How Consumers Find You

Marketing can be more disorienting than ever before. There are old and new types of media, trends coming and going by the day, more competition than before, and professionals claiming giving out watered down information at seminars. So, for our recent Lake Chamber Morning Connections session, we wanted to cut out the middleman and go straight to the consumers.  We pulled together a panel of people ranging from 20-70 years old and asked them, “what gets your attention?” and summarized their responses for you!

Quality over quantity

Our panelists unanimously agreed: Don’t bombard your audience with social media posts. Keep messages direct, eye catching and relevant. Over-advertising makes the business look desperate and untrained. We’re in the age of information, don’t add to the clutter, stand out against it when necessary. Sometimes less is more, it shows that your business has something important to say when it does advertise.

This goes alongside with identifying your target audience. Who are the people most likely to be buying your product? If you’re marketing toward community members, go to local events, stay involved and angle your sales and messages toward relevant topics. Before reaching deep outside your target audience, capture the one that’s most likely to be interested.

If you’re going to make an app, make it worthwhile

As our oldest panelist, Bob Moffat said: “Apps are easier than ever to write, but I don’t want to download something unless it has something I want.”

True across every participant we had: Apps can waste a lot of time, so don’t push one on your customers if it’s just a sleeker version of your website. Offer exclusive coupons, relevant reward systems, and consistent upgrades. Starbucks does this incredibly well, pulling in customers with free drinks and an eye-catching star system.

Apps are an extra hurdle that your audience will have to jump through when they’re judging your business. A nice looking and easy to navigate mobile website can be just as, if not more effective.

We all Google, we all look at reviews

No matter who you’re marketing toward, get your business a Google listing. When people are new to an area or seeking something, in particular, they’re most likely to turn to a Google search. Google loves working with new businesses and make the process incredibly easy. They even call it “The best 10 minutes you can spend on your business today.”

Similarly, make sure to Google your own business. Look at what people are saying on Yelp or similar sites, see how you can improve. Consumers value those little stars next to your name. Our panelist and avid traveler, Chip Wiesel spoke on this.

“After a lot of traveling, I’ve made it a point to only go to places with 4/5 stars. It has saved me so many times over the years,” said Wiesel.

Also, please, please make your website mobile friendly. All of our tech-savvy panelists (and myself) noted that a non-mobile friendly website was likely to make them click away and find another option.

Younger people look toward their elders for trade service recommendations  

If you’re in landscaping, HVAC, plumbing or any of the major trade professions, aim your market sights a bit higher. According to our youngest panelist Natalie Reed, she and all her friends go straight to their elders when it comes to these services.

“We don’t know much about these services, so it’s natural that we go right to our parents for advice about landscaping or insurance,” said Reed. “I’m much more likely to ask for advice on a business like that compared to other businesses.”

So what can you do as a business to get the parents’ attention? Show up on time, do your job and be efficient everyone over 30 echoed.

“I don’t want someone telling me that they’ll be at my house sometime between 8-12. I have kids, I have places to be,” our panelist Shelley Sprang said.

Word of mouth trumps all

After our meeting was over, people began sharing stories about asking janitors, car salesman and other locals where the best local spots were and being blown away with their recommendations.

Anyone who comes into your business could be that special patron who recommends you to all their friends, so treat them like it! Good customer service brings loyalty with it.

We would like to thank all of our panelists for helping us with this event: Natalie Reed, Seth Marana of Ramsburg Insurance, Shelley Sprang of Pegasus Farm, Chip Weisel of Hartville Health and Wellness and retiree Bob Moffat.

Lake Township Year in Review | 2016

2016 was a year full of many exciting additions to our community and an abundance of growth for Lake Township. Not only have we witnessed tremendous community accomplishments this year, but also the addition of a two new logos and our new slogan “A warm welcome every time!”  We are looking forward to releasing our new Discover Hartville website and a flourishing 2017 in a new office location and partnership!



