This summer we traveled through some of Wisconsin’s small towns and as I visited one, I was reminded of how important theme is to marketing.
The towns — population 1,200 to 2,000 — all seemed so well-kept. Even the smallest ones had fairly strong retail in their main streets. Now it is hard for me to remember anything about most of the small towns, but one thing is clear as a bell: Mt. Horeb. Mt. Horeb is the self-proclaimed “Troll capital of the world” and who would argue? “You know Mt. Horeb, it has those trolls.”
There are more than 15 life-size trolls around the city that were hand-carved. The entire town has adopted the theme, including the brewery called the Grumpy Troll. When the bypass was built, community leaders decided to adopt the concept of a Trollway to entice visitors.
Themes help with marketing by:
- Making the products and services (and cities) memorable in a sea of sameness
- Helping to make people care about your product or service
- Giving your story depth and making it much more interesting
- Giving you a platform for future marketing
How do you know if you have a great theme? It is really as simple as the theme music of Star Wars (that let’s you know when the hero or villain appears). The theme should connect on an emotional level. Just think of the little (and not so little) trolls around Mt. Horeb. Kids love the human-like crazy characters and you could see people snapping family photos around the trolls all across the town. Not only a story, but a great way to encourage social media exposure as well.