One of the secrets to any business's success is for its brand, products and services to stand out from the crowd. This is no easy feat and can require quite a bit of ingenuity on the part of a marketing team or sales staff to come up with the logo, graphics, messages, and services that get to the heart of your target market's needs.
Construction companies are no exception and, while smaller companies may not have in-house marketing teams, there are ways to ensure your construction company (aka your "Brand") stands out from the competitors.
5 Ways for Your Brand to Stand Out From the Competition
- What the heck IS your brand? Do you even know what your brand is, what it represents or the energy/feelings/adjectives you want others to have or think of when your company's name is mentioned? Everyone wants to be reliable, trusted and professional - go outside that standard construction box and start honing in on the qualities that make your company different from others. If you don't really know what your brand is, take a moment to read 5 Tips to Branding Your Construction Company.
In the meantime, is there a special type of service you offer? Do you notice a few client niches that have developed along the way? These are all good places to start, detailing and expanding your view of the company's brand. Then, have a meeting with staff and update your employee handbooks so this unique brand, image and essence become a sort of marinade - infused into your current and future employee hires. It should be a unified concept that your people, their actions, your marketing materials, your customer service interactions, etc., continually promote and exude to the general public.
- Use consistent branding via your website, logo and promotional materials. Years ago, there was a pretty crazy modern art installation. It was a huge glass tank, filled with crumpled, compressed, and seemingly unrecognizable pieces of trash. However, it was very easy to look inside the tank noticing, "That's a Wheaties box! And that's a piece of a Pepsi Can. Hey! That small corner is part of a Doritos bag!" These mainstream, corporate brands have done such a thorough job of using the same colors, logos, graphics and imagine - their brands are recognizable even when the audience sees a mere snippet of packaging.
This is the same kind of thoroughness and continuity you should create via company colors, graphics, logos, website design, vehicle signage - aka your company's "packaging" - so customers easily recognize you. Does your website continue the same colors, text styles, fonts, shapes and proportion as your logo? Do your company vehicles have bold, noticeable signage that continues those visual themes? How about business cards, print materials, surveys, coupons, etc.? All of these should have continuous and adaptable visual effects so customers can more easily distinguish your visual brand from others.
- Change your logo. You may find it's time to change your logo, especially if your construction company was founded 15 or more years ago, when digital marketing and social media were less important in the big picture. If your logo doesn't exemplify who you are or doesn't work well across the marketing spectrum, start from scratch and use a trusted marketing professional to design a new one. Ideally, elements of your former logo would be included, but this might not be possible.
A good construction company logo will give a viewer the idea that you build things, and perhaps even which types of things, without ever including the name, "construction" in the graphic. While it make take a bit of getting used to, a new logo, related graphics and a fresh, overall look will help you brand yourself - and promote that new brand - much quicker and more swiftly than sticking with one that hasn't worked thus far.
- Re-Evaluate your marketing budget. If you said, "What marketing budget," this tip should be placed top of your list. Experts recommend budgeting up to 10% of your company's revenue on marketing. This figure will be slightly lower for smaller construction companies. The point, however, is that your company should be prepared to spend money to make money.
Branding is a process, and it doesn't happen overnight. If marketing is a foreign concept to you, it is probably worthwhile to hire a professional company - at least for the first year - to get the ball rolling.
- Leverage social media accounts. The more you leverage social media accounts, like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, the more you will be able to connect with your customers - both past, present and future. This is key to brand development and consistency. Social media accounts are essential for modern day branding success.
Have you recently - and successfully - re-branded your construction company? Share your tips in the Whirlwind comment box.