Openings, Expansions & Ribbon Cuttings:

Meet the Mayor – JanuaryIntroduction of Hartville Village‘s new Mayor and tour of Village Hall and the Hartville Police Department.

Family & Community Services of Hartville – February – The RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program) is now in Hartville and is a great new addition for seniors!

Beginnings Salon & Day Spa – March – Celebration of the newly expanded salon services at this beautifully restored barn.

Snags & Wags Barkery (Historic Downtown Hartville) – April – Offers a wide range of healthy dog treats and fashionable pet-wares.

Lynn Michelle Design (Historic Downtown Hartville) – April – Architecturally salvaged pieces and antiques can be found at this new, timeless shop.

Pizza Bogo (Historic Downtown Hartville) – April – This new pizza shop offers a variety of world gourmet-pizzas ranging from the BBQ chicken to the Morocco pizza. 


GentleBrook’s Young Adult Center – May – A new space for young adults 15+ that is host to areas for basketball, volleyball, and a space for live music. 

Sommers Market – June – Rebranded from R Grocery Outlet and renovated, Sommers Market is home to discount groceries, produce, a deli, and convenience items.  


Sarah’s Market Fresh Grill – July – The newly renovated Sarah’s Market Fresh Grill features cafeteria style dining which includes hot food, grab-and-go meals, quick snacks, and refreshing beverages.

Erin’s Euphoria – August – The renovation features a new space for yoga that is both full of energy and serenity. 

Lake High School “H.O.T.” Spot (Hands-On Technology) – SeptemberA tour of the new technology program at Lake High School and a highlight of the Career Tech Programs available to students.

Pegasus Farm’s Country Store and Gardens – October – The new expansion features naturally-grown vegetables which generates revenue for Pegasus Farm’s programs.

Eaton Travel – November – A full-service travel agency that provides a free service for world-wide travel for packages booked.


Annual Leadership Awards Dinner – February –  The Chamber’s Annual Leadership Awards Dinner, hosted at Hartville Kitchen, featured news anchor Robin Swoboda and honored five community award winners. 
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Second SaturdayJune through September – A multi-themed Historic Downtown Hartville event that showcased local art, food, vendors and a Youth Music Showcase.

Hall of Fame Village Tour – JulyWe enjoyed a special sneak peek at the progress of the exciting Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village project at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

FAM Tour – July – We welcomed visitors from the Visit Canton FAM Tour and shared the highlights of a visit to Lake Township!

Uniontown Lions Festival and Bicentennial Celebration – July – The Uniontown Lions Festival partnered with the Bicentennial Committee to celebrate the township’s 200th birthday with a parade, performances, and a family-fun festival.


Step Back to the 1940’s Swing Dance Event – July  Hartville Hardware, Hartville MarketPlace, and the Chamber teamed up to present a Bicentennial-themed event at the Uniontown Lions Festival.

Member Appreciation Party – August – Hosted at the MAPS Air Museum, the member appreciation party brought together members from the Lake, North Canton and Green Chambers for a networking event. 


Lake Community Tailgate Party – September – Taking place at the Hartville Marketplace & Flea Market, this event helped bring the community together in support of the Lake High School band, and youth cheerleaders and football team.

Groundbreaking for Lake Local Schools – September – Lake Local’s new Grades 2-6 building and improvements and renovations at Uniontown Elementary, Lake High School and Lake Middle School are underway and the 2018-19 classes will enjoy new or renovated facilities for the 21st century learner!

Leadership Stark County Bus Tour -April & October – We welcomed guests from Leadership Stark County’s Class and professionals from Stark County to highlight the economic development and industry in Lake Township.

One Bite Taste EventOctober – A Chamber taste event featuring local restaurants and businesses.  This year we welcomed twice as many guests and added an exciting panel of culinary professionals to judge the “Best Bite.”  First Place was award to Quail’s Covey Bed & Breakfast in both the Judge’s Choice & People’s Choice Awards, with Kat’s Bake Shop and SOL Pie Pizza placing second and third, respectively.


