// PODCAST TRANSCRIPT

Branding with Sapna Pieroux Transcript

Greg Wilkes (00:01):

The construction industry can be a tough business to crack from cashflow problems. Struggling to find skilled labor and not making enough money for your efforts leaves many business owners feeling frustrated and burnt out. But when you get the business strategy right, it’s an industry that can be highly satisfying and financially rewarding. I’m here to give you the resources to be able to create a construction business that gives you more time, more freedom, and more money. This is the Develop Your Construction Business podcast, and I’m your host, Greg Wilkes.

Greg Wilkes (00:40):

Okay. So, it’s great to have a new guest on the podcast this week. We’ve got Sapna Pieroux and welcome Sapna. Great to have you here with us.

Sapna Pieroux (00:50):

Hi Greg. Lovely to see you again.

Greg Wilkes (00:52):

It’s been a while, isn’t it? So, Sapna is a multi-award-winning business owner. I was just looking through your award actually. Highly impressive on your email. There are lots of them. And most importantly for my listeners, Sapna is a branding expert, so going to be a really useful podcast and YouTube session today with Sapna, and Sapna has also written a bestselling book, which is Five Stars on Amazon. Let’s get visible! Let’s see that. Yeah, nice. That’s a fantastic book. That is. I’ve read it and I’ve recommended it to my clients too because it’s a great book that you can keep referring back to for any question on branding. So yeah, appreciate all the effort you put into that. It’s been useful. So Sapna, have I missed anything there in the introduction? Anything you want to add?

Sapna Pieroux (01:43):

Well, my company is called InnerVisions ID and yeah, we work with entrepreneurs and companies to help them get more visible and that’s what the book’s about really. So yeah, I’m sure it’ll all come out in our chat anyway.

Greg Wilkes (01:57):

Fantastic.

Sapna Pieroux (01:58):

Can’t wait to get started.

Greg Wilkes (01:59):

So I should just add to my listeners, I’ve known Sapna for a long time now because I did your Loft conversion many years ago. Is it still standing?

Sapna Pieroux (02:10):

It’s still standing. We still love it. It is one of the things that’s actually stopped us from moving house a couple of times because we kind of go around and go, oh, but we’ve got a beautiful Loft. We are still in love with it. And whenever we travel we come back, and we go, oh, bedroom is the nicest.

Greg Wilkes (02:28):

It was a nice Loft. I mean you can take the credit for the design there Sap, but I’ll give ourselves a bit of praise for the build.

Sapna Pieroux (02:34):

Well, it’s not falling down, so it’s still soon as well.

Greg Wilkes (02:38):

Good, good. So the reason I’ve got Sap on today is because obviously my listeners, they’re in construction as business owners and one of the first things we do in business when we start out is we get all excited and then we try and think of our company name and the first thing we go and do is try and get a logo done and you think about your logo and often we throw ourselves headlong into the business trying to win work, but we don’t always focus on the importance of a brand. And I know from experience, once my business was established and then I revisited this, I really saw the importance of getting your brand and it can be a bit of a game changer for your business when you do that. So it’s great to have an expert on today where you can tell us, I guess we’ll discuss the importance of branding, how to get your brand right, things we should be focusing on, things like that. So looking forward to getting into it. Cool. So maybe just first of all, Sap, we obviously know you’ve got experience using builders. You used me for your loft as we said, that’s how we first met. But maybe we could just ask you, when you were first looking for a building company, how did first impressions impact your decision on who you work with?

Sapna Pieroux (03:53):

A really interesting question actually. And first impressions do matter. I always say that to all my clients and even people who aren’t my clients, that first impressions do matter, but brand is so much more than just a logo. So it’s about the whole experience, it’s about the customer experience and certainly when we were talking to, so whilst you’re looking at websites and you’re looking at, so the look and feel of a website may be something that influences your choice because if they’ve got a looking website and beautiful imagery on there, that’s obviously going to attract you to working with them. But ultimately it does come down to personal recommendations like you’ve got these people in your home for weeks on end. You’ve got to be able to trust them. You know what, I looked at about six or seven different lofts, before I went ahead and I asked every single one of those people who they’d used and it was a friend’s sister loft that I think you’d done. And because of the quality of that build, it wasn’t the logo. I’m talking myself out of a job here.

Greg Wilkes (05:04):

I think we did have a bit of a dodgy logo to be honest back then in there.

Sapna Pieroux (05:10):

So if it was on logo alone, I wouldn’t have probably gone with you. But it was also when you came in, the questions that you asked, you had an intelligent take on what we wanted. You also dealt with things correctly and swiftly if things went wrong and things can go wrong over several weeks or months build. So that was something else. And also I have to say the guy that came from there was a highly recommended company who were cheaper than you and we didn’t go with them because he came across as a bit of a @#$%&!. Am I allowed to swear? He came across as a bit cocky, a bit arrogant, talked a lot about his company and didn’t really ask us any questions. So I think it is the entire customer experience, but branding is the bit where you will attract, where you can attract your target audience if all other things being equal.

Greg Wilkes (06:05):

That’s really interesting. So just to emphasize the point in that you were looking for the whole package, really that’s what convinces you in the end, isn’t it? It’s not just the fancy logo. We’ve got to be able to back it up I guess with the experience that we’re giving to a client too. So no, that’s really useful and valuable. So thanks for that. So why do you think it’s important for construction owners to think about their brand?

Sapna Pieroux (06:29):

So this is something that I talk about, it is the same for any business, but for construction owners, again, there is a kind of lack of trust for builders sometimes, but the building trade has got a little bit of, my neighbor has actually just been in our house sort of moaning builders and asking if their builder could park outside our drive and I was asking her about it as well. And it was things like not telling her how long the job was going to take, it just kind of got bigger and bigger and things like that. So I think there’s a little bit of a trust issue, and with branding and how that can help is that can put you across in a much more professional light if something looks a bit homemade and a bit cheap from the branding point of view, whether that’s the logo or the van you turn up in or the website when you go on there and it doesn’t load up properly or it looks really dated or there’s typos on, it’s all about the first impression. I’ve got this model that I talk about in the book called Do Say See.

Greg Wilkes (07:32):

So I’ve got your Do Say See image here that’s uploaded. So if you’re on the podcast you can’t see this, but yeah, do you want to talk us through that a little bit more, Sapna?

Sapna Pieroux (07:41):

Okay, cool. Because little in life that can’t be best explained in a Venn diagram I find. So this is three concentric circles or three circles overlapping for anybody who can’t see the image. And the top one is “Do” so that’s basically what you are selling. So if it’s off conversions or development or whatever it is you “Do” is kind of the products or service that you’re selling, then the “Say” is what you’re telling people about it. So that is your social media, it’s the blurb on your website, it’s the stuff that you’ve got in your brochure and it’s what you’re telling people when you turn up networking events or when you go and see a client. So that’s what your “Say” is, it’s also your book, you’ve written a book, so that’s part of your say as well. And then the thing that people don’t put enough so that you’ll spend a lot of time thinking about the projects and services that you’re selling.

(08:38)
You’ll spend a lot of time thinking about the words that you’re going to communicate that with. And obviously you need to tell people about it otherwise you don’t have a business. But most people don’t know about it. But the thing that people don’t think about is the “See” and it’s like what is that first impression that we were talking about? What is that initial kind of image that you’re putting across? And are people going to trust you based on that? So again, if you’ve got a great quality product or service and you’re saying it, but then you don’t look quality and you don’t look the part, it makes people think, oh, not consciously, but it just casts dispersions. So if you’ve got a crappy logo or a website that doesn’t load up or typos all over your brochure or a thin scrappy business card or a van, that’s kind of all bumped up and scratched and it just doesn’t show that you’ve got pride in your own business and pride in your own standards for your own business. So it makes you think, well if they’ve got that sloppy an attitude to their own business, what’s the work ethic there? So branding is really important to just show the level to which you are kind of striving for really.

Greg Wilkes (09:52):

Yeah, that makes complete sense. And what about “The Do” and “The Say” so what if they’ve got, they’re doing the right thing and they’re not saying the right thing. So what have we got here?

Sapna Pieroux (10:04):

“The Say” so if you’ve got a great project service and a great pitch and then your see is out of kilter than it cast doubt. If you’ve got “do” and “see” on points, you’ve got flashy looking website, great logo, great design, and a great product, but then people go on the website and they can’t actually find the information they’re looking for or they can’t work out if you are the best person for them because they can’t understand that’s kind of when your “say” is out kilter, you’re not communicating your value, you’re not communicating your products or services. And that’s what I call an incoherent brand. So the other one is an invisible brand you’re getting passed over for your better looking competitors. An incoherent brand is one that doesn’t make any sense. I can’t actually work out if there are any good. And the worst type is what I call the insincere brand, which is when your “see” and your “say” are on point. So you’ve got a flashy looking website and you’re promising people the world. And then we’ve all had experiences where companies have failed to deliver on their promise so they failed to fulfill their due, which is kind of the reason that they get hired. And so that’s what I call an insincere brand and that’s when you get bad Google reviews and bad word of mouth and that’s going to kill a business quicker than anything really.

Greg Wilkes (11:16):

Yeah, it’s not going to be sustaining, is it? If they do that? No.

Sapna Pieroux (11:20):

So, none of these are sustainable. You’re going to lose sales by missing out any one of these three. I’m not saying that the branding is more important, it’s about the whole customer experience and it’s all of those things aligning and supporting each other and actually, it makes it a more trustworthy brand if how it looks and what it’s saying actually match up to the product and service that you’re selling.

Greg Wilkes (11:40):

Yeah, that’s really valuable. So, that’s a great little image that one, and you explained that in your book, don’t you? I think a little bit more about your thing, and I know that’s on your website, so thanks for that, talking us through that. Let me get rid of that image now. Good stuff. So thinking about brands, so some of my experiences with branding, I’m always getting approached by different companies to try and get branded mugs and all different things, branded pens and whatever else. And you always, sometimes you wonder what is the best use of my resources? What should I be spending my money on? So if you were going to give someone advice, if someone’s got a limited budget, what would be the top things you think businesses should be focusing on?

Sapna Pieroux (12:21):

I think I’d work on the customer experience first and foremost, making sure that if you’ve got booking systems or that your website’s working properly, that’s easy for people to make an appointment with you, and that you follow up on those appointments and you actually turn up on time. So again, it’s about making that great first impression. So, any interactions that I have with you online before I meet you in person are working properly. That I think would be, it’s notoriously difficult to get builders to turn up on time or to turn up at all. That’s the reputation. So anything that you can do that takes that away, I think in terms of gifts afterward, I think the main thing I’d want, if I was having a loft build or I’d want that to turn out well before you gave me a mug, I mean who are these mugs going to?

Greg Wilkes (13:13):

Well, that’s it. Yeah, I know. I mean you end up getting a load of mugs and I suppose you used them instead of using yours. I think we had an awful tagline. We got a load of mugs and then we’d drop them off at the beginning of the job around the customer’s house thinking they were going to use them and we had something like, “You can trust us with your house, but you can’t trust us with your mugs” or something like that. It was so ridiculous.

