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I worked for SERVPRO in their corporate office from 2002-2007 because it’s some sort of requirement for Sumner County residents…or at least that’s what they told me when I moved here years ago.

Anyway, if you are not familiar, SERVPRO is the number one cleaning and restoration company in the U.S.

At the time I worked there, they were number one, but most people didn’t know who they were.

If you mentioned SERVPRO to somebody they would ask if they made surf boards.

SERPVRO hired The Buntin Group, an advertising agency, to do some marketing research and development to fix that.

After several months of surveys, phone calls, and riding around on the truck, they came up with this:


Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

“Like it never even happened®”

Really. That’s it.

At first a lot of the franchises were less than thrilled.

They said, “But we do mold remediation, contents cleaning, pack out inventorying, drapery cleaning, carpet cleaning, and 20 other things. How will the customer ever know about those?!”

And those franchises had a point. If you looked at a brochure back then, you would see 20 different related services on it.

However, the corporate office stuck to their guns.

And the result is SERVPRO is almost a household name at this point.

They created an identity that was easy to understand because they decided to only tell potential customers about their 2 primary services and not all 20.

When you tell somebody 20 things, they seem to remember 0.

If you are really clear and tell them 1-2, and do it consistently, how many do you think they will remember?

If you said 1-2, you are correctamundo! If you said anything else, you can go back to coloringJ.

Anytime I ask a business owner what they do, I almost always get the same response.

They list every product or service under the sun that they provide and even list several things they could do, but haven’t actually done before.

And I get it. You don’t want to leave any money on the table and only marketing a couple of your products or services is scary.

I always recommend to my clients that they either focus on their 1-2 highest revenue items or the 1-2 they would like to be known for and do more of that.

It’s scary, but simple, and best of all…it works!

If a $1 Billion company in Gallatin can do it, so can you.

Charles Alexander is the Director of the Tennessee Small Business Development Center at Vol State Community College.

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