March 2017 Chairman’s Column
By: Robert Fraser
Stereotypes and Catch Phrases
Sounds like the title of a long-lost Willie Nelson album, doesn't it? The dictionary defines a stereotype as "a preconceived notion, especially about a group of people." You know that our industry is riddled with stereotypes, whether justified or not. Most of our customers certainly have a preconceived notion of what they may expect during their moving experience. Most of those preconceived notions are negative, based upon what they've seen or heard in the news, in the movies or from friends and neighbors who have had bad experiences. We must, as an industry, constantly strive to reassure our customers of the value of hiring a licensed and insured mover. At the same time, we need to assure them that the quality of the people who represent our companies are not what their stereotypical or preconceived notions are.
A fun way to reassure our customers is to create a tagline or catch phrase that represents who and what we are. These catch phrases can be whimsical or funny, professional or serious and should convey a message that you want to get across.
Years ago, it became apparent that I needed to write a brief overview to different groups that I wanted to introduce my company to. These were Chamber of Commerce groups, network marketing groups, real estate groups (among others) and I wanted it to be memorable. I had remembered reading something somewhere that stated that if you wanted to grab a small group's attention, you should use the "Did-You-Know-Well-and-So" technique. Here's what I came up with:
"DID YOU KNOW - [That] not all movers were created equal. We've all heard the horror stories and seen the stereotypes. The ones where the movers are smelly, grouchy, offensive, careless and moon you while picking up your furniture.
WELL - [We] at Redwood Moving & Storage strive to break that perception of these [stereotypical] movers. Our men are professionally trained and qualified to provide quality services, at a reasonable cost, on time and with positive attitudes! We provide services for all of your moving needs, whether local or long distance, large or small, residential or commercial.
SO - Why See The Moons Of Other Movers When You Can See The Sunshine Of Ours!"
Believe it or not, I came up with my catch phrase while taking an early morning shower. The sun was just coming up and I really don't know where the moon aspect came from! Obviously, my message is to direct consumers, in a roundabout way, to do their due diligence and hire legitimate movers. That's the signal that we all need to send. What better way to do that than with a message and a memorable catch phrase that touches our customers funny bone or emotions and at the same time breaks that stereotypical mover barrier!
Come to Rancho Mirage to learn other marketing/sales techniques at the 99th annual CMSA Convention.
Looking forward to seeing you all in May!