Next year, wave back to a Liberty waver please!

I always found the Liberty Wavers in West Des Moines amusing. They always smiled and waved to the drivers and passengers on the bus. Sometimes it did brighten up my day!

WSJ had an article about the Liberty wavers on Monday:

"Uncle Sam and Lady Liberty are the creations of a tax-preparation industry pioneer named John Hewitt. After building a firm called Jackson Hewitt Inc. into the industry's second-largest player behind H&R Block Inc., Mr. Hewitt orchestrated a sale of Jackson Hewitt, resigned and soon afterward started a new company, Liberty Tax Service. To get customers into Liberty's doors, he started hiring costumed wavers."

Though this "cheesy" marketing technique gained some criticisms from the competitiors, Liberty seemed doing pretty well and targeting the right customers.

"Yet Liberty and its franchisees have opened nearly 2,000 offices in nine years. That makes Liberty the industry's third-largest player after H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt, and its fastest-growing. Mr. Hewitt gives much of the credit to his costumed characters. "A lot of people carry their W-2 in their wallet, and when they see our wavers they pull right in," he says. Chicago franchisee Kalid Baste says he considered wavers "foolish" until heavy losses at his Liberty stores forced him to give them a try. Soon, he says, revenue doubled. In working-class neighborhoods -- Liberty says it serves the same market as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. -- Uncle Sam and Lady Liberty have become cultural icons."

Definitely the Big 4 would not agree with this marketing tactic since they are targeting to another kind of clients. The moral of the story here is--do something different which will get your potential customer's attentions, and this will for sure drive your competitors so mad to criticize you!