5 Ways To Get Alaskans To Notice You - Fine Point: Anchorage Alaska Advertising Agency

5 Ways To Get Alaskans To Notice You

What makes you different? Great customer service? Awesome, just like every other business.

Maybe you’re local — cool, but, so is the guy down the street.

It’s not always easy to stand out in a crowded market.  Below are five framing techniques that will get more Alaskan customers to notice you.

Focus on a Customer

There are many credit unions in Alaska but I challenge you to tell me how they are different.  They all have very similar “local” messages and seem to provide the same service.  However, which credit union do you go to if you are a small business?  Which one specializes in young professionals?  Which one focuses on financial security for families?  The first one that loudly proclaims “I DO!”, will win that business.

Targeting a single demographic may not appeal to people outside of that demo, sure. The payoff is that focusing on a particular customer will build you better customer relationships. The more you work with one type of consumer, the more attuned you are to their needs, the better your customers like dealing with you. It’s a tradeoff, but if you picked the right consumer, it is a profitable tradeoff you will not regret.

Focus on a Benefit

Most businesses that offer the same products and services will generally all focus on the same benefits in their marketing — and this is what gives you the opportunity to find a unique selling point.

About four years ago, most telecoms were promoting coverage. GCI decided to go another route.  GCI was winning clients from the other telecoms by running a “buy your contract out” offer.  When I mentioned this to the marketing execs at ACS they said, “well, we do that too!”

The problem was that no one knew it.  GCI was doing something that all telecoms did, but they made it their sole message.

It doesn’t matter if all your competitors offer the same benefit if you are the only one consistently promoting it.

Focus on a Service

All dentists clean teeth. They really don’t need to put any real effort into advertising that; people just know. Checkups, cleanings, cosmetic and restorative treatments; we take it as understood that you’ll get this as a dentist. So how can you stand out?

Focus on one service. Sure, others will offer it, too, but if you make it your sole message you’ll stand out as the go-to place for that procedure.

A particular Anchorage dental client decided to focus on veneers.  Veneers are porcelain coverings for your teeth.  Who are good candidates?  Persons 45+ with $100K+ household incomes.  How much does it cost?  $900 to $3,000 per tooth.  Most patients usually start out with at least 4.  It only takes one client a month spending $10,0000 to justify the marketing.  Even if 1/10th of 1% in Anchorage get veneers and this dentist only gets a third of that, that equates to $1,000,000 in additional annual revenue.

If you run a business that is in a saturated market, focusing on a specific service or product line is a great point of differentiation and can have a huge impact to your bottom line.

Focus on a story

When you buy a new bottle of wine, do you buy it for the taste or the bottle?

Trick question; I know you’re buying it for the bottle. Why? Because the bottles tell stories. From the branding on the front to the description on the back, the look and narrative of the wine is what gets people from “I want a shiraz” to “I want this shiraz, right now.”

Creating a powerful origin story can be a great way to connect with your consumer and establish your unique message. It’s not just wine, either; Alaska Seafood and Sausage tells the story of how the owner came here over 50 years ago from Germany and his dedication to the craft.

Seeing the personalities and journeys of the products and services you’re looking into creates an emotional connection that speaks to the heart of people.

Focus on an Ingredient

Maybe it isn’t a service you offer or a benefit, but something special that you do.  There is an old story about a tooth paste brand that wanted to differentiate itself from the other brands.  The creative director from the recently hired advertising agency came in and noted that one of the ingredients was mint.  He asked, “Is this real mint”.  “Yes”, replied the toothpaste client, “but almost all toothpastes have that ingredient.  “But they don’t say it.”  Next month they launched new packaging that said “WITH 100% ALL NATURAL MINT” and sales skyrocketed.

Once again, this is an example of every single company doing the same thing, but one company actually drawing attention to it.  Do you see a pattern yet?  Maybe you don’t sell toothpaste, but you do have ingredients that customers don’t know about.  What if Alaska Regional Hospital launched a campaign that said “100% Alaskan Customer Service”?  Other hospitals might be as well, but they aren’t saying it. If you had a large billing issue, would you rather work with someone you knew was Alaskan?

Finally: Don’t Mix Messages

Clients ask if they can use multiple unique selling points in the same ad.


The more concepts you throw at a brand, the more diluted the messaging becomes. Alaskan companies face this problem all the time — they feel they need to appeal to everyone. They waste time and money tearing themselves in multiple directions when they really need to stick to just one message.  At most you have 3 seconds of a consumer’s attention.  You need to make certain they remember one thing about you.

So how do you pick the right message? Same as with most things in marketing: test it.  Send a survey with sample ads to your target demo and see which one they respond to. Or run multiple FB ads and see which one creates the most engagement.

You can try to segment your audiences with different messages, but with a market as small as Alaska, it’s not worth the risk of message dilution. Leave that to the nationals and multinationals who have the resources to target large, specific demographics.  Focus on one message that works and stick with it.

The moral of the story is when you are doing your marketing, don’t be the same as everyone else.  If you want more business, be uniquely you.

About the Author

Ross Johnston holds an MBA from the AGSM, ranked as the #3 global business school by Forbes Magazine and a BBA in Marketing from the College of William and Mary.

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