Evening in the VillageDecember – Hartville’s annual, festive occasion, which features a plethora of activities, such as tree lighting, music, vendors, story time on the train, and the Ride the Fire Truck with Santa contest.


Holiday Luncheon – December – A chamber networking event hosted at Quail Hollow Park, catered by the One Bite Taste Event winner, Quail’s Covey Bed & Breakfast.

Stakeholder – January, May, and September – A breakfast update between the Board of Directors of the Lake Chamber and approximately 50 stakeholders within the community.  Our hosts in 2016 included Cocoa Concepts, Inc., 650P Office Suites Small Business Center and Hartville

Lake Township’s Year in Review

2015 was a fantastic year of growth for Lake Township and we look forward to a prosperous 2016!

Business Openings:

A Niche in Time (Historic Downtown Hartville) – March – Great estate finds await you at this shop, located in Historic Downtown Hartville

Comfort Suites: Hartville – April – 81 suites available to help all your friends and family come visit the area

Yoder Medical – June- Newly remodeled and rebranded, Yoder Medical offers fashionable scrubs, shoes, and supplies

261 Boutique (Uniontown Square) – July – Fashionable and sophisticated, a great addition to any shopping spree

Arukah Market Health and Restoration – August- A plentiful selection of healthy foods awaits at this Uniontown-based market

Peace, Love & Little Donuts (Historic Downtown Hartville) – August – Offers a variety of 20+ kinds of delicious donuts

Uniontown Community Park – August – A new playground has been added to help kids get out and be active

Uniontown Police Department– August – UPD has relocated and gained new facilities

upd ribbon cutting

Cocoa Concepts – September – Learn the history and process of making chocolate at this location, they also specialize in small parties. Cocoa Concepts hosted the largest Business After Hours event yet at 125+ peopleHartville Children’s Boutique – November – Has a great array of baby gear and toys, the perfect shop for anyone with a child in their life

hv childrens boutique for year in review

Chamber & Community Events:

SCORE Canton: Business After Hours – January – Highlighted SCORE Canton’s free and confidential business counseling, hosted at Grinders

Annual Leadership Awards Dinner – February – The Chamber’s annual dinner, hosted by Hartville Kitchen, which featured Pro Football Hall of Fame President, David Baker and Leadership Awards for five community leaders


POPS Hullabaloo & YMCA Kid’s Day April – An event where parents of young children could tour area preschools, while local businesses, aimed at children, could network

Speed Networking – April – A lightning-fast networking event, hosted by Elite Sports Uniontown, with the North Canton and Green Chambers

STAR Training – April/September – A two part series, with, training front line employees to be tourism ambassadors 

Get Your Businesses Online with Google – July – A Google sponsored workshop, which promoted getting our area on the map

gybo presenters

MAPS Air Museum – September- Small Business Showcase with North Canton and Jackson/Belden Chambers

Second Saturday – June through September – A Historic Downtown Hartville event, taking place between June and September, which featured live music, art, food and more

Tailgate Party and Pep Rally – September- Hosted by the Hartville Marketplace & Flea Market, this event helped bring the community together for the Lake High School band, cheerleaders and football team

Leadership Stark County Bus Tour – Highlighted the great features of Lake Township to area colleagues from Leadership Stark County

Homecoming Parade -October- A parade to celebrate Lake High School’s Homecoming, hosted by PNC Bank

One Bite – October – A Chamber taste event featuring local restaurants and businesses

1One Bite 2015 Best Bite WinnersEvening the in Village – December – Hartville’s annual, festive occasion hosts a plethora of activities, such as music, vendors, and the Ride the Fire Truck with Santa contest

eiv collage for year in review

Holidays at the Hollow Luncheon  December – Chamber’s Annual Holidays at the Hollow Luncheon featured One Bite Taste Event winners The Pierogi Lady, Mi Casa Mexican Restaurant, and Quail’s Covey Bed & Breakfast at Quail Hollow Park

