410.235.7070 Join Our E-Letter
businessGPS Taking You From Where You Are to Where You Want to Go.

Lessons from Ugly Floors

Lessons from Ugly Floors

June 05, 2013

Who Has the Ugliest Floor in Town? And Why Should You Care?

Attention was raised when Butler Floor and Carpet, a third-generation, family-owned business, sought out the ugliest floor in its Pennsylvania community. After 63 years in business, in the toughest sales market ever, Butler knew it had to re-vamp its marketing and come up with new ideas to generate more leads.


They wanted to create buzz through a marketing campaign. And by doing the opposite of what anyone would expect, they generated 1,618 new prospects for a potential of almost a million dollars in new business. 



What did they do? The Solution, My Friends, is Under Your Toes


Butler Flooring owners Julie Czifra and her brother Tim, clients of Brand Launcher’s Master Mentorship Program, worked hand-in-hand with their coach to kickstart their marketing and to build a foundation for sustainable growth.


Butler’s owners wanted to maintain the tradition of their company. Their focus was not just to beautify homes and commercial businesses with fresh and stylistic surfaces under foot. At the heart of Butler’s mission is their effort to “wow” customers with exceptional service, from consultation to selection and installation, and to create the enjoyment that comes from home improvement and pride of ownership.


And since Julie and Tim bought the business from their Dad in 2011, who bought it from their grandparents decades ago, they’ve installed millions of square feet of quality flooring and carpeting for its loyal customer family.

Refurbishing the Marketing

Butler Flooring participated in the 90-day Master Mentorship intensive program and, in that time, a series of practical, creative marketing initiatives was launched. The company completed a killer, downloadable e-book, “How to Get the Right Floor at the Right Price”, which helped them demonstrate their expertise in the flooring industry. 


Brand Launcher knew it had to create a fun event that could bring highly qualified leads to Butler quickly, while  generating brand goodwill. And because online marketing with social media is relatively low costing, with the potential for high payoff, the 2013 Butler Ugly Floor Contest.was initiated on Facebook. (Are you on Facebook? Like Brand Launcher today here).


Here’s how the contest rolled out:

  • Brand Launcher helped set up a promotion on Butler’s Facebook page with all the right graphics. While everyone would expect them to focus on promoting attractive floors, they went in a completely different direction, drawing attention to their contest by promoting the ugly.

  • Contestants within a 50-mile radius were invited to register and send in pictures of their ugly floors

  • Each contestant paid a $5.00 entry fee (via Paypal), which was designated to the charity of the contestant’s choice. Community goodwill came from donations to the Humane Society, Big Brothers, Big Sisters, and a variety of Parent-Teacher Organizations.

  • Facebook visitors were invited to vote on the ugliest of the ugliest floor

  • Top vote-getters were submitted to a review by a judging panel for the final winner




And the winner please...


Lo and behold, homemaker, wife and mother , Denise Dupe, out-uglied everyone else with her 1970s faded out, threadbare, full-of-holes, smashed-to-the-padding ORANGE pile carpet.


Look closely, rumor has it Ziggy Pop lost an eyelash here.


Poor Denise.  And her family. To tiptoe on that carpety mash-up for all those years. Our condolences.


But wait! There were TWO WINNERS.


First, Butler has already sent out their technicians. Denise has made her selection and the ORANGE MONSTER will be ripped up next week with installation on her spiffy new carpet toute de suite. All is well in Butler, Pennsylvania.


But the biggest winner is Butler Floor and Carpet itself.  And now for the Big Reveal:

  • 42 contestants registered, providing Butler Floor with a few dozen highly qualified leads who have already indicated they need a new floor.

  • Butler reached 1,576 prospects through Facebook.

  • That’s a total of 1,618 new prospects who are talking about Butler Floor and Carpet, and telling their friends about it through social media.


What does this mean for the flooring company? Let’s say the average new floor investment is $5,000. That’s $8MM in potential revenue. Even if Butler only sells 10 percent of the leads, it’s still a whopping $800,000 with little or no marketing cost. And it also raised awareness (and some funds) for local charities.


In Julie’s own words, “The results surprised me! I rate the contest an “A” ... I didn’t know online marketing could be so effective. Now we’ve decided to make our Butler Ugly Floor Contest an annual event, thanks to our Master Mentor at Brand Launcher.”


If your business faces tough competition, and you can’t quite stand out from the crowd, generate more leads, book more business, build your brand, or change up your marketing, do what Julie and Tim did.


1. Instead of focusing on beauty, they focused on ugly.

2. They used social media by having a contest, instead of just trying to sell something in print ads or traditional media.

3. They created an opt-in via a free e-book, driving people to take the next step so that their promotion did not just end by people having to come to their store to purchase something.


If you need help, don't go it alone. Reach out a qualified mentor, coach or consulting partner. Take our free, 2-minute Business Assessment to learn about your challenges and weaknesses, and to see if you qualify for our Master Mentorship Program. A mentor/coach will invest him- or her self in your success, help you generate ideas, create a strategic plan, and coach you through campaigns that have the potential to make all the difference in your future. Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a team to raise a business.