It’s National Ice Cream Day which is the perfect opportunity to spotlight a small business ice cream brand that portrays the most effective and successful marketing strategies that we can all admire and learn from!
One company, that I talk about often with my marketing coaching clients at Curves Ahead Co., is South Mountain Creamery in Middletown, Maryland. Known for its exceptional dairy products and commitment to sustainable farming practices, South Mountain Creamery has not only captivated the taste buds of its hometown customers but has also created a strong brand presence across Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
So, how have they been so successful… for 22 years!? In this blog post, I will explore the marketing best practices, methods or techniques proven to drive results, that South Mountain Creamery has leveraged to achieve a lasting legacy.
Best Practice One: Harnessing the Power of Authentic Storytelling
One of the primary best practices that South Mountain Creamery implements in their marketing strategy is its emphasis on authentic storytelling.
Authentic storytelling is a topic I love discussing because when it is done right it can evoke an emotional connection, build trust and produce a lasting memory for customers that money just can’t buy.
By sharing the journey of their family-owned farm, South Mountain Creamery showcases the passion and care that goes into their products (and animals!) which spans generations. The original founders, Randy and Karen Sowers, who have worked on the farm for more than 40 years ago, started South Mountain Creamery to sell milk and other delicious dairy products to the local community. Now, 22 years later, three generations of the Sowers-Brusco family can be seen working together on the farm and in their stores.
The family shares their origin story, how they got started, often. You’ll also see the family – including their kiddos- on their website, social media and right there onsite getting their hands dirty on the farm or in their storefronts! Being authentic and real invites customers to get to know their business on a personal level which entices them to follow along on the journey because it makes them feel that they are a part of the success story.
Best Practice Two: Building a Distinctive Brand Identity and Message
South Mountain Creamery has set itself apart from its competitors which is not an easy feat. In order to do this, the small business has always been very clear with their customers on their identity which is centered around their commitment to sustainable and organic farming practices.
This identify continues to be enforced by the company’s core messaging, which can produce lasting longevity for a brand. You can see the terms they use everywhere to capture this identify with phrases like “direct from the farm,” “farmer owned,” “wholesome products,” and “farm fresh.” Words certainly have power and by harnessing this best practice they have positioned the business as a champion of environmentally friendly dairy production.
The brand identity they have established has lead to a unique selling point that resonates with health-conscious consumers who prioritize ethically sourced and sustainable products for their own families. South Mountain Creamery has capitalized on this by exploring what this type of customer needs and creating a home delivery service across the tri-state; bringing the farm straight to customer’s doorsteps.
Another noteworthy aspect of South Mountain Creamery’s branding efforts is paying attention to detail to distinctively identify themselves. It’s all right there in the packaging and presented in eye-catching, eco-friendly containers reflects their commitment to sustainability.
Did you also catch the nod to their dairy farm family history with the horse and carriage in the logo? This not only enhances the visual appeal of the brand but also reinforces the brand’s message of quality and authenticity throughout their products.
Best Practice Three: Interactive and Engaging Experiences
South Mountain Creamery takes marketing best practices methods to the next level by offering interactive farm experiences. Visitors can enjoy farm tours, participate in hands-on activities, and even feed the baby calfs. These experiences not only create lasting memories but provide valuable opportunities for customers to engage with the brand and gain a deeper appreciation for the farm-to-table process.
I love when a small business takes the time to create a destination experience for their customers, because it takes the customer further behind-the-scenes and creates must-see excitement. And excitement is always a feeling you want to evoke from your customers!
The farm experience really ties the entire brand together in a strategic way. Not only do you get to see how the ice cream is made and meet the cows that have produced its ingredients, but you get to experience the family’s farm story in real time – and as it further develops.
Through this combination of authentic storytelling, building a unique brand identity and creating interactive farm experiences, South Mountain Creamery is a great example of why these three best marketing practices really resonates with customers.
And this is just the top of the ice cream barrel when it comes to all of the work they are doing to market and promote their small business!
South Mountain Creamery serves as an inspiration for all small businesses looking to establish a strong brand presence and connect with their customers on a meaningful level through marketing best practices. Be sure to follow South Mountain Creamery on Facebook and Instagram, and schedule a tour to check out all the marketing magic for yourself on their website!