Credit: John Wagner Photography

Driving around the Twin Cities, you might see a billboard of a guy in a black cowboy hat with a guitar. Terry Derosier looks like a Nashville country singer, even though he grew up in Minnesota, lives in St. Paul, and owns Window World of the Twin Cities, one of the franchisor’s largest units.

If Derosier looks like a country singer, that’s because he plays one in his own commercials.

After hiring a company owned by marketing consultant Lonny Kocina to rebuild his website, Derosier sat in on one of Kocina’s marketing classes about branding. Kocina suggested that Derosier’s “down-home, friendly attitude” was a strength around which he could build his brand.

Radio Ads

Convinced, Derosier met with local radio marketing consultant Hutch Walch last January to plan a campaign — from yard signs to TV — built around the image of “a guy who plays guitar and just happens to be a contractor.”

Derosier stars as singer and guitarist in the TV and radio commercials that are the centerpiece of the campaign. One, for instance, starts with an anecdote about hail “as big as baby red potatoes” falling on the family farmhouse.

“Terry makes it easy,” Walch says. “He grew up on a farm and knows rural life [in a way that] always makes for a good yarn.” Derosier says he wanted to let potential customers know that he is “a regular guy” and stands by what he sells.

Branding = Definition

Kocina advises anyone considering a branding campaign to “think about how you’d like to be perceived” by your customers. “Brand,” he says, “is the definition that people hold in their minds of what you are. It’s built in two ways: what a person is told, and what they experience.”

In Derosier’s case, Kocina says, “We thought: If you’re considering having new windows put in your home, what is it about Terry that aligns with that?” The image of a friendly guy with hat and guitar makes homeowners feel “that’s who I want coming out to my house. Not someone slick.”