Too often the gold-standard for excellence in marketing are big companies. The leadership of Steve Jobs at Apple and his attention to design and functionality; The brilliant use of Michael Jordan celebrity endorsements for Nike; Nordstrom’s commitment to retail customer service; and Southwest Airline’s lighthearted approach to no-frills air travel to name just a few. They are all inspiring success stories.
Small business owners can learn much from their examples. However, in the process of preparing for a marketing presentation in a St. Louis suburb (Kirkwood, Missouri) it dawned on me that local examples of marketing innovation might be more fun for the members of Chamber of Commerce to ponder. Here you go. Five (5) terrific examples of businesses in the St. Louis region that deserve recognition for making marketing the point of difference.
1. Frederic Roofing – For a hole in your roof, or a whole new roof, Frederic Roofing! St. Louisans have all heard the radio jingle and understand in an instant the positioning of this company.
2. Pleats – Dry cleaners who will pick up and drop off your dry cleaning. The company has just two locations but once you have seen their retro images on their pick up and delivery vehicles and you learn about their approach to business, you can’t help but be drawn to a completely different dry cleaner experience.
3.Waterway Gas & Wash – Waterway offers a range of services for detailing your vehicle. They hustle and they offer added value. It almost makes your forget about the price of Gasoline. The St. Louis based company has locations in St. Louis, Kansas City and Denver metropolitan areas. Clearly the business model is scalable.
4.NaDoz Café, with just two locations in St. Louis, offers everything you would expect from a Starbucks but with more attention to menu and convenience while expanding slowly but surely into early evening offerings as a Wine Bar.
5. TriLeaf Designs is an advertising services firm that doesn’t want to be a giant mega agency. They love small business. The owner of the shop is satisfied with managing a full menu of services for a small business to present itself as a brand with a fully integrated marketing program from business cards to robust web and social media strategy.
If you live in St. Louis you may be familiar with these companies. If you live elsewhere, I’m sure there are examples in your community of entrepreneurs applying the principals of marketing to differentiate themselves to win business and grow.