Talking Like a Pro: Marketing in the Turf and Lawn Care Industries
Keeping up with the Joneses. It might give baseball a run for its money as America’s Pastime. We’re always striving to outperform our peers or neighbors or professional competition. Need an example? Look no further than your own backyard. Or front yard, for that matter.
Let’s be honest: Most of us want the folks driving by our house to have zero doubt about which is the best-looking lawn on the block. It gives us a sense of pride, lets us revel in the knowledge that we could easily drop our day job and go pro if we so desired. We also know that maintaining our pro-level lawns and fending off neighborhood wannabes requires regularly upping our game—and our equipment. But the lawn care market is loaded with lawn mower brands, grass seed companies, and other renovation and maintenance equipment, and the brands we need to know about can find it tough to cut through the clutter and reach us.
At EPIC, we’ve spent the last 30 years helping some of the biggest names in the industry engage their audience and stand out from the pack. How? Whether they’re targeting professional turf managers or perfection-seeking homeowners like yours truly, the trick is talking like a pro.
For The Pros: Differentiate from the Competition
When talking to pros, it’s not enough to simply sound like a pro. There’s nothing wrong with branding, but at some point you must also speak on a pro’s level—that is, not just in big, bold statements, but down in the details that will really make a difference in their lives. There are dozens of brands out there, many that do the exact same thing, so you’ve got to show the pros that you really know what you’re talking about.
In the end, it’s about highlighting the important—and sometimes subtle—differentiators and illustrating how those will help them become a better professional. For example, if your mower has an engine that’s easily accessible, that means simpler maintenance and less downtime if you need to fix something. Pros want to know that their equipment will help them perform better and stand out in their community compared to other lawn care companies.
For the Homeowners: Make Them Feel Like a Pro
For consumers, the message actually isn’t much different. Homeowners want to know that they’re using the best equipment available to make sure their lawns look impeccable. They don’t want you to talk over their heads with jargon, of course, but dumbing it down is often worse. They have aspirational views of their abilities when it comes to their lawns, and professional-level equipment scratches that itch.
The messaging is so similar, that some brands are blurring the lines themselves by offering products that are geared to pros and consumers alike. “Entry level” professional lawn mowers catch the eye of pros who are just starting out and also give consumers something accessible with pro features. In the same way, some fertilizer and grass seed companies rebrand their pro products for consumer retail, saying that “now you can use what the pros use.”
For both audiences, it’s about quality and perception. They want something that works. But in the end, it’s about professional results—whether they’re working to outperform their company’s biggest competitor or the guy next door.
Interested in some more pro-level shop talk? Hit us up!