What Ghostbusters Taught Me About Marketing

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My 16-year old son Jeremy and I enjoy watching classic movies from my youth together. We’ve watched Jaws, Back to the Future and most recently Ghostbusters.

After watching this with Jeremy, I realized it contained a very important marketing concept that can help us attract more clients and grow our business.

Owning a Word

In Ghosbusters, when Peter, Raymond and Egon decided to go into business for themselves, they chose a name that was unique. Their name communicated precisely what they did and was also very memorable. Seemingly overnight, “Ghostbusters” was on the lips of everyone in the city.

In marketing, owning a word or phrase like this is the fast track to success. Getting your name into the mind of your prospect is a very powerful (and profitable) concept.

One real company that did this was Federal Express. They chose a good name for their company, but they went even further by choosing to “own” the word overnight. They determined that they wanted to be known as the company that delivered packages quickly, and you don’t get much faster than overnight.

That one move made FedEx an overnight success (pun intended).

Detective Work

One of our clients has followed suit. Joel Johnson owns a roofing company. But instead of being lumped in with all the other roofing companies, Joel decided to specialize in finding and repairing roof leaks.

As a roof leak investigator, Joel wisely named his company P.I. Roofing:What Ghostbusters Taught Me About Marketing

When you notice a stain on your ceiling, you know you have a leak. Finding it can be a nightmare. You probably don’t need an entirely new roof, but you do need a repair. As the Ghostbusters song says, “Who you gonna call?”

In his market, Joel is the only “roof leak detective.” Of course P.I. Roofing can replace roofs like any other roofing company, but Joel has chosen to narrow his focus and be known for something. Joel’s company owns the phrase “roof leak detective” in the mind of his prospects. It’s what sets them apart.

Finding Clues

Owning a word or phrase in the mind of the prospect is the fastest way to dominate your market. It isn’t always easy to find, but if you look carefully and think creatively you’ll find clues to help you position yourself uniquely.

Positioning is a battle that’s fought in the mind. Win the battle here and you’ll be referred to as “an overnight success.” You will become the one others look to and call to help solve their issues.

When you position yourself properly, you become a household name and the company people think of first. That is the ultimate marketing objective.

Ghostbusters did it. FedEx did it. P.I. Roofing did it. You can do it too.

Position yourself as the expert and be the one they’re “gonna call.”

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