We turned the containers we manufacture into a brand, a lifestyle, a household word. We created a lifestyle through a COWs language, characters and marketing programs that maximize these things. Our containers and business philosophy swung 180-degrees from being brandless to being all about the COWs brand.
We are a manufacturing company. We do not import our containers from overseas. We are not a sales organization or a marketing group. To get noticed and "mooove" ahead of the herd, we needed to be more than just a container company. We needed to be a well-received brand to our prospective dealers and their ultimate customers. Let’s say we took that red-hot branding iron and made an indelible mark on the storage industry.
While that seems self-serving to say, it’s not meant that way. My intention is to simply share with you a real example in which a brand absolutely changed a business. And now, with more than 50 locations around the country, our brand has changed many other businesses. Maybe a fresh look at your use of branding can help improve your business like it did ours.
Buying Into the Brand
There is risk in branding. Sometimes your message can be lost if you get too extreme or obscure with your choice. But that’s where you have to trust your personal tastes and preferences. Trust that you will know in your heart what people in your town will relate to. Run your ideas past your friends and family. After all, these are the same people who will be your actual customer base.
At COWs we opted for a whimsical, fun style of branding because that’s our personality. Since effective branding should influence your company culture, be sure you enjoy it. We have all heard the expression “drink the Kool-Aid.” Be sure you’re ready to drink your own Kool-Aid when it comes to your choice of branding. The folks at Kool-Aid certainly have. And they’re doing pretty darn well. So if you think there’s room for improvement in your business, take a hard look at your branding and ask yourself these questions:
- Is our brand memorable?
- Is our brand effectively projecting the service we provide?
- Is our brand projecting our company personality?
Only you can provide the answers. Once you do, you should be able to start your journey in one of two directions: You'll either launch a new brand for your company, or you’ll have great confidence to leave your brand as it is. Only you can decide.
David Nathan is vice president of rectangles for COWs Mobile Storage, which offers a mobile-storage dealership program. He has been with the company since the day the barn doors first opened. He and his team work “hand in hoof” with COWs dealers to implement proprietary marketing programs while maximizing their use of the COWs brand. The COWs Dealership Program is specifically designed to bolt on to and enhance a self-storage business. For more information, call 866.438.2269; visit www.866-get-a-cow.com .