The Pink Pig: A Story About Branding

The content of this article was presented as an in-person session at International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo 2019 in New Orleans.

The Branding Package
Business truly is about building a relationship. How does a store build that strong feeling and recognition in the customer’s heart and head? I believe it’s the complete package of the business that the customer falls in love with.

Branding is the lifeblood of your business. It’s everything you do to keep your business alive! The question all stores need to ask themselves is, “How does my business become the top choice for my customer and better yet, maintain that status?” Let’s ask your customer.

The Customer Perspective
Can your customer describe your outdoor living business in detail by just hearing the name? Does the website mirror the color and style of the name on the outside of your business? Do your business cards, truck advertising, store appearance, uniforms, social media posts and any other means of advertising cement that recognition in your customer’s mind?

Enter: The Pink Pig
This story shares the importance of having something that you do or offer be so unique that people will share that uniqueness with everyone they know.

I was speaking at an outdoor living tradeshow a few years ago. I was walking the show floor as I always do before I speak, to get a feel of the new products that are being offered. I’m always on the hunt for something different that I can share in my session.

And then I spied it. In the back corner of the show floor, there she was like a beacon. She was amazing! 

The Traeger Grill company is the industry leader and originator of the Wood Pellet Grill. Out of all those black grills stood one that was different from all the rest, she was a pink pig!

She had eyelashes and a face you couldn’t help to smile at! A Traeger representative asked if I was interested in their “pink pig?” You bet I was! As he told me about all the advantages of their grills, he also was aware that I was even more interested in what type of food items I could prepare on her.

However, I just had to ask one question. Who buys a pink pig grill? She is cute and certainly a conversation starter, but really, a pink pig?

His response: dealers!

He told me how dealers will roll her out in their parking lots, fire her up and offer hot dogs or brats or hamburgers to anyone who stops by. And why do they stop? Because they are driving nearby and catch an intoxicating whiff of something grilling, and ask, “Where is that coming from?”

The answer? It’s the pool store that has the “PINK PIG!” That is how the customer describes that pool store. They don’t talk about chemicals or noodles, or even customer service. Customers talk about their one unique item, their “pink pig.”

Traeger’s website states, “Our consumers are fiercely loyal and have a passion for our product.” 

Creating Passion for Your Product
What is the one thing that you offer that creates a passion in your customers' minds? If you don’t offer or do something unique, then you are merely a commodity that I can probably buy online and don’t need to make the trip to your store.

It might not be a “pink pig” which brings your customers back, but I bet that it is something your customers can't find anywhere else, that makes them remember your brand and share their experiences.

Build continuity in everything you do in your business to develop your brand. Make it one your customer remembers and loves the “feeling” they get when they think of it and wants to share all the details with other potential customers.

What is the one thing that you offer that creates a passion in your customer’s mind? If you don’t offer or do something unique, then you are merely a commodity that I can probably buy online and don’t need to make the trip to your store.

About the Author
Anne Obarski works with organizations who want to SPARK on purpose! Anne provides strategic “spark" ideas to the companies she privately coaches and speaks to. They see their repeat customers referring others along the way as a result of their enviable, repeatable, and remarkable, customer service. Contact her at anne@merchandiseconcepts.com. Or visit her website.