“Branding is a way of controlling your customer’s mind within your market.”
When it comes to establishing an identity for your plumbing business or residential heating home service business, it can be difficult. What exactly is a “brand” precisely? Does it have the same meaning as marketing?
Investopedia. notes that “people often confuse brands with things [such as] logos, slogans or other recognizable marks. Although these terms are often used interchangeably, they’re distinct. They are both marketing tools that companies typically use to market and promote their products or services. When utilized together, they help create a brand image.”
A brand is an integral part of a marketing plan.
“Marketing can mean so many different things, and there are so many tactics when it comes to it,” says Rebecca Cassel, managing partner of CertainPath (the former Success Group International). “But if you build a brand, it will help all those marketing tactics you utilize.”
Marketing strategies vary from business to company, based on the specific circumstances. Yet, “a brand is considered one of the most valuable and important assets for a company,” Investopedia.com declares. “A good brand engenders trust in the consumer.
If they have a positive experience with a particular service, the customer will be more inclined to attempt another product from the same company or brand.
Cassel says: “Branding is owning the customers’ minds in your market. It’s the method of creating a positive and positive impression of the products and services you provide. For instance, if I ask, “Can you identify the name of a heating and cooling firm? If I’ve created a brand, I’d like to be among the top three when I would like to ask.”
She gives three good reasons for residential home service businesses to consider Branding.
- Recall. “If you’ve built your brand, the idea is people won’t go to their phone and Google for a residential contractor; they’ll look for your number,” Cassel states. “The reason for Branding is to create the recall of your business. If a homeowner experiences problems, she instinctively recognizes that she should contact your company.”
- Labor. “Building your brand also helps you attract top talent,” she says. “That’s the biggest issue for everyone in today’s world of trades. People are looking to work for organizations seen as positive on the market.”
- Loyalty. “When all you have is a positive perception of a company, it increases how often your customers refer you to their friends and mention you in conversation,” she says.
But, it’s essential to ensure you have an established operational and customer quality base before you invest money in your brand’s message. A good reputation can bring customers and new technologies to your doors. It’s essential to have that foundation when your branding strategy begins to take off, Cassel says.
“I began in this industry when a great Yellow Page ad was all you needed to get your phone to ring,” she elaborates. “Today today, the Internet has made Branding and marketing more difficult. You must seek experts, whether you have an expert business coach or a group of contractors to serve as an earpiece. Being an entrepreneur means having mentors and acquaintances who can guide you.”
Define Your Message
The first step to creating an identity is to define the story of your business. What is its message? How do you want to be your company to be perceived? It is your brand’s image.
“How is your story different from everyone else? Do you have a place on the market that you hold?” Cassel asks. “Most top brands are known for something. If it’s a cost advantage, product benefit, or a competitive service advantage, There must be something that makes your company noticed. It must then be presented in an easy, concise manner.”
How do you wish to communicate? It is essential to convey a message according to her, particularly in the case of your family’s name.
“You need a great name,” Cassel explains. “If you were not blessed with an amazing last name, your message must communicate who you are and what you stand for; it must be extreme.”
It’s not required to alter a business’s name to make it more appealing, particularly in the case of companies that have served customers for many years under this name. This could be confusing for long-time clients who’ve always been with your company; they might not be able to trust a business that alters its expression.
Logos can help deliver the right message. “A company that can get its message across can induce and evoke emotion within its customer base,” Investopedia declares.
Give some thought to designing your company’s logo, Cassel suggests. It must be straightforward to comprehend. “Think of some iconic brands today: Nike, Mercedes, Lexus,” she says. “Their logos are straightforward, yet everyone knows them.”
Simple. Legible. Clean. Clear message. These are the elements of powerful Branding, Cassel notes. They should also be part of your billboards, such as your service vehicles.
“Too often, we see contractors’ trucks with 50 different emblems, pictures, services, and multiple numbers,” she says. “It creates a lot of confusion. Simple is best. Color is essential. You should choose one that is unique, and that’s available. Be unique, and don’t get cluttered.”
A memorable name, a clear message, and an attractive yet simple logo are all the components of Branding that your customer base will notice. Once you’ve established them, include them in all of your marketing materials. “They are your brand standards and should be consistent in every piece of marketing you do, beginning with your trucks,” Cassel says.
Your brand’s consistency is essential. Making constant changes to appear “new” may make it difficult for customers to locate your company. “Once you properly construct your brand, leave it alone.” Cassel insists. “It takes some time for a large portion of your audience to discover what you’re about. It’s not easy to change that.”
What’s next? The next step is to begin marketing your brand and get it noticed by people. Digital tools like pay-per-click or search engine optimization play an essential role in the mix of marketing, she states. Still, television and radio remain the most effective ways of promoting your brand.
“Consistency in those mediums is critical; they help build mindshare,” Cassel clarifies. “I strongly suggest you work with an agency to develop the correct broadcast schedule and ads, not someone who works for the station. Yes, it’s costly. However, this is an investment that could yield exponential profits If it’s constructed correctly. The best thing to do is locate a reputable, experienced contractor willing to provide you with suggestions.”
She continues: “Too many contractors fall into the trap of saying yes to every radio or T.V. rep that calls us with an offer of 97 advertisements. If these 97 spots only get broadcast around 3 a.m. and aren’t worth anything, they’re not worth it. You pay for what you get. A person who can help you through the marketing plan process is essential.”
Marketing is just one aspect of a brand’s success. “For marketing to be effective, you must deliver excellent service, get great reviews and earn referrals,” Cassel says. “With the Internet, you can’t spend your way around a bad reputation.”
Training is essential, She says, to improve your operational efficiency and to take “extraordinary care” of your team, your customers, and your company.
Successful brands allow you to determine who you are in the market. “Once you’ve built your brand when people hear your name, it elicits an immediate, positive response,” Cassel states. “When they require plumbing repairs or have their air conditioner repaired, They don’t have to ask a person for the name. They will call you.”
The right message to the right audience will “induce and evoke emotion,” Investopedia states. Building trust and credibility build loyalty, giving your company an advantage in the market(s). Therefore, it is essential to conduct your research, connect to other contractors or employ an agent to guarantee the longevity of your business.
“The day you went into business, you had a brand,” Cassel clarifies. “If you aren’t happy with it or think it’s not connecting with the market, then you can rethink how you think about it. You can alter your brand anytime, and it’s not too late.”