t delivered, and then they will jump ship in a heartbeat. Decades of growth and great service can disappear in a week, causing century-old businesses to literally close their doors. This is unfortunately what we saw with Superior Linen and Apparel this year.
Topper was thankfully able to quickly switch everything to their other plants and solidify their business within a week which was a massive undertaking. Most businesses would have stopped at that point, caught their breath and continued to run their day-to-day business, but Topper did something extraordinary. They told a story to their local community.
They shared how hard they had worked to rebuild their business, distinguishing themselves as a locally-owned company that was a part of the community. They shared about how tragedy struck and how their business was literally set on fire. This story spread throughout the area they service and the response from the local community was overwhelmingly positive and supportive. Local companies decided to work with Topper because of the fire. Why? Because Topper had a marketing narrative that they could rally behind and support.
Prospects worked with Topper because by doing so they received more then just linen and uniforms: they received a sense of pride for sticking with the local company who was going through a hard time. Business exploded for Topper and they filled their remaining plants while they were rebuilding the one that was burned down. Their existing customer base became less price sensitive, allowing Topper to increase their overall margin.
How to Find a Good Story without Lighting a Match
I’m not suggesting your marketing department sets a plant on fire for a story, but you all have a great story if you look. I don’t know all of your stories, but I know they are there.
I’m not talking about a basic “about us” page type of story, but instead a story that grips people’s hearts and evokes real emotion. Sure, it’s great that you’ve been in business 100 years and yes that solidifies my belief that you can provide a great service, but in no way does it tug at my heartstrings.
Instead of reviewing Google Analytics for the 100th time this month, focus on humanizing your brand and creating a sense in the local community that you are more than a laundry. If you can’t come up with a story about your business as a whole, then go more granular and give a story to the true faces of your organization: your route reps. Every one of them has a story to be told. Just ask and then tell their stories to your customers and watch how retention rates rise. Our customers are humans, not numbers. Capitalize on that.
There is no excuse for you to not be telling stories to your community. It has never been easier or more efficient to captivate an audience through social media, YouTube, or any of the countless other digital mediums at your fingertips. We are exposed to roughly 5,000 ads a day, which means that we’ve gotten really good at ignoring them. So, don’t just run ads promoting sales! Use your marketing narrative to get people’s attention, win their business and maintain their loyalty. If we as an industry can do that, we will not only grow our businesses, but also inspire people in a small way.
Craft Your Marketing Narrative with Infinite Laundry
We have all the tools you need to tell your story in a unique and fresh way, from eye-popping designs to attention-grabbing content. We can help you stand out! Contact us today to learn more about our marketing services.