Sapna Pieroux (13:37):

I think your own mugs, that would actually be quite, you could bring your own branded mugs and then take them away. I don’t want them. People who have got a beautiful home, the last thing they’d want is a mug with, sorry, it was a beautiful logo. Logo on the side. It doesn’t do it for me. So I think certainly for my clients, I do give them a little bit of a branded kind of experience. I send them a gift after they’ve worked with me. I’m not going to tell you what’s in it because that would be ruin a surprise, but there’s a little surprise package. But alright. Yeah, I’m not going to tell you actually, but there is a branded notebook in there, so there is a notebook because obviously when I’m dealing with entrepreneurs they’re always writing things down and journaling and things like that. So that’s a branded thing which says, “I’ve been Id’d” because my company’s called innervisions-id. So it’s a little joke on that we all feel better once we’ve had it, once we’ve been Id’d, right?

Greg Wilkes (14:29):

That’s it. Exactly. Yeah. Especially at my age, so that’s brilliant. So that’s really useful.

Sapna Pieroux (14:39):

Something that’s useful. Yeah.

Greg Wilkes (14:40):

Exactly. Something useful. So that’s important to know, isn’t it? Yeah, I think we can sometimes get carried away.

Sapna Pieroux (14:47):

I think branded goods are, unless you’ve got something that’s really beautiful, it needs to be beautiful. If you’re creating a beautiful interior, you don’t want to stick a yellow mug in the middle of it with your logo on it. It just doesn’t feel classy. I mean I was dealing with a tiling company actually and renamed them. It was a guy called Ricky Jones and he was a lovely man. He had a couple of employees and wanted to scale up the business, take on a couple more and start working with property developers like yourself, moving away from residential stuff to property development. And he was just going to call it R Jones tiling on the side of his van, what a lot of people do. But I worked with him and we actually renamed the business. I was like, one way to stand out is have a name that stands out and means something to your audience. And so the name that we gave his business was “Transformative Tiling.”

Greg Wilkes (15:38):

Okay, that’s good.

Sapna Pieroux (15:39):

When we came up with it, he was like “Transformative Tiling.” He must have said it about 30 times in the call and he was like, I really love it. This is actually what people want. They want a transformation. And so then we worked on his brand and it was about making him stand out in his industry and it’s about making him look a lot more quality. Now when you look at other tiling companies, the logos were absolutely awful. Most of them were really dated. And so we ended up taking inspiration from the world of interior design and the world of architecture and suddenly when we start looking the logos and the branding in those areas, that’s where we start to take our influence from. It’s kind of related, but not actually. And certainly, if you are in an industry that’s really uninspiring, I’d encourage you to kind of go a little bit out there.

(16:27)
But one of the gifts that I said that he could do for his, because he still was working with residential clients, was maybe a tile care kit because one of his straplines was, “we care about quality.” And so the gift that I encouraged him to do was, and I said, you’d have a brand of spray that’s going to clean the tiles or that’s going to keep the grouting. Well, I don’t know what the projects are. And he just absolutely loved that. So he created gift packs for his clients to help them look after the work that he’d done.

Greg Wilkes (16:56):

That’s such a good idea. Yeah, that’s fantastic. And it is something, actually we haven’t spoke about it in this podcast so much, but in a previous one we talk about wow, in your client and doing something they just don’t expect to receive. And I think giving a gift box like that to someone at the end of a project, it’s great, isn’t it? It’s going to foster people wanting to leave you a review or recommend you to someone else just generate.

Sapna Pieroux (17:19):

Yeah, I send my clients this gift and I say, please don’t post it on social media because I want it to be a surprise. I want it to be a surprise for every client. It is one of those things I’ve now blown the surprise completely. But I mean you could send even a bottle of champagne if somebody’s got a loft conversion or a kitchen extension or whatever, just send them something that they can enjoy in their new environment that’s actually more meaningful, a yellow mug. So if you’ve got that, cost it into the job, it doesn’t have to be a massive drain on resources, limited resources. If you stick 35 quid on a job and give them a bottle of champagne at the end, they’re going to love it. They’re going to love the experience and it just finishes off really nicely.

Greg Wilkes (18:07):

A hundred percent. And if you can tie that to your brand even better, isn’t it? If you can do that. One thing you mentioned earlier, you talked about the importance of a company name. I thought that was really good because I think in the building industry it’s very common for people. I don’t know if you get a bit lazy or I’m not sure what the reason is, but it just becomes like a family name that’s used often. I imagine that presents probably challenges around branding. It seems much easier to do a brand than a logo around Transformative Tiling than it would Mr. Jones.

Sapna Pieroux (18:37):

Well yeah, I just worked with a carpenter, actually, I’ve done quite a few tradesmen, or big people in the building industry in the last year for some reason. But yeah, so I worked with a guy and his name was Toby Militão, so it was lovely that he had an amazing name. I mean he’s sort of half Italian or fully Italian, I don’t know. So he had a beautiful name which stood out. Anyway, so we did create quite a lovely, we just actually took out the Toby bit, which was kind of a bit more normal and we changed it to Militão carpentry. It sounds bigger than him, just him. If you’ve got Toby Militão on a van and then you turn it into Milo carpentry, then that allows him to expand scale up, take more people on, which is we went from something that was really quite boring and basic and literally just his name at the top to something that was quite beautiful.

Greg Wilkes (19:26):

Yeah, that really works, isn’t it? Yeah. So the lesson is if you’ve got a Welsh name or an English name Jones or Smith, forget it. A nice Italian name, you can do something.

Sapna Pieroux (19:35):

Assistant and take their name, but it’s worth one of the ways to stand out. My whole shtick is about creating standout brands because if you are looking much for muchness, if you look the same as everyone else, do you know how much social media we go through a day, Greg?

Greg Wilkes (19:51):

No, go on.

Sapna Pieroux (19:53):

96 meters a day. That’s the average, that’s the height of Big Ben. So my mother actually doesn’t go through any social media, so she’s actually bringing that average down. As entrepreneurs, we probably go through more social media, so it might be twice or even three times that much. The problem with that is that if you’re scrolling that fast and you’re going through that much, if you are putting out any sort of advertising or Facebook ad or a LinkedIn post or trying to get people’s attention, they’re scrolling really fast and I sort of talk about this, we’ve got to stop the scroll. So you’ve got to stop the scroll and the eye-catching brand is going to help you, but also a name that’s going to help you stand out in your industry. So “Transformative “Tiling” is a lot more appealing to somebody who’s looking for that kind of job than “Ricky Jones Tilers”, which doesn’t sound anything near as aspirational and it doesn’t take people on a journey. “Transformative Tiling” takes people on a journey and it’s telling them what they’re going to have at the end of the process as well. And their strapline, “we care about quality,” really spoke about the way that he ran his business. It was family led business and quality and actually caring for their clients was really important.

Greg Wilkes (21:04):

Yeah, it’s amazing the power of just a few words, isn’t it? Pictures and images that represent. So yeah, that’s really useful. Thanks Sapna.

Sapna Pieroux (21:13):

I’ll show you another example if you want. Sorry, what were you going to ask?

Greg Wilkes (21:17):

No, go on, you carry on. It’s alright.

Sapna Pieroux (21:19):

I’ve actually got a kind of before and after, so the transformative tiling, there wasn’t really much of it before because we renamed it anyway, but we worked with another company in the trades, Renosash who renovates sash windows.

(21:37)
So this was a company owned by a lovely man called Chris Smith. And he was again scaling his business up. He had a couple of employees, he was taking on a couple more and they were buying a new van to expand the business. Chris’s business, Renosash, Renovate Sash Windows, what it says on the tin, but the branding was bloody awful. And his website on the right-hand side, his logo at the top, and the reason that we got connected was actually I’m in a Facebook group that he’s in an entrepreneurial Facebook group and he bought his new van and he was trying his new logo on the side of the van trying to mock it up and it just wasn’t working.

(22:20)
So a load of other entrepreneurs weighed in and started sending various other, some of which you thankfully can’t see here because of our faces, but there were some particularly bad awful examples coming up. This one here was horrible. It had a sash window on each and it was just painful to watch. And eventually, his business coach, someone you might know, Robin Waite said, you’ve got to speak to Sap, you have got to speak to Sap appear. So he put us in touch and he told me the story of Renosash and they’ve been going about five or six years and the logo was originally designed by him and his wife and they’d given it to a designer to polish up in his world. Now I’m a northern lass and I tell it like it’s, and I said, but Chris, you can’t polish a turd.

(23:10)
So it was a bad design from the start and it’s still bad anyway. And I said, on this website, it doesn’t look right. I said, how much are you actually charging per job? What’s your average job? And he said, oh, 10 to 12 grand. This doesn’t look like a 10 to 12-grand website. And part of the problem was he said they kept losing jobs, kept losing quotes to his competitor, which was actually a national advertiser and they had more budget and they had a better looking website and they were just winning. This was exactly the problem. In fact, his product, his service was actually a superior quality, but because he looked like that when people went on there, it was putting them off. So they go into the national advertiser and part of his brief to me was I want to look better than them. So we actually did this, this was actually a one-day brand workshop so I can create this brand in a day working one-to-one with the business owner. And we moved, oh, the other thing I would say about the imagery was imagery that he’d taken himself on his iPhone, clearly taken on his iPhone. It was the wrong aspect, it was portrait rather than landscape. It wasn’t professionally taken. There were too many images on the front of the website. And I said, and that doesn’t look like work that you’re proud of. It looks like you’re casing the joint from that angle.

(24:33)
It’s not the impression that you want to be giving. So we work together in a day. And the next slide, we’ll give you the after.

Greg Wilkes (24:40):

Do a look.

Sapna Pieroux (24:44):

Okay.

Greg Wilkes (24:46):

Brilliant.

Sapna Pieroux (24:48):

So what do you see there?

Greg Wilkes (24:50):

Well, I mean straight away you can see it just looks classier, doesn’t it? It looks high-end and clean. That looks completely different. It looks like a more expensive sort of sash window, doesn’t it? Completely much better quality.

Sapna Pieroux (25:05):

Yeah, I mean it’s the photography there as well. So I’ll just take you through bit by bit. We obviously redesigned the logo and we really did some digging. You did all the strategy work in the morning and then we designed in the afternoon. So all of this stuff was used, but we really honed in on who are these target audience? Who is his target audience? They live in Victorian and Edwardian properties, right? Tradition and elegance are important to this target audience, to these clients, if they’re living in these period properties, they’re not ripping them out and putting PVCs windows in there. They are renovating their sash windows. So tradition is important as well. So we’ve got a traditional feeling font with the Serifs, the little feet at the end of the letters, we put that swatch on the R, extended the R to make it look elegant because elegance is a lot to do with these properties.

