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Can You Learn Anything From Country Star Kenny Chesney About Increasing Your Bottom Line?

Nov 25, 2011

by Brom Hoban, TSSA Director of Communications

You bet. So what do Kenny Chesney and successful self-storage operations have in common? At first glance, nothing. But upon closer inspection, they do both share some important traits: genius in marketing, and their ability to promote themselves and connect with their “customers.” (Or in Chesney’s case, fans).

Chesney is one of the reigning stars of country music, earning millions of dollars a year. And his career—in a very competitive field—shows no signs of slowing.

If you think of your operation just “average,” and that’s all there is to it, consider the fact that it wasn’t that long ago that Chesney was playing for tips at night, while holding a job parking cars by day.

While studying marketing at East Tennessee State University (remember that, it’s important), Chesney began performing in small clubs, earning five dollars an hour. Chesney’s first record deal in 1994 failed, but he didn’t give up.

Small club dates and tips eventually gave way to massive concert tours drawing millions of devoted fans. Always a savvy marketer, Chesney commented that “I love that we've captured a demographic that can grow with us.”

Before long, Chesney had used his marketing genius to create an entire brand out of his songs, personality and concert experience.

Without detailing his entire biography, it’s safe to say that Chesney has risen to the pinnacle of the country music industry. Sure, he has musical and song-writing talent--he’s topped the charts with one single after another. But many of the things he’s done to succeed can be mirrored by self-storage owners and operators. So let’s take a look…

Lessons from a country star:

It’s okay to start small and think big
Remember, Chesney played for five dollars an hour to small groups before he filled mega-stadiums and grossed 40 million dollars on summer tours. Self-storage operations often begin small. But those that put in the work, hire the right people and look for the right deals, can grow.

Make a connection with your customers
Chesney makes a huge connection with his customers (fans)
You can too. The deeper your connection with your customers, the more likely they are to keep renting form you and direct referrals your way

Be a marketing expert:
From his marketing background at East Tennessee State University, it’s clear that Chesney became a master marketer, enhancing his appeal by creating a total “concert experience for his fans. You too can create the total “storage” experience for your customers. Remember, marketing is anything that helps or hinders the sale or use of your product or service. That means that the moment customers walk in your store, their self-storage experience begins.

Make it a great one, and you’ll be the first choice of all your existing customers’ friends and business acquaintances. And from there, well, you might just climb the charts!

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