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Ideas, INSPIRATION & Info

Apples to Apples: Marketing Your Uniqueness

There is an old adage that there is “nothing new under the sun”—and it really seems to be true. When trying to develop strong marketing strategies for your brand, it can be challenging to find a balance between engaging and gimmicky.

For Leitersburg Cinemas, developing that marketing strategy relied on three key elements:

  • Personalities
  • Tell a story
  • Be authentic

When the founders of HighRock, Rich Daughtridge and Dave Schleigh, bought Leitersburg Cinemas roughly seven years ago, it was run-down and only brought in 60,000 visitors… per year. That’s an average of 5,000 theater-goers a month. That would be considered a slow weekend, let alone an entire month!

Side view of Leitersburg Cinemas Theater

But, the new owners saw the potential in the theater, creating a new campaign, “Long Live Leitersburg Cinemas”.

With updates to seating, free refills at concessions, and high tech projectors, the new approach threw caution to the wind and breathed new life into this city landmark. While their tactics were revolutionary—and what some deemed crazy—at the time, they paid off. By 2017, more than 350,000 people were visiting Leitersburg Cinemas for their VIP treatment.

So, why did this work? In short…personalities.

Rich and Dave were well known in the community—sort of like Hagerstown’s own Jeff Bezos and Steve Jobs. They didn’t want to see Leitersburg Cinemas die, so they took a chance to turn things around. Because of their local name recognition, those in the community were able to connect with the new marketing concept on a personal level.

For your brand, who in your company has credibility within the community? Is your CEO, COO, or other executive well known? Capitalize on that familiarity for deeper connection.

Beyond simple name recognition, it is important that your marketing tells a story.

Leitersburg Cinemas brand comparison

For Leitersburg Cinemas, there was more than 40 years of history by the time the theater was bought in 2010. For many working at the theater, the place of employment had become a second home.

The stories of those who called Leitersburg Cinemas home were fascinating, and they ultimately painted a picture of the history of Hagerstown. Everyone has a story to tell, and you’d be surprised to learn who is touched and inspired by those stories.

For your business, what story can you tell? What drives you? Make the connection and paint a bigger picture of who you are through storytelling.

In the midst of your storytelling, you must be authentic.

Leitersburg Cinemas billboard

Leitersburg Cinemas not only wanted to create a VIP experience for its customers, it wanted to incorporate what Rich and Dave saw as important. Instead of looking to profit statements to drive marketing, Leitersburg Cinemas took the approach of developing experiences based on customer interests…

…Superhero Saturdays
…Wine & A Movie events
…Sensory Friendly Showings
…Musical Sing-a-longs

Each event is catered to a specific audience—no one event is the same.

Wine and a Movie event at Leitersburg

People can easily tell if your brand is being genuine. If your marketing isn’t authentic, you’ll drive customers to the competition. Be true to who your brand is and develop your marketing strategies around that truth.

Each element—personalities, story, authenticity—is about hitting those points so you never miss an opportunity for people to connect to your brand on their level.

Ready to tell your brand’s authentic story? Let us help! Click here to find out how HighRock can assist you in your next successful marketing strategy.