What the Lawn Guy Can Teach Us About Customer Loyalty

What Are You Doing to Prove the Results of Your Work?

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Dana Severson
Dana Severson
If you live anywhere north of the Mason-Dixon, you know that now is the time of year that we prepare the exterior of our properties for the impending winter freeze, much like a bear prepares its cave for a long winter nap. To be honest, living in Minnesota, it's really not a time of year that I either like or look forward to. But, such is life.

As I was taking advantage of the mild temperatures this weekend to prepare for said winter freeze, I couldn't help but feel a sense of pride. Not because I was actually working around the house for once (although it made my wife rather happy), but because I made it the entire season with a rich, golf-course-green, weed-free lawn. Woot! (Boy, if I heard myself saying that 10 years ago, I would have kicked my own ... well, you know what I mean.)

Anyway, the prized lawn of the neighborhood (and yes, pathetically, I keep tabs), was a result of two things: mother nature (and her well-timed rain storms) and my lawn-service company.

As I just finished giving the lawn one last buzz cut, it occurred to me that if I have any chance of winning the green-lawn championship next year, I'll need a repeat performance. Considering that I'm not a Rain God, this could only mean one thing -- I will forever be committed to using my lawn service company. Don't get me wrong, I like them. Obviously. They make me look good. Who wouldn't like them? What frustrates me the most is that they provide me with a service that I can't replicate on my own (due to their secret formula) and can't bear to get rid of. Damn them!

Wait, what I meant to say was, good for them. They've earned my loyalty by providing a service that produces measurable results. What a concept.

Honestly, my frustration was really just jealously. I'm jealous that I exist in an industry where credit for results generated isn't always as easy as delivering a green lawn. Yeah, our work has made the needle move, but who ends up getting credit? The sales team. Yes, the benchmark study indicates that brand retention is up 50%, but who ends up getting credit? The media outlets.

Look, we all have our own secret formula for doing what we do. That's what makes us unique and earns us the business. But, once you've earned it, how do you prove the results of your labor? I'm not going to pretend to have the answer, because I don't. Rather, I'm posing this question to all of you. What actions do you take to prove your agencies worth?

Born with a large forehead and natural ability to develop outrageously absurd ideas, Dana Severson was immediately drawn to the advertising industry at a very early age. Growing up, he'd often get caught sipping a three-finger apple juice (disguised as cognac), smoking candy cigarettes, dressed like his favorite superhero, David Ogilvy. Fast forward a few decades, and we find Dana getting paid to develop outrageously absurd ideas at his advertising firm, Idea Heroes and downing three-shot espressos. Dana is an active blogger and is known to post random advertising concepts on Twitter. He is available for sideshow demonstrations and Bill Bernbach impersonations.
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