The Lemonade Stand
Gold Design Agency of the Year: Leo Burnett
Why would I get digital marketing advice from the phone book company?
When Canadian small business owners think about Yellow Pages (YP), they don’t think of a modern, tech-savvy digital marketing company, they think about a dusty old phone book. And this perception issue was costing the company B2B customers – with 89% of non-customers indicating that they wouldn’t consider using YP.
Complicating matters further for the brand was the entrance of dozens of both large and small competitors, all promising similar digital marketing services, from web design and social media to SEO and SEM services. And being new entrants into the space, these companies like Google and GoDaddy had a huge perception advantage over YP.
Leo Burnett knew that putting YP into a head-to-head battle with these companies on products would be a huge challenge, so the agency wanted to find a way to keep the fight on YP’s turf.
A secret weapon hiding in plain sight.
In an early meeting, an off-hand remark by a brand employee caught the agency’s attention. In describing the brand’s B2B offering, he said that YP employed more than 1,000 advisors, each assigned to specific small Canadian businesses. This felt like a key point of difference, so to validate it, the agency completed an audit of existing brand research. They discovered that what YP customers value most – ahead of any product – was the brand’s service, from their dedicated advisor.
Words are nothing. Actions are everything. So, the team designed its own small business.
While the agency wanted to make these 1,000 small business advisors the centrepiece of the story, it didn’t want to simply tell its audience about them. The agency wanted to introduce them to the coolest new digital tool: people – or YPeople as they were named – and show them exactly what they could do for a small business.
To do so, the agency decided to open up a small business of its own. It would open the most nostalgia-inducing small business of all: a lemonade stand.
When it came to producing and supporting it, the agency wanted it to be authentic and real. The team kept a small budget and only promoted the business using the same YP products and services any small business owners would have access to.
They started by developing brand guidelines and then set out to transform a local store. They they designed and crafted everything including the store exterior, interior, staff uniforms, napkins, bags and even bottles, all while curating the best lemony things Toronto’s bakers had to offer.
The team spent a few weeks advertising “The Lemonade Stand” using YP digital products and services, and like any small business owner, waited for opening day with baited breath.
Using YPeople and YP digital products and services, the agency turned a thoughtfully designed and simple lemonade stand into a massive success.
While the daily lineups, and ultimate product sell-outs were rewarding, it was the impact on YP’s B2B business that mattered most:
-46% of small business owners now see YP as a credible supplier of digital marketing solutions
-31% of small business owners are more likely to contact YP
-the campaign generated 16 times more leads than online listing norms (and objectives)
-most importantly, in 2016, new B2B customer acquisition rose by 33% VYA