Every business (for-profit and nonprofit) is marketing like crazy today. Online, offline, we’re all at it. -- some better than others. But we’re all kind of doing the same things, aren’t we?
Now, consider the fact that using history as a strategic marketing tool is DIFFERENT – and that alone will make you stand out in the crowd!
Here are some ideas to get you going:
• Learn your business history. Please don’t wait for an anniversary, because there are stories to be told and opportunities to connect with new audiences just waiting for you. This is especially true if you’re an older business or if you’re a family business. People really do love to know your unique story! Tell it proudly on your website, in your marketing materials, and onsite. Find key dates (like your founder’s birthday) and use those as excuses for press releases, special events, and special offers.
• Identify a popular history-related activity in your town you can proudly support – one that will reach a large number of people. A new school curriculum? A lecture series? The publication of a new book? A collections digitization project? The creation of a new walking tour? By affiliating yourself with good work in this way, you will attract attention and the gratitude of your community.
• Initiate a history-related event for your community. By taking the initiative, you will demonstrate leadership AND the fact that you care about local history. Work with your historical society, library, museum, college history department, National Park Service site – whatever makes sense in your community – but be very visible on the committee, in publicity, and at the event. You could create an event in honor of National Women’s History Month (March) or celebrate the anniversary of your town’s founding, its most important historic house, or a native son/daughter’s birthday.
Read up on your local history and think about what’s NOT being done. Then do it!
Your initiative will truly make you stand out in the crowd of other businesses, and by aligning yourself with local history you will stand out with class, stature, and good judgment.
2011 © Bonnie Hurd Smith
History Smiths works with service-oriented businesses to use history — their own and their community's — to achieve customer loyalty, referrals, and high status. Subscribe (above, right) to our free Ezine, Connections, where we share ideas and examples of businesses embracing history to achieve business goals.