(25:59)
And I actually made the H just a little bit taller than it should be, again, to sort of emphasize the loftiness of these buildings, these kind of Edwardian and Victorian buildings. So the typography was just really carefully designed. We also came up with a new strapline for him because before it said “sash window specialists,” it didn’t even say that they renovated them and people were mispronouncing the name. They said Reno Sash because they didn’t know it was about renovations and they were calling them up asking them about replacing sash windows and did they do uPVC and stuff like that. So actually we put it in the strapline and it says “superior sash window renovations.” Now that’s taken a little pop at his local competitor where his national advertiser little pop there. He knows that he does a better job. Here we are sash window renovations.

(26:48)
But we also talked about the fact that the target audience who were probably a little bit snobby, spending 10 to 12 grand on windows that were actually their same windows, but they’re just getting done up, would love the fact that they had a van on their driveway telling their neighbors that they were having not just sash window renovations but superior sash window renovations. Thank you very much. So it was tapping into that site as well. And then when we talked about imagery, I mean the other thing that he said to me is, oh, I wish I’ve met you before I’d bought my van because my van isn’t going to be on brand now. I said, well yeah, it’s because we’ll retro engineer those colors into your brand palette so that your van when it turns up is going to be on brand. So he’d already got the van, but he hadn’t got the branding on it.

(27:30)
So we actually used an eyedropper tool and took colors from that photograph to actually create those three grays on there. And I don’t know why, but there are a lot, pretty much every trades client that I’ve worked with has asked for a logo in black and gold because to them black and gold’s classy, and I was actually black and gold’s a little bit Dubai, it’s a little bit bling, tacky, it’s a bit tacky, it’s a bit obvious actually. And I said again, these clients are kind of really classy. They value tradition. So I said, alright, you can have a gold, but we gave them what I called an old gold. So it’s this subtle color at bottom, it adds a little bit of warmth. And I said use it jewelry on the website in small amounts as we’ve used it on this website here just to sort of add a little pop of color and warmth, use lots of white space because that makes things look classy.

(28:26)
Again, I always say white space is like it’s the difference between traveling first class and traveling economy. So don’t try and shove everything into, you’re not limited on pixels on a website. So you can have white space on there, you don’t need to cram it all in, but actually, it makes the website feel calming. One of the things that my neighbor was saying to, she’s really stressed out with the builders in. So anything that you can put across that actually makes your talks about the transformation. I mean that is another thing with the imagery here. I said don’t have that image of you cases in the joint, oops, where we gone don’t have that image of you case in the joint outside. Think about it from the customer’s point of view. How are they going to be experiencing the work that you’ve done? Not from outside looking up at their window but from inside gazing out of their windows.

(29:15)
So the image that we chose there was actually from Shutterstock, but it very much feels more like homes and gardens. It feels more interiors, the sort of glossy magazines that these customers might have invested in. And the other thing that I said to him was, so the color that the images at the bottom, there were a couple of them that he had shot by a professional and then there was a Shutterstock image in the middle there as well. But I said, use images that actually are tonal so they all go together. There’s no classy colors here, but all those colors are colors that are in the tones are in his brand palette. So it pulls the whole thing together. It makes it look really calming because having building work done is one of the least calming things that you can have going on in your house. It’s quite invasive. So anything that you can do to make people feel assured that it’s going to be beautiful at the end of all this.

Greg Wilkes (30:04):

I think that’s really important because one thing I know is sometimes you go on websites and you always see during shops on there, sometimes they’re the hero images of a building site and we just think, well, you can’t think of anything more stressful for clients in having a building project done and seeing a half-finished building site as your hero image. So I think that’s really great.

Sapna Pieroux (30:25):

He actually had some of those on his website and I was like, nobody cares. Really. Nobody cares if you really must put it in a blog post, but don’t show it on the front, don’t show it on the front and it’s not hero shot, and don’t have it at the top of the page. Nobody cares. But you need to be selling the dream and then obviously with your “Do Say See,” you need to then actually do create the dream and be a responsible workman and actually all of those things. But you’ve got to sell the dream and the transformation. I always say to my clients, think about the transformation, think about the don’t tell people how great you are. Nobody caress. They are more interested in what you can do for them. So always think of it from a customer’s point of view and that visual image there is just that. It’s thinking about it from the customer’s point of view, not going, “Hey, our window’s great, but isn’t your lifestyle going to be amazing once you’ve worked with us?”

Greg Wilkes (31:19):

Yeah, completely get that. And you mentioned that, I know we know what this is, but just for my listeners, we talked about Shutterstock for using images. Do you want to just explain what Shutterstock is and how people could use that as a tool?

Sapna Pieroux (31:32):

So there are various image banks, it’s an image bank. So if you don’t have all the right photography, and certainly Chris didn’t have all the right photography, it’s all right to mix it up. And as long as you’re not implying that this is a job that you did, I always say things like hit, I call that a hero shot. It’s kind of more of a lifestyle. It’s like selling the dream. And if you can’t shoot them, and certainly over the last year, a lot of my clients couldn’t actually do real life photo shoots because of covid. It’s all right to supplement your existing imagery and then you can put your imagery in the blog posts and you can put them, what I was indicating there on the website is that you can have those jobs scrolling at the bottom, for example. You go, this was a job we did at 127, whatever drive, and then here’s the job we did, here’s the job we did.

(32:23)
But for those heroes, those beautiful shots that are going to make people want. And the other thing, and we didn’t do it on this one because the focus really was about the windows, but if you are doing kitchens or transformative tiling, we actually showed shots with people in them because people want to see those spaces being lived in. And again, a lot of trades will show a shot and go, this is the tiling we did for this bathroom. This is the tiling we did for this kitchen, and it’s kind of quite cold. So again, for these hero shots there, you want some shots that of the jobs you’ve done because I want to know that you can do it, but then I want some shots that are maybe showing people enjoying their space.

Greg Wilkes (33:04):

Well, that’s what people envision. They envision their lifestyle and them being in there. So if you get people in it, it provokes more emotion, doesn’t it? People can actually imagine themselves

Sapna Pieroux (33:12):

It does.

Greg Wilkes (33:13):

That’s really useful. That was great to see that actually. So those on YouTube, you’ll be able to have a watch of that on YouTube and see an example of settler’s work on there. But if you’re listening to it on the podcast, hopefully you followed that. All right.

Sapna Pieroux (33:28):

And that by the way was done, as I say, in a day. So we transformed that business, turned it round, and Chris was just, there is a testimonial as well, but it was the longest testimonial I think I’ve ever been given. But he said he felt his shoulders and his chest lift with pride when he saw it. And he said it’s really giving a great kind of message not just to his customers, but also for his new employees of the standard that they’ve got to now live up to. And I’ve got a private clients only Facebook group, so people can have support after they’re rolling out their brand. Once they’ve got the brand guidelines and they’ve got the brand assets, they can then get support and go, “Oh, Sapna, what do you think of this website we’re building or this brochure and can have some feedback,” and I’ll give them either video or written feedback. And he came in, he was just showing off his shirts, he’d got his new polo shirts done and they were in the gray and he’d had the Renosash logo in the white, and I think he’d been working out as well before he took the shots, but he like this chest forwards and he was like, so he said to me, it’s so lovely to wear a shirt that you don’t feel embarrassed and you want to hide the logo.

Greg Wilkes (34:35):

That’s fantastic. I mean that’s really nice to hear because it does feel like that, doesn’t it? I mean, I think if we’re frustrated with how our logo looks and maybe the company name or our brands, it doesn’t give you confidence, does it? To go out there, promote yourself. So once, and the problem is with a lot of us is that we’re not all creative. So we might be great at trades and be good engineers or whatever we’re good at, but if we haven’t got the skillset in imagining what a logo should look like and we haven’t got that creative ability, it can be really frustrating for us because we’re trying to do it and then people might give us examples or we try and mock something up ourselves or get our partner to do it and it just doesn’t work. And then when someone finally does get.

Sapna Pieroux (35:11):

It doesn’t work. The Renosash is exactly what that was. Chris and his wife making that one up and it just didn’t work. But the benefit of the one day workshop is because working directly with you as a business owner, now we’re all business owners because we like doing things in a certain way. We’re kind of control freak. We don’t want to work for anyone else. You want it your way. And that’s why that project really works for entrepreneurs because business owners, they can direct how they can see it happening in front of them and kind of go, oh, can you try that? Can you try that? And that’s what we did with Ricky and Toby, and then they can see it coming to life in front of them. What’s really lovely is that they’ve got ownership of it then because part of the creative process, you don’t have to be creative. I’m a creative, but you are the specialist in your industry, so you know how you want to be portrayed. But with the normal way of doing design, because I got frustrated, that is I take a brief, we spend an hour together, you give me a brief, I go away, and then I’m second guessing. I’m second-guessing your taste. I’m second-guessing your industry. I’m second-guessing how that’s going to land with you. And actually, then there’s lots of back and forth and who’s got time for that? We’re all busy. So one day out done.

Greg Wilkes (36:24):

And I think with some of these things, often it’s the first gut feeling you get when you see something, you go with your gut down and if you’re doing it in a day and you’re working through it, and sometimes you just get a feeling, don’t you think? Yeah, that’s right. And you can keep rolling with it and making the changes. Whereas when it’s going back and forth over email over a few weeks, I can imagine that’s quite a difficult process actually. So it’s quite a good.

Sapna Pieroux (36:48):

Most of this is owners just want to get @#$%&! done, they move on to the next thing. So it actually really took off in last year doing these one day things and people are just really seeing the value of getting that stuff done quickly, but well to a high standard and one that they’ve approved.

Greg Wilkes (37:07):

Yeah, no, that’s brilliant. If there was someone that wanted to try and do this themselves or they were going to give it a go, maybe they’ll give it a go and then they’ll come and see you. What advice would you give them first? Where would they start if they wanted to do a bit of an overhaul? Is there sort of steps they should take?

Sapna Pieroux (37:24):

Yes. So the first thing I’d say is by this book, it’s got six steps. Sorry, this is a mirror format and yeah.

Greg Wilkes (37:30):

You can go the other way. That’s it.

Sapna Pieroux (37:33):

So buy the book because it’s just 20 quid on Amazon and it will give you a guide as to how to go through it or log onto our website and where we are actually blogging about it as well, or call me for a bit of help. But so what I start my clients with is not about running up and going and getting a logo. I always talk about brand, it’s like an iceberg. And the tip of the iceberg is the logo. The whole of the iceberg is your brand. The tip of the iceberg is your logo because it’s a very tiny part. It’s the bit that’s the highest up and it’s the most visible and it gets seen for miles. And that’s why people put so much importance on it. But there’s all this stuff above the water is your branding, which is like we’ve just talked about, colors, imagery, tight faces, all those things that we talked about with Renosash. So that’s really important as well. And also the messaging. So things like “Superior Sash Window Renovations” is part of the messaging that people will see in those vital seconds when they’re scrolling, that’s the stuff they’re going to see. So that’s all really important. But then below that, below the water is the stuff that lies beneath. Now that is all strategy and it’s the bit that’s not seen, but it’s really important to keep the brand, the whole brand stable. I’m trying to come up with a better analogy than an iceberg because they’re all melting.

