Who is Your Brand’s Villain?

Who Is Your Brand’s Villain?

Who would Batman be without the Joker? Or Superman without Lex Luthor? Or Luke Skywalker without Darth Vadar? All heroes need a villain – the villain is, inherently, what makes the hero, a hero. Without the Joker’s embrace of chaos, Batman’s need for law and order would fall flat. The same can be said of your own brand: without the contrast of your own “villain,” your pitch to consumers may not resonate as soundly. By identifying your own villain, you are differentiating yourself from the competition, and makes your purpose in the market that much more tangible to the consumer. (1)

Identifying Your Villain

Before you are able to identify a villain, you first need to define your purpose in the market. WHAT are you fighting for? WHO are you fighting for? Defining your purpose, or WHY, within the market will help you identify your top competitors. (Shameless Plug: Don’t know how to define your “why?” Check out our blog post entitled “What is Your Why”) Villains are not necessarily other companies either – they can be beliefs or trends that affect your market and may negatively impact your product.

Samsung is the villain of Apple. The two companies are continually in a race to provide the best technology experience to their consumers. Their rivalry is actually to the benefit of us, the consumer: as we continue to demand more and more, their companies strive not only to compete with each other but also to be constantly on top of the latest trend.

When Netflix first hit the market (& our hearts), their villains were two-fold: brick-and-mortar video rental stores (RIP Blockbuster!) and the belief that instant access to movies and tv shows from the comfort of one’s home was “a small, niche market” (2). Netflix fought for a new definition of normal and now nearly 60% of homes in America stream their platform (3). Ironically, Blockbuster executives passed up the chance to buy Netflix in early 2000 and, well, er, you know the rest.

Within the tree care industry, your villain does not necessarily have to be a rival company. Similar to one of Netflix’s villains, the general public’s lack of knowledge surrounding the tree care industry can be a top villain for your organization. To overcome this villain, your company should begin a campaign targeted at educating customers or residents in your city about the importance of professional arborists and proper tree care. I don’t recommend reinventing the wheel either – Treesaregood.org is a great resource for assistance in educating individuals about the tree care industry.

To Be the Best You Have to Beat the Best

Don’t settle for average – identify your top villain, your supervillain. Think about why your supervillain can hurt your company. Learn from them, and grow from there to become the superhero you need to be to survive. Remember, your best villain will oftentimes have an incredibly relatable and attractive “dark side” that your customer doesn’t even realize is a negative (4).

Amazon began as a garage operation that sold, wait for it, books. Its founder, Jeff Bezos, had bigger ideas, however. He began identifying the best products that were sold in stores that could be sold online and eventually started doing so. By selling these products online, he inadvertently took on retail conglomerates like Sears and Boston Store and, ultimately, contributed to their closures. Amazon is now among the top retail stores in the world and was arguably the catalyst for the retail apocalypse (5)

Your villain should scare you. If it doesn’t, aim higher.

Written by: Katie Petersen

What Social Media Platform Should I Use?

What Social Media Platform Should I use?

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, YouTube. Social media can be overwhelming. #AmIRight One of the top mistakes I see business owners make is pushing themselves to do too much with social media, becoming overwhelmed, and giving up entirely. It does not have to be that way. My advice for business owners who know they need to be involved with social media but don’t know where to start, is to pick two or three platforms, get to know them well, and use those to connect with followers. You may find that one platform works extremely well, and another does not. When the time is right, switch out the platform that does not work for your customers and try a different approach. Finding the right balance of platforms is essential to your growth as a business.


Below, I’ve briefly explained the more popular social media platforms. Because every tree service is unique and has their own target clientele, which platform you utilize will be based on who you are trying to reach. Always keep in mind, the main goal of any social media efforts is help you promote your business to customers and prospects.




Oh, Facebook, the birthplace of social media. Create an account, “friend” your friends, post photos, start a business page, gain followers, utilize hashtags – Facebook does it all. If you are looking for a quick and easy way to connect with many followers of all ages, Facebook is the way to do so.




Brush up on your photography skills! Instagram is the place to showcase photos of yourself, your business, and your passion for the tree care industry. Plus, like Twitter, Instagram uses hashtags to connect you with other users and push your content to those who search for #trees.




LinkedIn is typically used to post an online resume. Have a skill you want to promote? LinkedIn. Want to boast about your background or assure a potential client you have the correct credentials? LinkedIn. LinkedIn is also a great place to “connect” with colleagues and clients and promote business-oriented content.




If you have read my article entitled “5 Ways to Better Your Social Media Marketing” (and if you haven’t, you really should – it’s great), you’ll know that I stress the importance of moving your business towards videos. Utilization of video is key for your business in 2018. A YouTube channel is the way to do that! Showcase yourself, your employees, your equipment, a job site. This creates a more intimate, personal connection with your clients.




Have you ever tried to condense your thoughts into 140 characters? #Yeahmeneither Luckily, Twitter allows 240 characters now and you can enhance your content by using hashtags. Hashtags allow your content to be discoverable by others so that when client is searching for #treeservice, any content you post with that hashtag attached will pop up in their search.




If you are looking to appeal to a younger crowd, Snapchat is 100% the way to go. Snapchat allows you to display a photo or video for 1-10 seconds, with your “snaps” being able to be added to your “story” where followers or subscribers can watch them after the fact. This is a great way to interact with clients if you want to tell a quick story or give a follower a quick burst of information.




Pinterest is a great place to organize ideas, thoughts, and lists and present them in one simple “board” to all of your followers. If, for example, you want to showcase steps, tricks, or items with which to prune a tree, all of these ideas and examples could be “pinned” to one board, allowing you to easily share it with your followers.




Contact a Google employee to learn more ☺

Written by: Katie Petersen