Wall Drug Provides Lessons on Branding

By | October 18, 2007

If you’ve ever driven I-90 through South Dakota, you’ve no doubt seen the signs for Wall Drug. We stopped at Wall Drug several years ago during a road trip, and I marveled at how they were able to turn a small town drug store into a major tourist destination.

Mike Gunderloy at Web Worker Daily has some excellent observations about how we can apply some principles learned from Wall Drug to our own personal branding and marketing:

  1. Have a simple, consistent, actionable message
  2. Find a memorable hook
  3. Be ubiquitous
  4. Widen your niche

I’d like to offer one additional observation: know what your customers want.

In 1936, Dorothy Hustead suggested to her husband that travelers on the highway might be thirsty (think hot summer days, long stretches of highway, and cars without air conditioning), so she and her husband put up signs along the highway that offered “free ice water” to thirsty motorists. Travelers started pouring in. Dorothy know what customers wanted and they built their brand around that need.