Greg Wilkes (38:57):

Let’s go with foundations since we’re talking about S, let’s go.

Sapna Pieroux (38:59):

With foundations actually. Yeah, let’s call it a chimney then. Your logo’s actually a chimney. I might have found it now. I’ve been talking to this for a year and going, but yes, the building trade has come to my rescue. So yes. So it is a house in your logos like the chimney. And actually you need to have those foundations in order to make sure that it’s stable and that it can weather the elements. I love that analogy. I’m going to change all my talks with that.

Greg Wilkes (39:24):

Have that one for free.

Sapna Pieroux (39:25):

Thank you.

(39:28)
So yeah, I mean I do talk about branding being you need the foundations in order for your branding to work. So the first thing is I take them through the vision process and the first three steps are all strategies. You could do that yourself. You don’t need a designer to help you, but it will get you clarity on what you want to look like. And so we start with V for visualize, and I say to my clients, think of five aspirational brands that you admire and you look at them and you go, right, I want my company to be thought of in that way. This isn’t about how it looks. This is about how the brand makes you feel. It’s about the customer experience, it’s about brand loyalty, it’s about brand fans, it’s about, so have you got an aspirational brand Greg?

Greg Wilkes (40:13):

Well, I was just thinking of right now, the first one that popped in my head is Apple, and I bet everyone says that. There you go.

Sapna Pieroux (40:19):

Yeah, it’s one of the common ones. So what does Apple say to you and why is it an aspirational brand for you and your company?

Greg Wilkes (40:27):

Well, again, it’s the experience, isn’t it? So every Apple product I have, I love it, looks beautiful. It does exactly what it says it does and more. It’s a part of my life, I guess I use it all the time. So yeah, it means a lot.

Sapna Pieroux (40:41):

You want people to think of your company in that way. It’s quality as well, isn’t it? It’s innovation. There’s lots of words that come out with, oh, I mean different people talk about it in different ways. Well, one of my clients actually said he loved Apple because he went, it’s like a gift to myself.

(40:58)
Even just opening those boxes, do you know they make them to open really slowly. They make them really tight fit is actually, it heightens the anticipation of getting, yeah, and I was talking to my husband, he’s a massive Apple fan, we’re an Apple only household. But he was just like, yeah, it is like having a present to yourself, even if it’s the most functional thing, like a phone. We all need a phone. There’s something really wonderful about unpackaging an Apple. So it’s about the whole customer experience. It’s also about the customer service. If anything goes wrong, you can go into the Apple store and actually it’s a great service and it’s about knowledge as well. So the people that are in there, they’re proper geeks, they’re proper Apple geeks, they’re passionate about what they do and they really know their @#$%&!. And that’s a great thing for you to have in your business as well.

(41:44)
So there’s lots of things that you can draw out of that one brand. I mean, so I get people to choose five, and we start to see trends coming through. And I would encourage you to think as you have outside of your industry, not just within your industry, you might look at one or two in your industry, but quite often, again, you’re running your company because you think you can do it better than the rest of the people out there. Look at other brands that you admire. So we draw out the things that are really important for you and how you want the customers to feel. Then we look at your company vision. So where you are now and where you want to be in the next five years time, I say three to five years time, any branding that you have created or that you create for yourself, you don’t want to be changing it 12 months later.

(42:25)
You don’t want changing it 18 months later. Because you need to build recognition with your target market. If you keep flipping flapping and getting your logo done on the cheap and then 18 months later deciding that you’ve outgrown it and you’re getting bored with it, or you never liked it very much in the first place, it throws out that you’re not very sure as a company and you’re not very steady as a company. So you think about those big brands like Apple, Coca-Cola, Mcdonald’s, they’ve tweaks and evolved over the years, but the Golden Arch is a classic, right? The Apple symbol is a classic and you keep that bit of recognition that keeps you going and then you can change it as you can evolve it as in three to five years time, any brand that you have created professionally should last you at least three to five years.

(43:04)
So you’ll definitely get your return on investment over that length of time. So we talk about the company vision, what do you want to be known for? What do you want to be famous for? What do you want people talking about, recommending you for? Why should I work with this company over any other company? Why will people be queuing around the block to work with you? And that’s the stuff you want to really be communicating through your marketing and through your brand. And then the next thing is your customer vision. So again, obviously Chris wasn’t thinking about his customer point of view when he was taking those photographs. We need to think about who those customers are, who the ideal clients are, and what is the transformation to their life having worked with you and especially in your industry, it is transformative. These are big things in people’s homes and it’s quite personal space.

(43:54)
So think about the transformation and it’s about selling the dream. It’s about actually showing people enjoying those spaces or whatever, but think about how they would talk about it. Some of that is what you want to be putting into your communications. So for Chris, it was “Superior Sash Window Renovations.” That’s exactly what people are buying into. So that’s V. And then we move on to inner brand, which is what I’ve called it in a brand, it’s the heart and soul of your brand. Now any brand should make an emotional connection. So RJ Jones on the side of a van is not going to make an emotional connection. Transformative tiling, we care about quality does. That’s the difference. That’s the difference between having a logo and having a brand. And so we start looking at things like your brand value. So what are the way that your clients are going to see you operate if they feel that you’ve got brand values that align with their own?

(44:48)
So we care about quality. It was caring for Ricky, it was actually caring about the job and not just ‘Bish-Bash-bosh’ we’re done, move on to the next job. Actually, that was a really important value that he wanted to get across. We got that across in the strap line. Again, “Superior Sash Window Renovations.” One of Chris’s was quality and it was a better quality than his competitor. So we got that across in the branding, we’re talking about the values. You need to look about maybe five values you can have up to seven and maybe as few as three, but you need to be able to remember what those are. So if it is things like customer service, if it is things like experience and that you’re knowledgeable and things like that, and actually why are people going to want to come and work with you?

(45:35)
That’s your brand values. And then you have to demonstrate that in everything you do. Obviously, you can’t just say it and put it on a piece of paper or stick it on a wall and forget about it. You need to demonstrate that in all your behaviors. And then we talk about brand personality and brand voice. So that’s how your brand feels. So a brand personality can come across in the imagery and the colors and the typefaces that we use. So if you went black and gold, the personality for that brand as opposed to that soft grays and old gold, the personality would be quite blingy, quite flashy. Or do you want something that’s a bit more sophisticated and a bit more aspirational? So you’re thinking about the personality. If your brand was a person, what would they be like? What would their personality traits be like?

(46:20)
What kind of person would they be? How would they communicate with your target audience? So think about it as a person and you probably want them to be trustworthy, honest with one of those things that, again, builders have a bad reputation for. Not always telling the truth or certainly not telling you how long a job’s going to go on for or something like that, or not getting back to you. So you’re trying to go, if everybody else has got that reputation, you want to position yourself slightly differently and communicate that. And then the brand voice is literally the personality spoken or written. So what’s the vocabulary that you use? What’s the vocabulary you don’t use? And what kind of tone and voice is that taking? So again, I would encourage people in this space to talk about the transformation and actually still sell the dream.

Greg Wilkes (47:07):

That would be really useful for your social media posts and whatever else. Once you know how you communicate.

Sapna Pieroux (47:14):

Certainly, the business scales. You may want to be outsourcing your social media. So it’s really important to have this stuff documented. If you’re doing your own social media, you’re writing it in your own voice. And so that’s okay, but it’s really hard for a social media manager to take that and then continue that. So you kind of need to have a brand tone of voice, not just your own personality. It needs to be brand personality. I worked with another company, not in the trades, but they were a website development company and there was about 30, 50 employees, I don’t know, quite a lot of employees. It was a big company and the founder had a really strong personality and a slightly off color sense of humor, slightly odd sense of humor. And that came through in everything they did. But they had, oh my god, they had branded mugs and I can’t remember the slogan on the side, but it was something that was really sarcastic and snob because they worked with lawyers, they gave the lawyers a mug which said, “Hang on, forget about my law degree, I’m just going to Google that,” or something like that.

(48:18)
It was the fact that people are trying to sort out legal $%#@& by just Googling. It was like, oh, “Let’s put my law degree aside. I’m just going to Google that.” And it was quite sarcastic and a little bit snippy. And so lawyers are going to have that on their desk. And when I actually brought that up, because I did a brand assessment with them and I talked about the stuff they were doing. They were a very successful company, but the stuff that actually they should stop doing, and then there’s stuff that needs a bit of tweaking. And this one I was like, this is really not, the tone of it was just wrong, but it was his sense of humor. And one of his salespeople just went, “oh my God, I’m so glad you said that.” She went, “I’m so embarrassed handing those to my clients.”

(48:53)
But they got told that they had to hand them out. You’ve got work out. What the personality is is not necessarily your personal personality. Certainly my personality, I have got a dark sick sense of humor, right? Dark, sick, filthy sense of humor. But that’s not my brand personality. My brand personality has a sense of humor, but it’s much more benign, it’s much gentler and it’s much more professional. So it is about having to divorce those two things.

(49:21)
That’s interesting.

(49:22)
Yeah. If you’ve got a strong personality leading the company, that can bleed into the brand personality. And actually what you need to do is actually, well actually I want the professional side of me, not all of me.

(49:38)
And then we move to standout, which is my favorite part of the vision process, which is looking at your competitors. It’s standing out. The standout phase is competitor analysis where we look at the rest of the trade or look at the other people in your space, look at their branding, what are they doing right? What’s not working? What are they? I just literally go, would go building company logos on Google and search a load of them will come up. I know I said that logos not all of the brand, but it’s a good place to start and you will see things come up that everybody’s doing. There’re always trends. There’s industry trends and what I call interesting cliches. So I’ve worked with property developers in the past as well, and people who are a building like HMOs or converting things do HMOs and there’s an awful lot of roofs.

Greg Wilkes (50:29):

Yeah, I was going to say that roofs over ace.

Sapna Pieroux (50:32):

Roofs maybe the odd key, the occasional keyhole. So it’s kind of, oh, and also if it’s property management, a pair of hands maybe around a house.

Sapna Pieroux (50:43):

Hands in a house. So this is what I can’t you going into cliche mode and if you’re going to stand out in your industry, if you want to stand out in your industry, don’t do what everybody else is doing. And this is where you start looking back at your fab brands and you go, well actually what are they doing that I can bring into my industry and do something slightly differently. So for Ricky, it was, don’t look at other tiling companies because the logos are all bloody awful. Let’s have a look at architecture firms. Let’s have a look at interior design companies and actually let’s take some of that influence in, and suddenly he’s got a brand that looks so much better than the rest. Right? With Renosash, we looked at things like interiors, magazines, interiors, again, interiors companies and actually don’t take influence from you.

