It's All About Brand Recognition

We often think of 'name recognition' when we consider marketing. But your company is more than a name - your company is a brand. In today’s world, that brand totality is more important than ever.

Entrepreneur defines it like this: 

"An effective brand strategy gives you a major edge in increasingly competitive markets. But what exactly does 'branding' mean? Simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from that of your competitors. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be."

I think Ken Lain from Watters Garden Center is the perfect example of someone who gets "brand marketing". Ken, who calls himself the "Mountain Gardener," has developed Watters Garden Center into a brand that represents much more than flowers and veggies in a pot. Yes, you can buy flowers and vegetable plants there, but because of Watters, you can be a better gardener yourself. They sell products to help improve your gardening efforts and they teach you how and why to use those products. 

Let’s look at some takeaways from what Ken does that can be applied to any business:

1. Ken is consistent. When you see the Watters Garden Center logo, it’s always the same. He uses the same fonts, the same colors. He doesn’t mess with his logo. 
Takeaway: Be consistent in how you present your company. 

2. Ken knows his stuff - and he’s become the face of Watters Garden Center. Talk to Ken for 2 minutes, and you know he is truly an expert in his field. I’ve sent him pictures of things on a leaf and he instantly knew A) What it was, and B) What to do about it. If something won’t work, he’ll tell you that, too. Ken is not a pretender.
Takeaway: Make sure you know your product and its value, inside and out. 

3. Ken is accessible. You know where Watters is - on Iron Springs Road, in Prescott, of course, but also on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, radio, podcasts. He offers gardening classes every Saturday. If you want a great public speaker, ask for Ken. 
Takeaway: Make it easy for your customers to see you and reach you.

4. Ken gives back to the community. Go to a chamber mixer, and there’s a good chance someone will win a flower pot of some sort from Watters Garden Center. Heck, he even opens the Garden Center up for events such as Grapes for Grades, and helps raise tens of thousands of dollars for non-profits. 
Takeaway: Find ways to give back to the community, even if you can’t afford to do much. 

5. Ken is a valuable associate & partner. If Ken works with you, he will help promote your business, too. Growers and product manufacturers are frequently invited to share during his garden classes and special events. When he’s speaking, he may mention your business by name. He refers people to you when appropriate. He’s great at networking. Ken loves finding ways to make win-wins.
Takeaway: Find ways to make those you work beside look good!

None of these takeaways are rocket science. But in a hometown community, all of these are important. They are the foundation of any marketing efforts in a hyper-local market. 


By the way, just so you know, Ken didn’t know we were going to write about him and Watters Garden Center. This isnot some planned or paid-for marketing piece. Truthfully, these are our observations based on years of working beside and supportingWatters Garden Center. You just can’t find a better community partner to model after.

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