A great brand is a reflection of what your company is, what your company aspires to be and how people perceive your business. Your brand should also be based on what your target market wants and needs you to be.
Establishing a quality brand takes perseverance and patience—but it’s worth the effort.
Values & Dollars
When you’re deciding how much money to spend on a brand, know that you get what you pay for. A home-made logo probably won’t be of the same quality as a professional design. Professionals suggest that you spend 1%-10% of your overall revenue on marketing—and branding is only a part of that budget. Whatever you decide to spend, know that you get what you pay for. Set a budget for marketing and try to stick to it, people need to be able to find your business.
Setting a budget gives you a clearer sense as to what you are willing to invest in—and what you aren’t.
What does your business do? Who makes up your target demographic? What do you want to say to those people? Do you want to be known for being experienced and of high quality, or cost cheap, high turnover and low quality?
What does your business stand for?
- Well managed
- Good quality
- Good value
These are only a few terms to describe a quality, driven and focused business.
Note that low price is not on that list. You really don’t want the reputation for being the low price provider as that reputation inevitably leads to low margins. You want to be selected for the reasons listed above. The last one, good value, covers the price angle.
You want to work with people who understand value. You don’t want to work with people who only understand price. In other words, you want your brand to uphold the values of your company without cheapening your product.
Think of your brand as a person.
You’re creating a character, a personality, a placeholder for your business as a whole—the approach should be as holistic as possible. Your business’ “personality” should be written down for all workers to see and adhere to, especially when working with a customer. You can provide your workforce with a BrandGuide, or simply put up a poster in the office. The execution is up to you, but it’s important that it’s visible.
You don’t want your business to act bipolar; consistent positive experiences are the key to getting repeat customers and quality online reviews. Once you have your business’ personality defined and written down, take the time to document “if-then” scenarios. How do you want your company to act in given situations, like a frustrating change order or with a new client that was referred to you by a previous one? The more you document expectations, the better your brand will stay predictable and uniform.
Once you’ve defined your brand’s “personality,” move on to the visual aspect of branding.
Choose a logo that represents you.
What makes a logo powerful? Clarity is very important in expressing your business through a logo. There are elements you want to be looking for in your logo. Begin with a broad idea or concept of how to visually express your business and narrow it down as far as you can. Simplicity is an asset.
On the flip side, I have seen many beautiful construction logos that haven’t told the consumer anything. This relates back to your customers and what they’ll be looking for.
Your logo only does well if it actually gets people to call your business or leads to market-leader recognition. Make your brand synonymous with your name, and happy customers will start attributing great work to your business.
Once you’ve figured out your brand, it’s time to build a website around your logo. Choose the same and complementary colours to further accentuate your brand. Set up social media to drive traffic to your site, and blog about construction to boost your company’s SEO. Your website will often be your first opportunity to make a good impression on a potential client, so invest well in it.
Encourage your happy customers to review you on Yelp, Google and other social media outlets. Clients will be far more comfortable with a company that has a history of doing good work as opposed to one that is known for its terrible customer service.
This all rounds out your brand. It may seem inconsequential at first, but as you move through the exercise of branding you’ll see that it adds value not only visually, but to the internal practises of your business. Your customers will recognize that.