(51:24)
But generally most trades, the imagery isn’t great. And so it’s actually really quite easy to stand out with a modicum of thought of strategy, work out what you like, look at the type faces, look at how they make you feel. Typefaces have personalities too. So with Renosash it was all about tradition and elegance and all of that. So the typeface reflects that. If you were going to go for a big, bold, blocky typeface like Adidas or something like that, it wouldn’t have had the same feel. So it’s about matching up, but you’ll start to understand it by looking at other people’s logos and looking at other companies. So what you start to do is then hone in on what you like, what you don’t like, the colors that you like. There’ll be industry trends as well. So a lot of, I know this isn’t us, your sector, but say financial companies, they always use blue or organic companies will use brown and green. So there will be colors that, again, if you want to stand out in your industry, maybe don’t camouflage yourself by doing exactly the same as everybody else. So one way of visually communicating that you’re doing something different is by looking different.

Greg Wilkes (52:36):

That’s important, isn’t it? Yeah. You can see that.

Sapna Pieroux (52:38):

Which is what the book’s about. So even those first three stages will help give you a lot more clarity on the brand that you want them to build. And then at that point you may try and choose to do your own logo. It’s not something that I fully recommend. I always recommend going with a professional, but then you’ll be able to give them a better brief. You’ll certainly know yourself and your brand a lot better to be able to give them a better brief and hopefully get better result as a result of it.

Greg Wilkes (53:04):

That’s really useful. I think what most people probably what I would do is I’d probably start giving it a go and then think, oh, forget it. Let’s use the pro. Do what you good at.

Sapna Pieroux (53:14):

People go, oh, I like that tight face. That tight face will do. And I like that color. Blue’s my favorite color, so we’re going to make it blue. But you’re not really thinking about your customer.

Greg Wilkes (53:24):

Yeah no.

Sapna Pieroux (53:24):

Think about what’s going to appeal to them.

Greg Wilkes (53:27):

I think what’s interesting, what you said too is that at the end of the day, the brand should last you a long time, shouldn’t it? Potentially maybe five years or whatever. So that investment, you split that out over five years. In the scheme of things, it’s, it’s going to win you more work. You are going to be more confident with it. It’s a bit of a no brainer, isn’t it really to get it.

Sapna Pieroux (53:45):

It is. I mean, the amount of people, I mean, Chris ended up putting his prices up and he made his return on investment back probably in the first job because he suddenly felt able and he’s getting more work now. So he’s made that back already. He’s one of my number one fans. So he knows the power of what it’s done for him and it’s made him so much more confident to go for the business that he actually wants as well. So if you want to approach bigger companies or work on bigger projects, look in the part is part of, it’s like I always say, it’s like dressing your business for success. It’s like dressing your business for the job that you want in the same way that you would if you were going for a job interview in the days that obviously before you owned your own company you’d put a suit on or you’d make sure that you were groomed. And certainly, if you’re going to go and see a client, you’re not going to turn up with spinach on your teeth and scruffy trainers and a sort of torn, not how you’re going to make a great first impression. So, the branding’s about making a great first impression.

Greg Wilkes (54:40):

Yeah, no, I completely get that. That’s brilliant. I guess for my listeners and those that are watching this, two takeaways, we can either go and get Sapna’s book and have a look at, well, at least even if you get the book, just to educate yourself on the things you should be thinking about. If you want to give it a go yourself, then go for it, but if not, and you want to get it done quick, then you’ve got your one day workshops, don’t you Sap?

Sapna Pieroux (55:02):

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, so I love doing those because I work at quite a fast pace, so it works for me as well. We can get a result and get a happy client end the day. That’s just brilliant.

Greg Wilkes (55:12):

Yeah, fantastic. Yeah. So if people wanted, the book was called Let’s Get Visible, wasn’t it? So they can get that on Amazon and where would they find you?

Sapna Pieroux (55:21):

What a free sample just to sort of see if it’s for them. They can go to letsgetvisiblebook.com and sign up there and we’ll drop you a free sample of the book as well.

Greg Wilkes (55:30):

Brilliant. And how would they get a hold of you, Sap?

Sapna Pieroux (55:33):

Find me on LinkedIn. That’s probably the best place for me. And just tell me that you’ve come through Greg’s podcast because I get some really random people sliding into my DMs, so unless I have a reason to accept, I don’t tend to accept everyone.

Greg Wilkes (55:50):

That’s brilliant. Excellent. Well, Sapna, that’s been really useful for me and my listeners. I think we’ve taken a lot of value from that, so I appreciate all the time you’ve given us and wish you all the best going forward.

Sapna Pieroux (56:01):

Thank you. Lovely to see you again.

Greg Wilkes (56:03):

Yes. You too. Take Care.

Sapna Pieroux (56:04):

Take care.

Greg Wilkes (56:13):

If you’d like to work with me to fast-track your construction business growth, then reach out on www.developcoaching.co.uk.

 

 

Greg Wilkes (00:01):

The construction industry can be a tough business to crack from cashflow problems. Struggling to find skilled labor and not making enough money for your efforts leaves many business owners feeling frustrated and burnt out. But when you get the business strategy right, it’s an industry that can be highly satisfying and financially rewarding. I’m here to give you the resources to be able to create a construction business that gives you more time, more freedom, and more money. This is the Develop Your Construction Business podcast, and I’m your host, Greg Wilkes.

Greg Wilkes (00:40):

Okay. So, it’s great to have a new guest on the podcast this week. We’ve got Sapna Pieroux and welcome Sapna. Great to have you here with us.

Sapna Pieroux (00:50):

Hi Greg. Lovely to see you again.

Greg Wilkes (00:52):

It’s been a while, isn’t it? So, Sapna is a multi-award-winning business owner. I was just looking through your award actually. Highly impressive on your email. There are lots of them. And most importantly for my listeners, Sapna is a branding expert, so going to be a really useful podcast and YouTube session today with Sapna, and Sapna has also written a bestselling book, which is Five Stars on Amazon. Let’s get visible! Let’s see that. Yeah, nice. That’s a fantastic book. That is. I’ve read it and I’ve recommended it to my clients too because it’s a great book that you can keep referring back to for any question on branding. So yeah, appreciate all the effort you put into that. It’s been useful. So Sapna, have I missed anything there in the introduction? Anything you want to add?

Sapna Pieroux (01:43):

Well, my company is called InnerVisions ID and yeah, we work with entrepreneurs and companies to help them get more visible and that’s what the book’s about really. So yeah, I’m sure it’ll all come out in our chat anyway.

Greg Wilkes (01:57):

Fantastic.

Sapna Pieroux (01:58):

Can’t wait to get started.

Greg Wilkes (01:59):

So I should just add to my listeners, I’ve known Sapna for a long time now because I did your Loft conversion many years ago. Is it still standing?

Sapna Pieroux (02:10):

It’s still standing. We still love it. It is one of the things that’s actually stopped us from moving house a couple of times because we kind of go around and go, oh, but we’ve got a beautiful Loft. We are still in love with it. And whenever we travel we come back, and we go, oh, bedroom is the nicest.

Greg Wilkes (02:28):

It was a nice Loft. I mean you can take the credit for the design there Sap, but I’ll give ourselves a bit of praise for the build.

Sapna Pieroux (02:34):

Well, it’s not falling down, so it’s still soon as well.

Greg Wilkes (02:38):

Good, good. So the reason I’ve got Sap on today is because obviously my listeners, they’re in construction as business owners and one of the first things we do in business when we start out is we get all excited and then we try and think of our company name and the first thing we go and do is try and get a logo done and you think about your logo and often we throw ourselves headlong into the business trying to win work, but we don’t always focus on the importance of a brand. And I know from experience, once my business was established and then I revisited this, I really saw the importance of getting your brand and it can be a bit of a game changer for your business when you do that. So it’s great to have an expert on today where you can tell us, I guess we’ll discuss the importance of branding, how to get your brand right, things we should be focusing on, things like that. So looking forward to getting into it. Cool. So maybe just first of all, Sap, we obviously know you’ve got experience using builders. You used me for your loft as we said, that’s how we first met. But maybe we could just ask you, when you were first looking for a building company, how did first impressions impact your decision on who you work with?

Sapna Pieroux (03:53):

A really interesting question actually. And first impressions do matter. I always say that to all my clients and even people who aren’t my clients, that first impressions do matter, but brand is so much more than just a logo. So it’s about the whole experience, it’s about the customer experience and certainly when we were talking to, so whilst you’re looking at websites and you’re looking at, so the look and feel of a website may be something that influences your choice because if they’ve got a looking website and beautiful imagery on there, that’s obviously going to attract you to working with them. But ultimately it does come down to personal recommendations like you’ve got these people in your home for weeks on end. You’ve got to be able to trust them. You know what, I looked at about six or seven different lofts, before I went ahead and I asked every single one of those people who they’d used and it was a friend’s sister loft that I think you’d done. And because of the quality of that build, it wasn’t the logo. I’m talking myself out of a job here.

Greg Wilkes (05:04):

I think we did have a bit of a dodgy logo to be honest back then in there.

Sapna Pieroux (05:10):

So if it was on logo alone, I wouldn’t have probably gone with you. But it was also when you came in, the questions that you asked, you had an intelligent take on what we wanted. You also dealt with things correctly and swiftly if things went wrong and things can go wrong over several weeks or months build. So that was something else. And also I have to say the guy that came from there was a highly recommended company who were cheaper than you and we didn’t go with them because he came across as a bit of a @#$%&!. Am I allowed to swear? He came across as a bit cocky, a bit arrogant, talked a lot about his company and didn’t really ask us any questions. So I think it is the entire customer experience, but branding is the bit where you will attract, where you can attract your target audience if all other things being equal.

Greg Wilkes (06:05):

That’s really interesting. So just to emphasize the point in that you were looking for the whole package, really that’s what convinces you in the end, isn’t it? It’s not just the fancy logo. We’ve got to be able to back it up I guess with the experience that we’re giving to a client too. So no, that’s really useful and valuable. So thanks for that. So why do you think it’s important for construction owners to think about their brand?

Sapna Pieroux (06:29):

So this is something that I talk about, it is the same for any business, but for construction owners, again, there is a kind of lack of trust for builders sometimes, but the building trade has got a little bit of, my neighbor has actually just been in our house sort of moaning builders and asking if their builder could park outside our drive and I was asking her about it as well. And it was things like not telling her how long the job was going to take, it just kind of got bigger and bigger and things like that. So I think there’s a little bit of a trust issue, and with branding and how that can help is that can put you across in a much more professional light if something looks a bit homemade and a bit cheap from the branding point of view, whether that’s the logo or the van you turn up in or the website when you go on there and it doesn’t load up properly or it looks really dated or there’s typos on, it’s all about the first impression. I’ve got this model that I talk about in the book called Do Say See.

Greg Wilkes (07:32):

So I’ve got your Do Say See image here that’s uploaded. So if you’re on the podcast you can’t see this, but yeah, do you want to talk us through that a little bit more, Sapna?

