“I Can See Clearly Now”
The overall search for “why” is a trend companies have been going after over the past few years. Companies are beginning to understand that consumers are much more aware of the values and ideas that they hold. Although now commonplace, companies and corporations are shifting their “mission statements” into their purpose: something their customers can connect with on a deeper level.
Take Tru Vue®, for example. The company, founded in Chicago, is a manufacturer of high-performance glazing products for the custom picture framing, museum, and engineered optics markets. But for certain industries (like the custom framing industry); it isn’t always about what they sell, but how they sell it and how they align their brand with their purpose.
Shifting to Why
Tru Vue began to recognize the need for a deeper connection with their custom framing customers. The days of just being a vendor or a corporate entity were over for the company. Tru Vue wanted to assist their customers on a deeper level, to go beyond manufacturer and form a true partnership with their customers with a complete business support system. This epiphany started the shift to their current purpose-driven branding and culture where the focus is beyond just selling their products. It’s a branding strategy that has a focus on creating a community in their industry that supports small independent businesses that go beyond the usual promotions.
Technically, the company itself is a business to business company. Tru Vue manufactures glazing products and then sells those products to distributors, who then market and sell to independent custom frame shops. But the company wanted to be more and do more than selling their products; they wanted to help out custom frames shops i.e. local businesses. The first step Tru Vue made was to launch a nationwide contest for a full retail makeover for an independently owned frame shop.
Go to Market Strategy
Companies that mainly deal in B2B communications rarely think of such out-of-the-box marketing campaigns mainly because it is not needed or expected. What Tru Vue wanted to do was a complete change up from their pasts marketing strategies, and it was completely unexpected.
Instead of focusing on a sale or rebate promotion that drive incremental sales for their products, Tru Vue spent their marketing dollars to help a local frame shop by giving them a complete shop makeover.
The makeover was substantial; the winning store received a full exterior and interior rehab, a new website, new in-store displays and merchandising, as well as, business advice from industry experts on pricing, design, and marketing (you can see the remarkable changes to the winning shop by watching this video).
The makeover was not over when the shop was completed. Tru Vue then used the experience as a case study and shared the learnings with the industry, via their website, with blogs posts and videos. The success and response from their market were tremendous, from not only the custom frame shops but also their distributor customers who benefitted from the overall experience as well.
Tru Vue, therefore, continued with this marketing strategy launching smaller retail boot camps to lucky frame shop recipients throughout the U.S. Besides just driving their business with custom framers this strategy also has resulted in another surprising benefit. Stemming from all the social media buzz these promotions have also raised consumer awareness for custom frame shops and Tru Vue products. Tru Vue then decided to leverage this by launching the Tru Frameable Moments™ campaign.
The Tru Frameable Moments™ Campaign
Launched after the success of the retail makeover and boot camps; Tru Vue created a campaign that created awareness not only at the business to business level, but it also helped stimulate the market to which their products are sold. With this competition, Tru Vue is looking to capture “not only imaginative designs that showcase the impact of displaying and preserving memories through custom framing, but a design that also resonates with the local community and can generate some buzz for the shop.” according to their website.
This is the type of original campaign strategy that sets Tru Vue apart from its competitors. “Tru Frameable Moments celebrates how well custom framing captures and preserves life’s most memorable events,” said Jen Gramm, director of marketing at Tru Vue. “This year’s competition also gives custom framers the opportunity to get involved in what is happening in their communities, and use their search for Frameable Moments as a way to generate publicity and word-of-mouth for their shops.”
By shifting their purpose and understanding the trends found within their industry, Tru Vue created a campaign that stimulated the business of their retailers while also raising general awareness of their products, therefore creating a campaign like no other.
Kevin Bugielski is the Marketing Manager for Victory Lap, a purpose-driven startup changing the sales game. Avid Snapchatter, SoulCycle lover, newfound runner, but ultimately, a foodie.