All Year – Morning Connections Networking was hosted at Consumers National Bank on the first Wednesday of each month for a networking & education series

Press and Features:

Southwest MagazineThanks to Southwest Magazine for featuring our area in a well represented manner

About Magazine –  Thank you About Magazine for your piece on Downtown Hartville

Akron Life – Thank you Akron Life for featuring Hartville

New Day Cleveland –  Thank you New Day Cleveland for your piece on Hartville shopping, for the holidays

Stark County Visitor’s GuideThank you for featuring our area in the guide

Gift Local this Holiday Season!

We are inspired everyday by the work of our community emergency assistance program, named Lake Township F.I.S.H. (Faithfully I Serve Him).  This Holiday season, FISH is giving back in a number of ways to people in need in our community.  You can give them a helping hand throughout the season by participating in the Affordable Christmas program, as well as Thanksgiving and Christmas food drives.

What is Affordable Christmas?  As a Chamber of Commerce, we look at this program as a gift not only for those in need, but a gift back to our local community as well when gifts are purchased locally.  Affordable Christmas is a local shopping event on December 13 for lower-income, working-class families to provide their children fun and exciting gifts during the holiday affchristmasseason. Families are invited through partnering community organizations such as Lake Local Schools, Lake Township FISH and Stark County Family Council to attend the event and purchase new, unused gifts at 1/10 the cost of their original price. All gifts are intended for children and teens ages 0-16 years old.  Volunteer on Sunday December 13 from 3-6pm for this program, hosted at RiverTree Christian Church Lake Campus.

Local businesses are invited to place their own stock of toys and clothes at registers and encourage customers while they are checking out to purchase an extra item to donate to Affordable Christmas or host their own toy drive.  For a list of items Fill stockings for FISHneeded, click here.  Hartville Collectibles‘ new Children’s Boutique (located on the second floor) is participating in this program as well and toy drop-off locations are Best Bib and Tucker and Peace, Love and Little Donuts of Hartville.

On Tuesday, November 24, a group of local churches led by Hartville Mennonite Church gathered together to provide all of the ingredients of a traditional Thanksgiving meal to Lake Township residents referred by Lake Township FISH, Lake Center Christian School, Lake Local Schools and Greentown Elementary.   GentleBrook Event Center hosts the event and the children can make Thanksgiving cards while their parents select their ingredients.  Donors that made this event possible are Hartville Kitchen, Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Hartville Church of the Brethren, Advent Lutheran Church, Bethany Mennonite Church, Church Upon the Rock, Adventure Place, Rivertree Lake, Maple Grove Mennonite Church, Uniontown United Methodist Church, East 12108809_741787219285765_8812601852599261478_nNimishillen Church of the Brethren, FISH, Solid Rock Church, St. Jacob’s Lutheran Church, Hartville Mennonite Church, Pole Position Marketing, GentleBrook and New Life Episcopal Church.  

Lake High School National Honor Society student Megan collaborated with FISH and local volunteers and employees from Pole Position Marketing and Best Bib and Tucker in our community to make 180 stockings that have been distributed throughout Lake Township shops to fill with donations.  Twice is Nice and Best Bib and Tucker are collecting items until November 30.  Those donations will stock the pantry shelves for the winter months when need is greater.  On December 7, the giving continues as a “Breakfast Food Drive” at Lake High School fills the stockings with the makings of a wonderful Christmas morning breakfast!

Lastly, stop on out to Evening in the Village in Historic Downtown Hartville on Sunday, December 6 from 4:30-7:00pm for a Lake Township tradition!  Tree lighting, visit with Santa, wagon rides, choirs, children’s activities, and downtown shops open! A collection site for Affordable Christmas and donations for Lake Township FISH will be available during the event.

Lake Township is known for its generous and giving nature.  Thank you, especially during this Thanksgiving week, for making this a great community for all!