Branding And Marketing Strategies Based On Personas Bring Success
Rex’s Outrageous Road Crew Crunch
Creating and using personas to guide your marketing works. Knowing who your audience is and what they want or need puts you in the driver’s seat when it comes to promoting your dealership’s products and services. Here’s a cautionary tale that underscores how understanding your persona – the embodiment of your target audience – can drive successful branding, product development and promotion. The story is true.
Trail mix has been a popular snack for years, at least among dedicated hikers. But what if your audience hits the road instead of the trail? Daren Rexroad – Rex to all who know him – grew up munching on his Grandma’s “Gravel,” a tasty mixture of peanuts, pretzels, cereal and white chocolate. As an adult, Rex expanded the concept by varying the ingredients. Urged to sell his products, he needed a marketing plan.
The brand strategy
Grandma had a clever and catchy name, to be sure, but who would buy and eat “Gravel”? Rex’s job brought him in contact with construction road crews, who commonly talked about gravel, not to mention asphalt, mud and any number of other job-related items substances. And no one needs a satisfying snack more than hard-working construction crews. Rex had found his marketing audience, and his target persona was born.
Accordingly, he named his brand Rex’s Outrageous Road Crew Crunch. For brand consistency that appealed to his persona, Rex continued to give road-related names to all his products. Along with Mud, Asphalt, Pothole and Backfill, he added seasonal varieties with names like Mistletow (as in tow truck) and Dead End (his Halloween special mix). You get the idea.
Some marketers might say he named his products using his keywords.
But Rex knew memorable branding requires more than snappy names. Presentation is paramount. So he developed packaging that reinforced his brand concept, using label illustrations that matched each product’s name – a roller for Asphalt, a dump truck for Mud, etc. And here he learned a vital lesson for all marketing strategies: profitability is the ultimate goal.
While the individually designed packaging was fun, it was too complex and, therefore, too costly. Rex streamlined his labels so they all depict a loader – easily recognizable to any construction worker and a consistent representation of his brand.
You can’t generate sales if you don’t get out there and sell your products or services. So Rex and his wife hit the road themselves, in search of customers and distributors, leaving their three employees behind to handle production operations. Not surprisingly, the Asphalt Institute got on board, as did the Associated General Contractors of Vermont, Rex’s home state.
An astute businessman, Rex also knew that commercial companies would love his products even more if they could get in on the branding benefits. So he promotes an option to add a message about the company to the back of each Road Crew Crunch bag. Lakeside Industries, a large paving concern in the Pacific Northwest, couldn’t resist that offer and purchased a sizeable order of – what else? – Asphalt Crunch mix.
The moral of the story
Rex’s Outrageous Road Crew Crunch is on the road to success. It might have started with Grandma’s tasty snack, but Rex was able to take the product to new heights because he knew winning marketing strategies need two elements: a winning product and a memorable brand that resonates with the audience. Defining his marketing persona enabled him to link one with the other.