GIE Expo: A Formula for Success

Agency tips on how your outdoor brand can stand out at the Green Industry & Equipment Expo

The Green Industry & Equipment Expo (GIE) is the industry’s largest gathering, occurring annually in Louisville. Manufacturers of outdoor equipment travel from across the globe to present the new year’s lineup. SPLASH visited the show in October of 2018 to gather industry insights and visit clients. Below is our evaluation and approaches to consider for 2019.

There are 3 main audiences:

 Dealers, owners of outdoor equipment stores

Dealers, owners of outdoor equipment stores

 Retailers, big box store buyers

Retailers, big box store buyers

 Lawn service company owners and enthusiasts

Lawn service company owners and enthusiasts

  GIE booths

GIE booths

Standing out at a show with hundreds of similar products is a true formula. The big manufacturer names- Briggs & Stratton, Husqvarna, John Deere, and Stihl drew the crowds in with great looking booths, fast-moving videos, live demos, and strong graphics. We loved the Graverly backlit image as well as the John Deere family of products hanging in photo above.

The more niche names on the other hand- Spartan Mowers, Bad Boy Mowers, Lera, and so many more (the majority of the show exhibitors) focused in on their specific audiences. This is where we introduce the formula for success- great design and graphics, live demos, fast-moving videos, (and even BEER sometimes). Of course, giveaways don’t hurt as well, everyone loves a good hat.

Fast moving feature product videos like this one inform audiences quickly and encourage pausing in front of your booth

MowOx 40V Family at GIE Expo produced by SPLASH

Great design and graphics + live demos + games + fast moving videos + giveaways + beer = one full booth

Knowing your audience is key- what do they value, what makes them excited, what are their goals? Bad Boy Mowers knew their audience through and through. The star of their fast moving product videos was a blonde woman with flare jeans and cowboy boots. Guess who was at the GIE Expo signing posters of herself sitting on their lawnmower? Let’s just say their booth was constantly packed. Maybe not our approach, but it worked well for them.

Focus on what makes your brand unique and align with industry trends

The clear industry trends of 2018 were robotic mowers, zero-turn mowers, and high-performance battery power. Robotics robotics robotics- the future of lawn maintenance was made very clear.

Briggs & Stratton, a manufacturer of engines, added skin in the game with the battery theme and focused on their brand strengths. Partnering with MowOx allowed them to share the power of a gas engine with InStart Technology, an easy and advanced no-pull battery start.

To sum it up

The formula for success: Great design and graphics, live demos, fast-moving videos, (and even BEER)

Industry trends: Robotic lawn mowers, high-performance battery power, zero turn

Brands to watch: DAYE North America presented under the name MowOx. With new U.S. Headquarters and patented zero-turn three wheel mower, they are destined for success.

SPLASH keeps up with industry trends through OPE, Outdoor Power Equipment. Join us in the free subscription of their monthly magazine at

Ready for your brand to stand out? Let’s talk

Better Define Your Audience with This 10 Minute Exercise

The Exercise: Create a target audience persona based on insights and experience. Use the profile to gauge relevant content development and idea generation.

Spend 10 minutes creating a fictional persona- if your business had an average customer, what would they look like, where would they live, what would their favorite weekend activity be? If you don’t know where to begin, Google Analytics is a great place to start.

Example target audience persona for your brand:

 Example target audience persona

Answers to include:


Favorite Brands












Household Income

Social Platforms

exercise worksheet
Name *

Having a photo and a description of one person makes it easy to look at it and think: “would {insert audience name here} like this social media post, would they relate to the web copy I’m writing?”

It will feel a bit odd at first, but defining your audience will help focus your writing and brand efforts to your ideal target market.

Extra Step:

Look at your website. Compare it to your social channels, compare it to your print work, look at the colors and the tone of voice. All should follow suit. Ensure that Rick, that 30-year-old accountant, would find the information helpful, feel the topic is directed at him, and would resonate with the images.

Exercise Background:

At SPLASH, we use target audience personas on day one of brand development. Logos, colors, typefaces, the tone of images, and voice, all essential brand elements, are determined based on personas!

3 Ways a Brand Manifesto Will Reenergize Your Business

A brand manifesto rallies. It connects your audience, inspires employees, and attracts talent - all in all it unites each sector of your business to believe in your company and act as an avid supporter of your lifestyle and brand.

Whole Foods created their brand manifesto in 2014 and ran a 60 second tv spot reading it aloud.

1. Connects brand and customer

The race for authentic advertising raises the need for an internal reflection on your brand and it's quest in the grand scheme of well, life. Customers urge brands to behave in an individual manner, of that resembling a trusted acquaintance whose lifestyles and beliefs align with their own. The 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer reports that 42% of the 33,000+ individuals surveyed don't know what brands they can trust. A brand manifesto solidifies your relationship, and guess what- brand loyalty follows. 


2. Inspires employees

Any business with an indirect distribution channel benefits greatly from a brand manifesto. Your man on the front lines- your dealer or sales people are the flesh to your brand. They, more than any internal employee, should bleed your brand's colors. Sharing your manifesto aligns you with the distributor and invites them to share in your drives. 

We covered the external benefits, but what if you have a factory of hard working individuals? What if you printed your brand manifesto stretched the length of the factory wall- strengthening your employees purpose and sense of belonging? A united narrative could push employees to strengthen your brand from the inside out.


3. Attracts talent

The culture of your company is based on the beliefs and values of your business (Sound familiar?). Your brand manifesto is essentially your company's organizational culture in words. There you have it, the brand manifesto. 250 words that can reenergize your business in all its facets.  


Ready to love your brand? Let’s create and apply a brand manifesto for your company. 


What is content gathering and why should you care?

It's a phrase heard a lot the last couple years, and it's shaking up the way agencies tell your story. So how is content gathering different from a photoshoot?

Here's how we break it down:

A photoshoot has a shot-list or layouts and can include a large or small team of creatives (including: a photographer, sometimes video cameraman, art director, assistant, stylist, possible hair and makeup, models). Can occur on location or in studio with additional lighting and specialized gear. High volume of generated material and post.
Image use: Catalog, website, print, outdoor and digital advertisement.

A content gathering shoot has a looser list of images to gather and includes a smaller group of creatives (a photographer and sometimes an art director). More targeted and less expansive generated material.
Image use: Emails, social media


Examples of photoshoot vs. content gathering shoot:

  Photoshoot   - Artificial light brought in - Model


- Artificial light brought in
- Model

  Content gathering shoot   - No model (stand-in) - Location that was discovered vs. scouted

Content gathering shoot

- No model (stand-in)
- Location that was discovered vs. scouted

  Photoshoot   - Camera crew - Model with wardrobe options


- Camera crew
- Model with wardrobe options

  Content gathering shoot   - No model (stand-in)

Content gathering shoot

- No model (stand-in)

Robert Holland is an award-winning commercial photographer of over 25 years.


Ready to have your own photoshoot or content gathering shoot? Let's start planning it