I didn't start out trying to use my love of Oreos as a way to differentiate my brand in a crowded market, it just kind of happened organically.
Once I started being strategic about it, it made a huge difference to the growth of my company.
What's the story with the Oreos you wonder?
I’ve always loved Oreo cookies. They’ve been at the top of my favorite list since I was really young, but when I became pregnant 8 years ago, my love affair with Oreos became front and center.
Every chance I got I was dipping an Oreo into a glass of milk. It was deeeellicious. 😃 I mean when else in life can you eat Oreos with abandon and not have to worry about how it’s going to affect your waistline right?
We call that pregnancy for the win.
Apparently I didn’t hide my love of the Oreo and eventually, friends started messaging me whenever Oreo the company did something new.
New flavor? I’d get a message.
In the news? I’d get a message.
100th Anniversary? I got a SLEW of messages!
I found it funny that my love for Oreos was so well known that people started to think of me whenever they saw Oreos.
Then I started to brainstorm how I could use my love of these delicious cream filled cookies in my business as a way to connect and differentiate my brand in a super crowded market.
As a wedding photographer, in the past 10 years, the industry has exploded, and now it seems as if you can't walk into a room without meeting another photographer. It's a popular industry to jump into, and a hard industry to stand out in, so I used my love of Oreos as a way to connect with people on a more human level than just look at my work and hire me that my website had been showing.
I changed all my wedding packages away from the boring and industry standard titles like Gold, Silver and Platinum to something more memorable.
I changed it to
Cookies and Milk
I wanted to call them Oreo, because it's not just cookies I love, but Oreos specifically, but I also didn’t want to get sued by Nabisco, so I used the terms cookies for selling and then just shared my love of Oreos in conversation knowing that people would put two and two together.
When I booked a new client, they'd get a little present in the mail and some oreos to go with.
A client ordered prints? They'd get a delivery of beautiful prints for their walls and a little package of Oreos to go with it.
I sent them with little gifts to industry peers.
So much so that industry friends would tell me they'd get excited when they saw a package from me because they knew they'd be getting some Oreos soon :)
I soon became known by everyone for my love of Oreos... and my love of sharing the Oreos!
Sharing my love of Oreos was simple, but it connected me, and my brand to a very large and ever-present brand in the eyes of my clients, prospective clients and industry peers.
People always laugh and share an Oreo story with me, or share which type of Oreo is their favorite, and it gives me the opportunity to stand out from all the photographers in the area.
You see, I’ve tied myself to Oreos so that when a client may be walking down the aisle of the grocery store doing their shopping, they can pass the Oreo section and I pop in their mind. Now that I am on their mind, they may start thinking about how they need family photos. Or a planner may think of me to refer to her newest client.
The power in this is that you connect yourself to an everyday something so that seeing that everyday something triggers a thought of you, and they may reach out and call you.
You don't have to do marketing, the everyday thing you chose ( a delicious cookie in my case) is doing the work for you.
Or maybe (as it is in wedding photography) it may be the connection to something not related to your business that also brings a laugh that makes you stand out and be noticed among the 1000 other companies vying for attention from your ideal client.
I’ve had multiple conversations over the years about how clients told me they ended up hiring me for their wedding because of my love for Oreos. Maybe it was that they also love Oreos (I mean who doesn’t!!) or that they saw my personality through the joking about Oreos and it kept me top of mind. But sharing my Oreo thing has literally won me clients more times than I can count.
So think about the things you like, the things that may connect you with your ideal client and infuse that within your website, your packaging and your correspondence. You may be surprised at how sharing that human connection makes a difference!
Now go grab some Oreos and milk, because there is no way you read this entire article and don’t currently have a hankering for an Oreo then share with me your favorite type of Oreo.
I’m old school with a stack of classic Oreos and a big glass of milk!