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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Friday, July 25, 2014

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Our Town America Helping Small Businesses in Greater Milwaukee Area Take Aim at New Wave of Emotional Movers

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More than 40 million Americans will move nationwide this year, many carrying emotional distress along with their belongings because they recently lost their house or job.  Chances are they won’t be greeted by a smiling face with a plate of home baked cookies saying, “welcome to the neighborhood” – even in the wonderful towns here in Southeastern Wisconsin.  Where’s the love for new movers looking for a refreshing new start in our hometown?

Enter Allen Busse and Our Town America who are bringing back house warming traditions by delivering welcoming packages each month to new greater Milwaukee area residents on behalf of local businesses.   Busse and Our Town America are taking aim at the modern day mover with full-color gift certificates specific to their new neighborhood.  The goal, says Our Town America’s CEO, Michael Plummer, Jr., is to ignite the emotional spark that encourages new residents, not yet set in their ways, to become lifelong customers with local businesses in our surrounding areas.

“This new wave of emotional movers is likely to develop long term relationships with community businesses if they connect with them as soon as they come to town,” says Plummer. “It’s our job to help local businesses reach out like a helpful neighbor with genuine advice and free offers.”

“New movers remember these businesses because they made it easy for them to find new favorite places, as opposed to just one-time deals, when they were in the transition of moving.”

Make an Emotional Connection with a New Mover, Make a Customer For Life

Sport Clips owner Mark Carlson praises Our Town America and its new mover packages for allowing them to educate new movers on Sport Clips’ unique value proposition and, in turn, make a long lasting impact on target prospects.

“Our Town America’s welcoming packages truly work because they help us establish a strong and genuine connection with movers as soon as they get to the greater Milwaukee area,” says Carlson.  “We have a unique, niche business model at Sport Clips that is laser focused on the male consumer and it is critically important for us educate new movers on that value proposition while they are looking for a new hair care solution.   Not only does Our Town America deliver the message, but they supplement it with a powerful offer that gets those recipients off the couch and in the hands of our stylists.  I couldn’t ask for more out of Allen and the Our Town America team.”

Another Greater Milwaukee Area-based Sport Clips owner, Wally Sauthoff agrees.

“We have a unique business model at Sport Clips in that we focus exclusively on the male consumer,” says Sauthoff.  “However, too few potential customers understand that we deliver a unique, old-school barber shop experience and an MVP experience well worth a few extra bucks.   The Our Town America package has allowed us to deliver that message to men along with a free haircut as soon as they come to town when they are actively seeking a new hair care partner and it’s made all the difference.”

And while Our Town America’s new mover program is great for hair care companies, it is not industry specific.  Local Schlotzky’s owner, Jane Ritenour, says the program allows her to show new movers why a sit down meal at Schlotzky’s is far more rewarding and satisfying than picking up something on the go at a quick-service store.

“Our Town America gets customers in my door because we work together to deliver an aggressive offer,” says Ritenour.  “We don’t just give away a free sandwich, we present new movers with the opportunity to enjoy a full meal.  This offer makes sense for us because Schlotzky’s isn’t just a quick service sandwich shop, we are more of a full-service, sit down restaurant that delivers a full experience.”

“The Our Town America program allows us to deliver that experience and give new residents a warm welcome to the neighborhood.   More often than not, that special treatment leaves an impact and those customers come back for more.”

Upgraded New Mover Programs Make Welcoming New Families a Profitable Tradition

The most recent census revealed new statistics about where people are moving and how the population of different areas of the country is changing. In response, Busse and Our Town America have changed the look and focus of their packages to appeal to this new demographic of movers.  These changes include:

  • Including more products and services appealing to the Hispanic and Asian communities, which have grown by 43% in the past ten years.
  • Working with more businesses near apartment complexes. With the unprecedented foreclosure and unemployment rates, many movers are downsizing from homes to apartments.
  • Cutting edge 2-D barcode technology, first added by Our Town America in 2004, has been added to each gift certificate available in their welcoming envelopes.   This makes it easier for advertisers to track success rates, determine the types of consumers who are redeeming their offers most often, and, ultimately, conduct follow up mailings to interested customers.
  • New digital printing methods allow full-color coupons and envelopes. Making an attractive, eye-catching mailing.

“We can’t deliver a plate of home baked cookies to the door, but we can deliver a welcome package of gift certificates that’s attractive for people moving to our community,” says Busse. “The times have changed for new movers, but the emotional impact of a new move has never been greater.  People genuinely appreciate the effort we are making to ensure they feel noticed and welcomed to southeastern Wisconsin communities.  If these customers have a good first experience after redeeming the offers they’ve received from our sponsors, they do come back for more.”

Eric Knutson of the Delafield Brewhaus couldn’t agree more.

“Allen and the Our Town America team really know how to leave a lasting impression on new Wisconsinites,” says Knutson.   “My success as a restaurant and brewery owner is completely predicated on our ability to make customers feel at home when they visit us.   I’ve been with Our Town America for more than five years and I couldn’t be more impressed with their ability to hand deliver our message to new movers in a professional, thoughtful and caring way that makes new movers feel at home in our town.   Thanks Allen!”

For More Information on Our Town America visit website at www.ourtownamerica.com.

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