I recently had the opportunity to have a chat with branding expert Sapna Pieroux about her work with entrepreneurs and companies, and really why branding is so important for us as company owners.
One of the first things we do when we start a business is think about the name and logo, then just throw ourselves head-on into the business without actually thinking of the brand. First impressions do matter, but a brand is so much more than just a logo, it is about customer experience. Branding is where you can attract your target audience, and then it’s up to you as a master of your trade to sell the entire package.
Image can be a real game-changer for your company. And Sapna really helped us to see that it is important for construction owners to think about their brand as there can be a lack of trust in the building trade. Your branding can put you across in a professional light or on the other hand a not-so-professional light. If something looks a bit cheap when it comes to the logo and it doesn’t look like you have any pride in your own business, that can come across as an impression of work ethic.
If you have a limited budget
If you have a limited budget make sure you are working on customer experience firstly, that your booking systems and website is working properly and you follow up on interest quickly and on time. In terms of branded experience, don’t waste your money on pens and mugs that won’t be used. If you are creating a beautiful interior you don’t want to stick your branded mug in the middle, unless it is also beautiful. Any gifts need to make you stand out in your industry. Offer something practical, maybe for example a tile care kit if you are in tiling, to help look after the work you do. This is a great way to WOW your client and go above expectations. You could give them something that they can enjoy in their new environment, like a bottle of champagne. You could cost it into the job, and it would help finish off the experience really well.
Family names are often used in construction, but if you are thinking of using your name try to just use your last name. This means that you can expand and scale-up, and sound bigger than you are. We scroll through 96 metres of social media a day on average, this is the size of Big Ben. With your customers scrolling that quickly you need to stop the scroll, and the name of your company will help you stand out in your industry. Take people on a journey and help people to see your values and quality. The power of a few words can be very profound.
The look and feel of a website may influence a customer’s choice as it is often the first place customers look when weighing up their options.
Some key tips Sapna gave us were:
- Have a look at what colours you are using in your branding already and make sure that some of them match the details on the website.
- Use lots of white space on your website, it is like the difference between travelling first class and economy. It makes you look much more professional, it is calming and can help customers to build trust in you.
- Use images that are tonal, that are in your brand colours, this will help the website feel cohesive and put together
- Have hero shots on the front page. Sell the dream and transformation. If you just have a lot of in-process shots this won’t attract customers as much as finished projects.
- Shutterstock is a great resource. It is an image bank and if you don’t have all the right photography it’s ok to use them as inspirational shots to supplement the photos you do have. Show pictures with people in them. People want to see projects lived in and imagine themselves there, enjoying their space, and envisioning their lifestyle.
If you have got to the point where you would like to overhaul your branding and image, it would be a good idea to ask a professional for help. But here are some things you can think about:
- Look at five aspirational brands that you admire, and would like to be looked at in that way, not about how you look but how it makes you feel, the experience. Think outside the industry and look at other brands you admire.
- Look at your company vision for the next 3-5 years. You need to build recognition and not outgrow your branding. What do you want to be known for? Why will people be queuing up? What Customer vision – who are they? Who the ideal clients are and what is the transformation in their lives and sell the dream think about how they will talk about it
- Brand personality and brand voice. Brand personality comes across in colours and typeface. If your brand was a person what would they be like? How would they talk to the clients? What is the vocabulary you use and what would you not use? Tone of voice? If you have this stuff documented it’s easier to have someone else help with this.
- Look at other people in your space and what are they doing right and what could you improve on. You will see things come up and are trending, if you want to stand out don’t use what anyone else is doing, and be unique.
While it can be difficult to know where to start, putting in the time and resources to improve your branding and image will help to make the best impression for you and your company.
If you would like to hear me discuss more with Sapna on my podcast, check it out here in episode 8.
If you would like to discuss with me how your business can improve, please get in touch here