Just got back from a weekend away with the kids.
We went away to Sundre, Alberta… specifically toTallTimber Leisure Park.
To make a long story short, my parents bought 60 acres of land some 31+ years ago and over the years turned it into one of the premier campgrounds in Alberta. With 360+ privately owned sites and 100 or so overnight sites, Tall Timber has proven itself as a dominant force in the recreational space market.
Numerous others have tried knocking them off and building competitive campgrounds, but Tall Timber is still seen as the high end answer in an every-increasingly cluttered marketplace.
Having spent my entire youth out there picking rocks, cutting miles and miles of lawns, painting, etc, I didn’t really appreciate it as much as I do now.
As for the marketing lessons I have learned by watching them build this from a hilly, rock-filled cow pasture into a premier travel destination, they are many.
But what struck me most this past weekend was the new impressions I formed of the place after talking to some of the lot owners out there.
I realized thatmany of our own marketing and positioning problems are easily overcome with a fresh eye and a willingness to see things in a way you never have before.
Take Tall Timber, for example:
One part of the incredible new playground.
(1) looking at it from the kids perspective... it is a BLAST! A brand new $250,000 playground was just installed over the past month. 2 new play sets now welcome the children with open arms.
Everything from swing sets, basketball courts, slides and jungle jims. Then there are the bike trails. And the trees they can play in, or build forts. Or going to the river to tube, wade, or build log bridges. Or the swimming pool and hot tub. Or the candy store. Or the ice cream store.
DOES IT GET ANY BETTER FOR A KID?
So promoting the campground based on the kids perspective is an easy way to makeover your marketing.
That’s what Disney does
(2) Looking at it from the parents perspective. The ultimate escape from busy city life. Curl up with a great book for an afternoon of adventure, romance or mystery. Bike paths and walking trails for fitness. A swim or hot tub in the salt water pools. Playtime with the kids. Or having a cold beer next to the fire.
The parents (and non-parents alike) LOVE Tall Timber. It is an hour and 15 minutes from Calgary (am easy jaunt). It is beautiful country. And it (my favorite part) has NO access to internet or cell phones!! Well, you can get both internet and cell reception if you try – I recommend you don’t.
(3) Looking at it from the competitors perspective. Tall Timber is notorious for the strict rules and regulations around parties, quiet hours, proper behavior, no tenting (unless there is a trailer on site too), and covenants around what they can or cannot put on their lots.
Some people don’t like the rules – others love the quality of people that a park like this attracts.
So what does this have to do with your business?
Right now, get out a pad of paper and a pen.
Then pick 3 or 4 different perspectives that somehow relate to your business.
1) your direct competition
2) your ideal clients
3) other people your ideal clients will talk to about your product or service
Write out all the different ways they could see your product or service. Remember, you are not you anymore! Close one eye (works for me), think through their way of thinking and see things through their eyes.
What would they say?
Write out all the good things they would say… and the bad.
Write out the great story telling pieces they get when they deal with you.
Note what is lacking.
Note what is prevalent throughout.
Note what could become your biggest asset.
Note what could become your biggest hindrance (and think on how you can turn that into an advantage).
Tall Timber has been a significant part of my life.
Getting geared up for another fun filled day
It was my parents dream. That is now reality for hundreds of adults and children alike.
I am going to be sharing many more lessons on Tall Timber, including how the volunteer committee was able to personally raise over $250,000 to build this new park.
They used elbow grease.
They made this park come to life in a tough economic climate and how they did it is inspirational and educational for any serious entrepreneur.
What I want to leave with you today though is a desire to look at your business from the direct, and indirect, buyers perspectives.
In those you can learn more about marketing opportunity than most $1500 marketing packages being sold.
Invest a few hours in this exercise… I guarantee it will pay off in spades.
My Maverick Marketing Club will help you do just that. More to come on that.
For now, have a great day… and invest some time this week on this drill!