Sapna Pieroux (07:41):

Okay, cool. Because little in life that can’t be best explained in a Venn diagram I find. So this is three concentric circles or three circles overlapping for anybody who can’t see the image. And the top one is “Do” so that’s basically what you are selling. So if it’s off conversions or development or whatever it is you “Do” is kind of the products or service that you’re selling, then the “Say” is what you’re telling people about it. So that is your social media, it’s the blurb on your website, it’s the stuff that you’ve got in your brochure and it’s what you’re telling people when you turn up networking events or when you go and see a client. So that’s what your “Say” is, it’s also your book, you’ve written a book, so that’s part of your say as well. And then the thing that people don’t put enough so that you’ll spend a lot of time thinking about the projects and services that you’re selling.

(08:38)
You’ll spend a lot of time thinking about the words that you’re going to communicate that with. And obviously you need to tell people about it otherwise you don’t have a business. But most people don’t know about it. But the thing that people don’t think about is the “See” and it’s like what is that first impression that we were talking about? What is that initial kind of image that you’re putting across? And are people going to trust you based on that? So again, if you’ve got a great quality product or service and you’re saying it, but then you don’t look quality and you don’t look the part, it makes people think, oh, not consciously, but it just casts dispersions. So if you’ve got a crappy logo or a website that doesn’t load up or typos all over your brochure or a thin scrappy business card or a van, that’s kind of all bumped up and scratched and it just doesn’t show that you’ve got pride in your own business and pride in your own standards for your own business. So it makes you think, well if they’ve got that sloppy an attitude to their own business, what’s the work ethic there? So branding is really important to just show the level to which you are kind of striving for really.

Greg Wilkes (09:52):

Yeah, that makes complete sense. And what about “The Do” and “The Say” so what if they’ve got, they’re doing the right thing and they’re not saying the right thing. So what have we got here?

Sapna Pieroux (10:04):

“The Say” so if you’ve got a great project service and a great pitch and then your see is out of kilter than it cast doubt. If you’ve got “do” and “see” on points, you’ve got flashy looking website, great logo, great design, and a great product, but then people go on the website and they can’t actually find the information they’re looking for or they can’t work out if you are the best person for them because they can’t understand that’s kind of when your “say” is out kilter, you’re not communicating your value, you’re not communicating your products or services. And that’s what I call an incoherent brand. So the other one is an invisible brand you’re getting passed over for your better looking competitors. An incoherent brand is one that doesn’t make any sense. I can’t actually work out if there are any good. And the worst type is what I call the insincere brand, which is when your “see” and your “say” are on point. So you’ve got a flashy looking website and you’re promising people the world. And then we’ve all had experiences where companies have failed to deliver on their promise so they failed to fulfill their due, which is kind of the reason that they get hired. And so that’s what I call an insincere brand and that’s when you get bad Google reviews and bad word of mouth and that’s going to kill a business quicker than anything really.

Greg Wilkes (11:16):

Yeah, it’s not going to be sustaining, is it? If they do that? No.

Sapna Pieroux (11:20):

So, none of these are sustainable. You’re going to lose sales by missing out any one of these three. I’m not saying that the branding is more important, it’s about the whole customer experience and it’s all of those things aligning and supporting each other and actually, it makes it a more trustworthy brand if how it looks and what it’s saying actually match up to the product and service that you’re selling.

Greg Wilkes (11:40):

Yeah, that’s really valuable. So, that’s a great little image that one, and you explained that in your book, don’t you? I think a little bit more about your thing, and I know that’s on your website, so thanks for that, talking us through that. Let me get rid of that image now. Good stuff. So thinking about brands, so some of my experiences with branding, I’m always getting approached by different companies to try and get branded mugs and all different things, branded pens and whatever else. And you always, sometimes you wonder what is the best use of my resources? What should I be spending my money on? So if you were going to give someone advice, if someone’s got a limited budget, what would be the top things you think businesses should be focusing on?

Sapna Pieroux (12:21):

I think I’d work on the customer experience first and foremost, making sure that if you’ve got booking systems or that your website’s working properly, that’s easy for people to make an appointment with you, and that you follow up on those appointments and you actually turn up on time. So again, it’s about making that great first impression. So, any interactions that I have with you online before I meet you in person are working properly. That I think would be, it’s notoriously difficult to get builders to turn up on time or to turn up at all. That’s the reputation. So anything that you can do that takes that away, I think in terms of gifts afterward, I think the main thing I’d want, if I was having a loft build or I’d want that to turn out well before you gave me a mug, I mean who are these mugs going to?

Greg Wilkes (13:13):

Well, that’s it. Yeah, I know. I mean you end up getting a load of mugs and I suppose you used them instead of using yours. I think we had an awful tagline. We got a load of mugs and then we’d drop them off at the beginning of the job around the customer’s house thinking they were going to use them and we had something like, “You can trust us with your house, but you can’t trust us with your mugs” or something like that. It was so ridiculous.

Sapna Pieroux (13:37):

I think your own mugs, that would actually be quite, you could bring your own branded mugs and then take them away. I don’t want them. People who have got a beautiful home, the last thing they’d want is a mug with, sorry, it was a beautiful logo. Logo on the side. It doesn’t do it for me. So I think certainly for my clients, I do give them a little bit of a branded kind of experience. I send them a gift after they’ve worked with me. I’m not going to tell you what’s in it because that would be ruin a surprise, but there’s a little surprise package. But alright. Yeah, I’m not going to tell you actually, but there is a branded notebook in there, so there is a notebook because obviously when I’m dealing with entrepreneurs they’re always writing things down and journaling and things like that. So that’s a branded thing which says, “I’ve been Id’d” because my company’s called innervisions-id. So it’s a little joke on that we all feel better once we’ve had it, once we’ve been Id’d, right?

Greg Wilkes (14:29):

That’s it. Exactly. Yeah. Especially at my age, so that’s brilliant. So that’s really useful.

Sapna Pieroux (14:39):

Something that’s useful. Yeah.

Greg Wilkes (14:40):

Exactly. Something useful. So that’s important to know, isn’t it? Yeah, I think we can sometimes get carried away.

Sapna Pieroux (14:47):

I think branded goods are, unless you’ve got something that’s really beautiful, it needs to be beautiful. If you’re creating a beautiful interior, you don’t want to stick a yellow mug in the middle of it with your logo on it. It just doesn’t feel classy. I mean I was dealing with a tiling company actually and renamed them. It was a guy called Ricky Jones and he was a lovely man. He had a couple of employees and wanted to scale up the business, take on a couple more and start working with property developers like yourself, moving away from residential stuff to property development. And he was just going to call it R Jones tiling on the side of his van, what a lot of people do. But I worked with him and we actually renamed the business. I was like, one way to stand out is have a name that stands out and means something to your audience. And so the name that we gave his business was “Transformative Tiling.”

Greg Wilkes (15:38):

Okay, that’s good.

Sapna Pieroux (15:39):

When we came up with it, he was like “Transformative Tiling.” He must have said it about 30 times in the call and he was like, I really love it. This is actually what people want. They want a transformation. And so then we worked on his brand and it was about making him stand out in his industry and it’s about making him look a lot more quality. Now when you look at other tiling companies, the logos were absolutely awful. Most of them were really dated. And so we ended up taking inspiration from the world of interior design and the world of architecture and suddenly when we start looking the logos and the branding in those areas, that’s where we start to take our influence from. It’s kind of related, but not actually. And certainly, if you are in an industry that’s really uninspiring, I’d encourage you to kind of go a little bit out there.

(16:27)
But one of the gifts that I said that he could do for his, because he still was working with residential clients, was maybe a tile care kit because one of his straplines was, “we care about quality.” And so the gift that I encouraged him to do was, and I said, you’d have a brand of spray that’s going to clean the tiles or that’s going to keep the grouting. Well, I don’t know what the projects are. And he just absolutely loved that. So he created gift packs for his clients to help them look after the work that he’d done.

Greg Wilkes (16:56):

That’s such a good idea. Yeah, that’s fantastic. And it is something, actually we haven’t spoke about it in this podcast so much, but in a previous one we talk about wow, in your client and doing something they just don’t expect to receive. And I think giving a gift box like that to someone at the end of a project, it’s great, isn’t it? It’s going to foster people wanting to leave you a review or recommend you to someone else just generate.

Sapna Pieroux (17:19):

Yeah, I send my clients this gift and I say, please don’t post it on social media because I want it to be a surprise. I want it to be a surprise for every client. It is one of those things I’ve now blown the surprise completely. But I mean you could send even a bottle of champagne if somebody’s got a loft conversion or a kitchen extension or whatever, just send them something that they can enjoy in their new environment that’s actually more meaningful, a yellow mug. So if you’ve got that, cost it into the job, it doesn’t have to be a massive drain on resources, limited resources. If you stick 35 quid on a job and give them a bottle of champagne at the end, they’re going to love it. They’re going to love the experience and it just finishes off really nicely.

Greg Wilkes (18:07):

A hundred percent. And if you can tie that to your brand even better, isn’t it? If you can do that. One thing you mentioned earlier, you talked about the importance of a company name. I thought that was really good because I think in the building industry it’s very common for people. I don’t know if you get a bit lazy or I’m not sure what the reason is, but it just becomes like a family name that’s used often. I imagine that presents probably challenges around branding. It seems much easier to do a brand than a logo around Transformative Tiling than it would Mr. Jones.

Sapna Pieroux (18:37):

Well yeah, I just worked with a carpenter, actually, I’ve done quite a few tradesmen, or big people in the building industry in the last year for some reason. But yeah, so I worked with a guy and his name was Toby Militão, so it was lovely that he had an amazing name. I mean he’s sort of half Italian or fully Italian, I don’t know. So he had a beautiful name which stood out. Anyway, so we did create quite a lovely, we just actually took out the Toby bit, which was kind of a bit more normal and we changed it to Militão carpentry. It sounds bigger than him, just him. If you’ve got Toby Militão on a van and then you turn it into Milo carpentry, then that allows him to expand scale up, take more people on, which is we went from something that was really quite boring and basic and literally just his name at the top to something that was quite beautiful.

Greg Wilkes (19:26):

Yeah, that really works, isn’t it? Yeah. So the lesson is if you’ve got a Welsh name or an English name Jones or Smith, forget it. A nice Italian name, you can do something.

Sapna Pieroux (19:35):

Assistant and take their name, but it’s worth one of the ways to stand out. My whole shtick is about creating standout brands because if you are looking much for muchness, if you look the same as everyone else, do you know how much social media we go through a day, Greg?

Greg Wilkes (19:51):

No, go on.

