Marketing Matters: Create a Business and Brand That Is One of a Kind

Barber Shop
Diamondduste / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)


I’m sure there have been times when you’ve moved to a new neighborhood, city, or state, and immediately looked for services and businesses that you would be a customer at for years to come. Even if you’ve resided in the same place your entire life, there will be times that going to new businesses to shop is necessary. What is it that draws your attention to one company from the next? Is it the service? The owner and employees? The atmosphere and unique environment that hasn’t been seen from other businesses in it’s sector? Whether these same questions were asked by my barber before he took over the business or not, he created a brand that is unique and one of a kind.

Barbershops in general are old fashioned, with the occasional modern barber that went the contemporary route when starting his business. In the same category as a dentist, doctor, or any other service that requires going back to the same person(s), barbers are held in the same respect. If the barber did a poor job cutting your hair, you’re most likely going to look elsewhere.

Previous to my current barber owning the business, the barbershop was the typical small shop, in-between other stores along a city street that got decent business but was never crowded. Now, this formerly quiet shop is the place to go to get a haircut. It’s always full of customers, and even the long discussions like you’ve seen in movies, or when you were a kid.

How did this guy accomplish this? The first thing he changed was the name. Instead of the title being (Insert name) Barber Shop,  he used the word Classic, already making it apparent that this barbershop was like no other. Classic would be an understatement, as not only does he wear the white coat with a tie, but the interior of the store is old-fashioned, from the colors to the wooden floor. What he created was a brand. His unique brand.

Having an adjective such as Classic in the title of the business already signals a difference from all other barbershops in the area. While most are different, it’s usually not until you go inside and get a haircut that you notice how that particular barber differs from another. The title alone sets a trigger that this place is special and retro.

This doesn’t just apply to barbershops either, as it’s prevalent in restaurants, some of whom have a theme to go along with the food and clothing. Johnny Rockets, an old-fashioned burger joint that brings you back to the 1950’s and 1960’s, plays music from that era, the employees dress in the style of those who would found at a town diner in the 50’s, and the interior is full of billboards and ad posters of businesses such as Coca-Cola and Chevrolet.

It’s rare to see this restaurant empty, especially during noon when the line is sometimes out the door. Businesses such as Johnny Rockets and my barber succeed because they’re unique, create nostalgia, and have a retro appeal that also draws in younger generations. The name of the company alone tells potential customers what to expect, which is why business professionals always say to choose the name of your business wisely.

You, the business owner, sets the tone of your marketing. You’re the main marketer, and small details such as the name of your business and the environment of your store is in essence a part of marketing. My barber also utilized social media to further enhance his marketing strategy and draw in more clients in the process.

Your brand is important, and it goes hand-in-hand with the image of your company, being unique and one of a kind. Market and advertise in a way that your competitors aren’t. Offer the customers something they’ve never seen before, or bring them back to a time that creates nostalgia and brings them into your store. These two businesses are thriving off the old-fashioned and retro look. Find what works best for you and your company and apply it to your marketing strategy.

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