I’ve been thinking about advertising a lot lately. Every fiber of my being tells me we need to do more. But what kind of advertising is right for a residential cleaning service?
According to various people I have known in business, everything we do is advertising. New lettering on the van? Advertising. New uniform shirts? Advertising. Driving down I35 the wrong way? Well, it IS a form of advertising, but officially they don’t recommend it. Officially. Notice the phrase “have known”, above. None of these people are still in business.
I have noticed a lot of different, yet retro, advertising done by various businesses around the Twin Cities lately. A bread company near us has hauled out the “person-in-a-gorilla-suit” form of advertising. Someone dresses up in a gorilla suit and stands by the road waving like a crazy person at all the cars that go by. He or she (I say this because I have no idea who was in the suit) was out there every day for about two weeks. I remember thinking several things when I would see this; “I wonder how much they pay someone to do that?” “That suit must get hot.” “If that’s a rental suit, I wonder what it smells like.” The one thing I did not think was, “Oh, a person in a gorilla suit! That reminds me, I need some freshly baked bread!”
Some of the national oil change chains are putting their employees out on the street these days, too. Although they have a little more class and don’t make them wear gorilla suits. The employees simply wear their uniforms and hold signs touting quick service or a certain special. This may actually work, but it seems to harken back to the days of sandwich board advertising. Neither of these methods would work for us, because we don’t work out of one location.
So, what kind of cost-effective advertising is best for us? Direct mail? We get postcards in the mail every so often from one of the national chain cleaning services. I won’t say their name but it rhymes with gleaning…shoot. Does anyone know a word that rhymes with authority? Oops. Anyhow, I’ve never seen one of their vehicles within a 10 mile radius of my home, so I’m not sure how effective that is.
When it comes right down to it, the best advertising you can do, it seems to me, is your job. If you do your job and do it better than anyone else. If you put pride and care into what you do. If you treat people well and have a positive outlook, they will remember you and think positively about you and recommend you to others. And the cool thing is, that this type of advertising works for any business, not just cleaning businesses. Added bonus: You don’t need to put on a gorilla suit!
What type of advertising have you done that failed miserably?