Marketing is a mind-set based on your integrity and belief in your service. The way you market yourself causes a certain perception in the mind of the public which causes individuals to react to your message or ignore it. You are your business and no one can represent your values, work ethic and pride like you can. So it’s important to always project an aura of professionalism, quality and proper grooming.
When someone asks you what you do for a living, instead of telling them you’re a drycleaner, begin to think in terms of being a “problem solver.” Say something like, “I help people who enjoy quality clothing keep their clothes looking and lasting longer.” Then incorporate this problem solving mentality into your advertising messages. Skip the jargon and technical cleaning terms. Instead, solve your target market’s problems. Stress benefits, not features and show your customers you value quality results with excellent customer service.
Decide, whether are you a full service or discount dry cleaner. Either way your store, inside and out must reflect this decision. Your personnel, advertising and quality must reflect this chosen perception.
How do you know when you’re reaching the right market? Ask yourself.
Do the people you want to do business with have the money?
Will they pay a premium for better service and quality?
Where is your competition weakest in your trading area?
Which influential clients in your community can you service that will give you credibility and great references?
How can you make sure your prospects know they need the services you offer?
Sometimes the demands of the business blind us to what our customers think are our strengths. When your customers can identify your strengths you have advertising fodder to attract new customers, with a message that they can relate to. I encourage you to ask your best, most trusted customers….
“What is it that makes your company so good?”
“What do you value about the way your company gets the job done?”
“What do you value about the way your company treats you?”
Perception is what makes marketing work. There is very little difference in dry cleaning plants that use the same cleaning solutions, offer the same services and deliver on their promises. To market correctly, you have to consistently build a perception in the mind of the consumer about what makes you different.
Is it that you’re more trustworthy than your competition? Do you know more about difficult cleaning situations? Does your plant have more modern resources or respond quicker to customer’s requests?
What innovative marketing ideas have you implemented recently? Do you have the capacity to service large corporate clients, hotels or the wedding market?
When you sit down to craft a persuasive results oriented marketing message, keep problem solving your target market in mind and think about what is the reason people need you, specifically to solve their dry cleaning problems. How do you know you’ve written the right message? When your prospect reads your message and says, “That’s me!”
For example, to position yourself as the “tough stain remover” a headline like this would command immediate attention, don’t you think? “Are you constantly switching dry cleaners because of hard to remove stains?” See the difference?
Use the benefit of your service from your client’s point of view. Ask yourself, what is the problem most of my customers face? How can my unique talents, resources, people and services best meet and solve these challenges?
This is why non-intrusive marketing vehicles like newsletters, e-zines and community based sponsorships are so persuasive and powerful. You can deliver this message in the form of articles, samples, case studies and educational materials in a way that your customers and prospects will appreciate.
To make marketing work, attract the right customer base and send them messages which show why you are different, unique and able to handle their toughest cleaning cases.
Allan J. Katz is a marketing consultant specializing in helping dry cleaners attract and keep customers. He is the author of the Ultimate Marketing System for Dry Cleaners (http://drycleanerprofits.com) and Addictive Entrepreneurship (http://allanjkatz.com). He can be reached at (901) 685-3256.