It has been a long winter already here in North Dakota where Anchor Marketing is located. News reports say that our snowfall so far as been close to average, but it doesn’t seem like it if you drive around town. Enormous piles of snow on berms and corners make our streets look a little like a sub-zero game of Dig Dug from 1982. Crossing the street using anything short of a giant pickup is a hazard, since the snow is too high for you to see in either direction. Anyone who has lived in North Dakota during winter can relate to that dreaded half second when you finally stomp on the accelerator and hope that you aren’t flattened by an 18-wheeler who can’t see your Geo Metro darting out from the hidden parking lot of Taco Johns.
What we have, then, is a paradox. How can we have an average amount of snow but above average snow piles? The answer, strangely enough, is related to marketing and branding. You see, North Dakota blizzards tend to move snow around – a lot. For example, it’s not uncommon for a strong wind to remove the light, dry snow in your front yard (sometimes down to the grass) and push it all into drifts in your driveway (so you can fire up your snowblower and blow it someplace else).
In short, it’s less about volume and more about location.
Once a howling north wind has clogged your driveway with snow, all you can do is pile it up on the sides. There’s nothing quite like using a shovel to hurl snow over your head like some sadistic Olympic sport sponsored by the American Association of Chiropractors. After it’s all said and done, there isn’t any more snow than before the wind began, it’s just moved into a different place and piled into a different shape.
That moving and shaping causes everyone to look at all of the snow piles and say things like “this has to be the worst winter in history,” when it’s really just another North Dakota February. Talk about branding! If you do the same thing with your marketing, you can build your brand into any shape you want.
Want to be known as the bank that caters to millennials? It’s possible. Want to be the distributor who always delivers on time? Just move your snow around into the right shapes, and you can create a perception that is as good as reality.
If everybody says it’s the worst winter ever, you can sell a lot of snow shovels – no matter what the meteorologists say.
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