Sapna Pieroux (19:53):

96 meters a day. That’s the average, that’s the height of Big Ben. So my mother actually doesn’t go through any social media, so she’s actually bringing that average down. As entrepreneurs, we probably go through more social media, so it might be twice or even three times that much. The problem with that is that if you’re scrolling that fast and you’re going through that much, if you are putting out any sort of advertising or Facebook ad or a LinkedIn post or trying to get people’s attention, they’re scrolling really fast and I sort of talk about this, we’ve got to stop the scroll. So you’ve got to stop the scroll and the eye-catching brand is going to help you, but also a name that’s going to help you stand out in your industry. So “Transformative “Tiling” is a lot more appealing to somebody who’s looking for that kind of job than “Ricky Jones Tilers”, which doesn’t sound anything near as aspirational and it doesn’t take people on a journey. “Transformative Tiling” takes people on a journey and it’s telling them what they’re going to have at the end of the process as well. And their strapline, “we care about quality,” really spoke about the way that he ran his business. It was family led business and quality and actually caring for their clients was really important.

Greg Wilkes (21:04):

Yeah, it’s amazing the power of just a few words, isn’t it? Pictures and images that represent. So yeah, that’s really useful. Thanks Sapna.

Sapna Pieroux (21:13):

I’ll show you another example if you want. Sorry, what were you going to ask?

Greg Wilkes (21:17):

No, go on, you carry on. It’s alright.

Sapna Pieroux (21:19):

I’ve actually got a kind of before and after, so the transformative tiling, there wasn’t really much of it before because we renamed it anyway, but we worked with another company in the trades, Renosash who renovates sash windows.

(21:37)
So this was a company owned by a lovely man called Chris Smith. And he was again scaling his business up. He had a couple of employees, he was taking on a couple more and they were buying a new van to expand the business. Chris’s business, Renosash, Renovate Sash Windows, what it says on the tin, but the branding was bloody awful. And his website on the right-hand side, his logo at the top, and the reason that we got connected was actually I’m in a Facebook group that he’s in an entrepreneurial Facebook group and he bought his new van and he was trying his new logo on the side of the van trying to mock it up and it just wasn’t working.

(22:20)
So a load of other entrepreneurs weighed in and started sending various other, some of which you thankfully can’t see here because of our faces, but there were some particularly bad awful examples coming up. This one here was horrible. It had a sash window on each and it was just painful to watch. And eventually, his business coach, someone you might know, Robin Waite said, you’ve got to speak to Sap, you have got to speak to Sap appear. So he put us in touch and he told me the story of Renosash and they’ve been going about five or six years and the logo was originally designed by him and his wife and they’d given it to a designer to polish up in his world. Now I’m a northern lass and I tell it like it’s, and I said, but Chris, you can’t polish a turd.

(23:10)
So it was a bad design from the start and it’s still bad anyway. And I said, on this website, it doesn’t look right. I said, how much are you actually charging per job? What’s your average job? And he said, oh, 10 to 12 grand. This doesn’t look like a 10 to 12-grand website. And part of the problem was he said they kept losing jobs, kept losing quotes to his competitor, which was actually a national advertiser and they had more budget and they had a better looking website and they were just winning. This was exactly the problem. In fact, his product, his service was actually a superior quality, but because he looked like that when people went on there, it was putting them off. So they go into the national advertiser and part of his brief to me was I want to look better than them. So we actually did this, this was actually a one-day brand workshop so I can create this brand in a day working one-to-one with the business owner. And we moved, oh, the other thing I would say about the imagery was imagery that he’d taken himself on his iPhone, clearly taken on his iPhone. It was the wrong aspect, it was portrait rather than landscape. It wasn’t professionally taken. There were too many images on the front of the website. And I said, and that doesn’t look like work that you’re proud of. It looks like you’re casing the joint from that angle.

(24:33)
It’s not the impression that you want to be giving. So we work together in a day. And the next slide, we’ll give you the after.

Greg Wilkes (24:40):

Do a look.

Sapna Pieroux (24:44):

Okay.

Greg Wilkes (24:46):

Brilliant.

Sapna Pieroux (24:48):

So what do you see there?

Greg Wilkes (24:50):

Well, I mean straight away you can see it just looks classier, doesn’t it? It looks high-end and clean. That looks completely different. It looks like a more expensive sort of sash window, doesn’t it? Completely much better quality.

Sapna Pieroux (25:05):

Yeah, I mean it’s the photography there as well. So I’ll just take you through bit by bit. We obviously redesigned the logo and we really did some digging. You did all the strategy work in the morning and then we designed in the afternoon. So all of this stuff was used, but we really honed in on who are these target audience? Who is his target audience? They live in Victorian and Edwardian properties, right? Tradition and elegance are important to this target audience, to these clients, if they’re living in these period properties, they’re not ripping them out and putting PVCs windows in there. They are renovating their sash windows. So tradition is important as well. So we’ve got a traditional feeling font with the Serifs, the little feet at the end of the letters, we put that swatch on the R, extended the R to make it look elegant because elegance is a lot to do with these properties.

(25:59)
And I actually made the H just a little bit taller than it should be, again, to sort of emphasize the loftiness of these buildings, these kind of Edwardian and Victorian buildings. So the typography was just really carefully designed. We also came up with a new strapline for him because before it said “sash window specialists,” it didn’t even say that they renovated them and people were mispronouncing the name. They said Reno Sash because they didn’t know it was about renovations and they were calling them up asking them about replacing sash windows and did they do uPVC and stuff like that. So actually we put it in the strapline and it says “superior sash window renovations.” Now that’s taken a little pop at his local competitor where his national advertiser little pop there. He knows that he does a better job. Here we are sash window renovations.

(26:48)
But we also talked about the fact that the target audience who were probably a little bit snobby, spending 10 to 12 grand on windows that were actually their same windows, but they’re just getting done up, would love the fact that they had a van on their driveway telling their neighbors that they were having not just sash window renovations but superior sash window renovations. Thank you very much. So it was tapping into that site as well. And then when we talked about imagery, I mean the other thing that he said to me is, oh, I wish I’ve met you before I’d bought my van because my van isn’t going to be on brand now. I said, well yeah, it’s because we’ll retro engineer those colors into your brand palette so that your van when it turns up is going to be on brand. So he’d already got the van, but he hadn’t got the branding on it.

(27:30)
So we actually used an eyedropper tool and took colors from that photograph to actually create those three grays on there. And I don’t know why, but there are a lot, pretty much every trades client that I’ve worked with has asked for a logo in black and gold because to them black and gold’s classy, and I was actually black and gold’s a little bit Dubai, it’s a little bit bling, tacky, it’s a bit tacky, it’s a bit obvious actually. And I said again, these clients are kind of really classy. They value tradition. So I said, alright, you can have a gold, but we gave them what I called an old gold. So it’s this subtle color at bottom, it adds a little bit of warmth. And I said use it jewelry on the website in small amounts as we’ve used it on this website here just to sort of add a little pop of color and warmth, use lots of white space because that makes things look classy.

(28:26)
Again, I always say white space is like it’s the difference between traveling first class and traveling economy. So don’t try and shove everything into, you’re not limited on pixels on a website. So you can have white space on there, you don’t need to cram it all in, but actually, it makes the website feel calming. One of the things that my neighbor was saying to, she’s really stressed out with the builders in. So anything that you can put across that actually makes your talks about the transformation. I mean that is another thing with the imagery here. I said don’t have that image of you cases in the joint, oops, where we gone don’t have that image of you case in the joint outside. Think about it from the customer’s point of view. How are they going to be experiencing the work that you’ve done? Not from outside looking up at their window but from inside gazing out of their windows.

(29:15)
So the image that we chose there was actually from Shutterstock, but it very much feels more like homes and gardens. It feels more interiors, the sort of glossy magazines that these customers might have invested in. And the other thing that I said to him was, so the color that the images at the bottom, there were a couple of them that he had shot by a professional and then there was a Shutterstock image in the middle there as well. But I said, use images that actually are tonal so they all go together. There’s no classy colors here, but all those colors are colors that are in the tones are in his brand palette. So it pulls the whole thing together. It makes it look really calming because having building work done is one of the least calming things that you can have going on in your house. It’s quite invasive. So anything that you can do to make people feel assured that it’s going to be beautiful at the end of all this.

Greg Wilkes (30:04):

I think that’s really important because one thing I know is sometimes you go on websites and you always see during shops on there, sometimes they’re the hero images of a building site and we just think, well, you can’t think of anything more stressful for clients in having a building project done and seeing a half-finished building site as your hero image. So I think that’s really great.

Sapna Pieroux (30:25):

He actually had some of those on his website and I was like, nobody cares. Really. Nobody cares if you really must put it in a blog post, but don’t show it on the front, don’t show it on the front and it’s not hero shot, and don’t have it at the top of the page. Nobody cares. But you need to be selling the dream and then obviously with your “Do Say See,” you need to then actually do create the dream and be a responsible workman and actually all of those things. But you’ve got to sell the dream and the transformation. I always say to my clients, think about the transformation, think about the don’t tell people how great you are. Nobody caress. They are more interested in what you can do for them. So always think of it from a customer’s point of view and that visual image there is just that. It’s thinking about it from the customer’s point of view, not going, “Hey, our window’s great, but isn’t your lifestyle going to be amazing once you’ve worked with us?”

Greg Wilkes (31:19):

Yeah, completely get that. And you mentioned that, I know we know what this is, but just for my listeners, we talked about Shutterstock for using images. Do you want to just explain what Shutterstock is and how people could use that as a tool?

Sapna Pieroux (31:32):

So there are various image banks, it’s an image bank. So if you don’t have all the right photography, and certainly Chris didn’t have all the right photography, it’s all right to mix it up. And as long as you’re not implying that this is a job that you did, I always say things like hit, I call that a hero shot. It’s kind of more of a lifestyle. It’s like selling the dream. And if you can’t shoot them, and certainly over the last year, a lot of my clients couldn’t actually do real life photo shoots because of covid. It’s all right to supplement your existing imagery and then you can put your imagery in the blog posts and you can put them, what I was indicating there on the website is that you can have those jobs scrolling at the bottom, for example. You go, this was a job we did at 127, whatever drive, and then here’s the job we did, here’s the job we did.

(32:23)
But for those heroes, those beautiful shots that are going to make people want. And the other thing, and we didn’t do it on this one because the focus really was about the windows, but if you are doing kitchens or transformative tiling, we actually showed shots with people in them because people want to see those spaces being lived in. And again, a lot of trades will show a shot and go, this is the tiling we did for this bathroom. This is the tiling we did for this kitchen, and it’s kind of quite cold. So again, for these hero shots there, you want some shots that of the jobs you’ve done because I want to know that you can do it, but then I want some shots that are maybe showing people enjoying their space.

Greg Wilkes (33:04):

Well, that’s what people envision. They envision their lifestyle and them being in there. So if you get people in it, it provokes more emotion, doesn’t it? People can actually imagine themselves

Sapna Pieroux (33:12):

It does.

Greg Wilkes (33:13):

That’s really useful. That was great to see that actually. So those on YouTube, you’ll be able to have a watch of that on YouTube and see an example of settler’s work on there. But if you’re listening to it on the podcast, hopefully you followed that. All right.

Sapna Pieroux (33:28):

And that by the way was done, as I say, in a day. So we transformed that business, turned it round, and Chris was just, there is a testimonial as well, but it was the longest testimonial I think I’ve ever been given. But he said he felt his shoulders and his chest lift with pride when he saw it. And he said it’s really giving a great kind of message not just to his customers, but also for his new employees of the standard that they’ve got to now live up to. And I’ve got a private clients only Facebook group, so people can have support after they’re rolling out their brand. Once they’ve got the brand guidelines and they’ve got the brand assets, they can then get support and go, “Oh, Sapna, what do you think of this website we’re building or this brochure and can have some feedback,” and I’ll give them either video or written feedback. And he came in, he was just showing off his shirts, he’d got his new polo shirts done and they were in the gray and he’d had the Renosash logo in the white, and I think he’d been working out as well before he took the shots, but he like this chest forwards and he was like, so he said to me, it’s so lovely to wear a shirt that you don’t feel embarrassed and you want to hide the logo.

Greg Wilkes (34:35):

That’s fantastic. I mean that’s really nice to hear because it does feel like that, doesn’t it? I mean, I think if we’re frustrated with how our logo looks and maybe the company name or our brands, it doesn’t give you confidence, does it? To go out there, promote yourself. So once, and the problem is with a lot of us is that we’re not all creative. So we might be great at trades and be good engineers or whatever we’re good at, but if we haven’t got the skillset in imagining what a logo should look like and we haven’t got that creative ability, it can be really frustrating for us because we’re trying to do it and then people might give us examples or we try and mock something up ourselves or get our partner to do it and it just doesn’t work. And then when someone finally does get.

Sapna Pieroux (35:11):

It doesn’t work. The Renosash is exactly what that was. Chris and his wife making that one up and it just didn’t work. But the benefit of the one day workshop is because working directly with you as a business owner, now we’re all business owners because we like doing things in a certain way. We’re kind of control freak. We don’t want to work for anyone else. You want it your way. And that’s why that project really works for entrepreneurs because business owners, they can direct how they can see it happening in front of them and kind of go, oh, can you try that? Can you try that? And that’s what we did with Ricky and Toby, and then they can see it coming to life in front of them. What’s really lovely is that they’ve got ownership of it then because part of the creative process, you don’t have to be creative. I’m a creative, but you are the specialist in your industry, so you know how you want to be portrayed. But with the normal way of doing design, because I got frustrated, that is I take a brief, we spend an hour together, you give me a brief, I go away, and then I’m second guessing. I’m second-guessing your taste. I’m second-guessing your industry. I’m second-guessing how that’s going to land with you. And actually, then there’s lots of back and forth and who’s got time for that? We’re all busy. So one day out done.

Greg Wilkes (36:24):

And I think with some of these things, often it’s the first gut feeling you get when you see something, you go with your gut down and if you’re doing it in a day and you’re working through it, and sometimes you just get a feeling, don’t you think? Yeah, that’s right. And you can keep rolling with it and making the changes. Whereas when it’s going back and forth over email over a few weeks, I can imagine that’s quite a difficult process actually. So it’s quite a good.

Sapna Pieroux (36:48):

Most of this is owners just want to get @#$%&! done, they move on to the next thing. So it actually really took off in last year doing these one day things and people are just really seeing the value of getting that stuff done quickly, but well to a high standard and one that they’ve approved.

Greg Wilkes (37:07):

Yeah, no, that’s brilliant. If there was someone that wanted to try and do this themselves or they were going to give it a go, maybe they’ll give it a go and then they’ll come and see you. What advice would you give them first? Where would they start if they wanted to do a bit of an overhaul? Is there sort of steps they should take?

Sapna Pieroux (37:24):

Yes. So the first thing I’d say is by this book, it’s got six steps. Sorry, this is a mirror format and yeah.

Greg Wilkes (37:30):

You can go the other way. That’s it.

Sapna Pieroux (37:33):

So buy the book because it’s just 20 quid on Amazon and it will give you a guide as to how to go through it or log onto our website and where we are actually blogging about it as well, or call me for a bit of help. But so what I start my clients with is not about running up and going and getting a logo. I always talk about brand, it’s like an iceberg. And the tip of the iceberg is the logo. The whole of the iceberg is your brand. The tip of the iceberg is your logo because it’s a very tiny part. It’s the bit that’s the highest up and it’s the most visible and it gets seen for miles. And that’s why people put so much importance on it. But there’s all this stuff above the water is your branding, which is like we’ve just talked about, colors, imagery, tight faces, all those things that we talked about with Renosash. So that’s really important as well. And also the messaging. So things like “Superior Sash Window Renovations” is part of the messaging that people will see in those vital seconds when they’re scrolling, that’s the stuff they’re going to see. So that’s all really important. But then below that, below the water is the stuff that lies beneath. Now that is all strategy and it’s the bit that’s not seen, but it’s really important to keep the brand, the whole brand stable. I’m trying to come up with a better analogy than an iceberg because they’re all melting.

Greg Wilkes (38:57):

Let’s go with foundations since we’re talking about S, let’s go.

Sapna Pieroux (38:59):

With foundations actually. Yeah, let’s call it a chimney then. Your logo’s actually a chimney. I might have found it now. I’ve been talking to this for a year and going, but yes, the building trade has come to my rescue. So yes. So it is a house in your logos like the chimney. And actually you need to have those foundations in order to make sure that it’s stable and that it can weather the elements. I love that analogy. I’m going to change all my talks with that.

Greg Wilkes (39:24):

Have that one for free.

Sapna Pieroux (39:25):

Thank you.

(39:28)
So yeah, I mean I do talk about branding being you need the foundations in order for your branding to work. So the first thing is I take them through the vision process and the first three steps are all strategies. You could do that yourself. You don’t need a designer to help you, but it will get you clarity on what you want to look like. And so we start with V for visualize, and I say to my clients, think of five aspirational brands that you admire and you look at them and you go, right, I want my company to be thought of in that way. This isn’t about how it looks. This is about how the brand makes you feel. It’s about the customer experience, it’s about brand loyalty, it’s about brand fans, it’s about, so have you got an aspirational brand Greg?

Greg Wilkes (40:13):

Well, I was just thinking of right now, the first one that popped in my head is Apple, and I bet everyone says that. There you go.

Sapna Pieroux (40:19):

Yeah, it’s one of the common ones. So what does Apple say to you and why is it an aspirational brand for you and your company?

Greg Wilkes (40:27):

Well, again, it’s the experience, isn’t it? So every Apple product I have, I love it, looks beautiful. It does exactly what it says it does and more. It’s a part of my life, I guess I use it all the time. So yeah, it means a lot.

Sapna Pieroux (40:41):

You want people to think of your company in that way. It’s quality as well, isn’t it? It’s innovation. There’s lots of words that come out with, oh, I mean different people talk about it in different ways. Well, one of my clients actually said he loved Apple because he went, it’s like a gift to myself.

(40:58)
Even just opening those boxes, do you know they make them to open really slowly. They make them really tight fit is actually, it heightens the anticipation of getting, yeah, and I was talking to my husband, he’s a massive Apple fan, we’re an Apple only household. But he was just like, yeah, it is like having a present to yourself, even if it’s the most functional thing, like a phone. We all need a phone. There’s something really wonderful about unpackaging an Apple. So it’s about the whole customer experience. It’s also about the customer service. If anything goes wrong, you can go into the Apple store and actually it’s a great service and it’s about knowledge as well. So the people that are in there, they’re proper geeks, they’re proper Apple geeks, they’re passionate about what they do and they really know their @#$%&!. And that’s a great thing for you to have in your business as well.

(41:44)
So there’s lots of things that you can draw out of that one brand. I mean, so I get people to choose five, and we start to see trends coming through. And I would encourage you to think as you have outside of your industry, not just within your industry, you might look at one or two in your industry, but quite often, again, you’re running your company because you think you can do it better than the rest of the people out there. Look at other brands that you admire. So we draw out the things that are really important for you and how you want the customers to feel. Then we look at your company vision. So where you are now and where you want to be in the next five years time, I say three to five years time, any branding that you have created or that you create for yourself, you don’t want to be changing it 12 months later.

(42:25)
You don’t want changing it 18 months later. Because you need to build recognition with your target market. If you keep flipping flapping and getting your logo done on the cheap and then 18 months later deciding that you’ve outgrown it and you’re getting bored with it, or you never liked it very much in the first place, it throws out that you’re not very sure as a company and you’re not very steady as a company. So you think about those big brands like Apple, Coca-Cola, Mcdonald’s, they’ve tweaks and evolved over the years, but the Golden Arch is a classic, right? The Apple symbol is a classic and you keep that bit of recognition that keeps you going and then you can change it as you can evolve it as in three to five years time, any brand that you have created professionally should last you at least three to five years.

(43:04)
So you’ll definitely get your return on investment over that length of time. So we talk about the company vision, what do you want to be known for? What do you want to be famous for? What do you want people talking about, recommending you for? Why should I work with this company over any other company? Why will people be queuing around the block to work with you? And that’s the stuff you want to really be communicating through your marketing and through your brand. And then the next thing is your customer vision. So again, obviously Chris wasn’t thinking about his customer point of view when he was taking those photographs. We need to think about who those customers are, who the ideal clients are, and what is the transformation to their life having worked with you and especially in your industry, it is transformative. These are big things in people’s homes and it’s quite personal space.

(43:54)
So think about the transformation and it’s about selling the dream. It’s about actually showing people enjoying those spaces or whatever, but think about how they would talk about it. Some of that is what you want to be putting into your communications. So for Chris, it was “Superior Sash Window Renovations.” That’s exactly what people are buying into. So that’s V. And then we move on to inner brand, which is what I’ve called it in a brand, it’s the heart and soul of your brand. Now any brand should make an emotional connection. So RJ Jones on the side of a van is not going to make an emotional connection. Transformative tiling, we care about quality does. That’s the difference. That’s the difference between having a logo and having a brand. And so we start looking at things like your brand value. So what are the way that your clients are going to see you operate if they feel that you’ve got brand values that align with their own?

(44:48)
So we care about quality. It was caring for Ricky, it was actually caring about the job and not just ‘Bish-Bash-bosh’ we’re done, move on to the next job. Actually, that was a really important value that he wanted to get across. We got that across in the strap line. Again, “Superior Sash Window Renovations.” One of Chris’s was quality and it was a better quality than his competitor. So we got that across in the branding, we’re talking about the values. You need to look about maybe five values you can have up to seven and maybe as few as three, but you need to be able to remember what those are. So if it is things like customer service, if it is things like experience and that you’re knowledgeable and things like that, and actually why are people going to want to come and work with you?

(45:35)
That’s your brand values. And then you have to demonstrate that in everything you do. Obviously, you can’t just say it and put it on a piece of paper or stick it on a wall and forget about it. You need to demonstrate that in all your behaviors. And then we talk about brand personality and brand voice. So that’s how your brand feels. So a brand personality can come across in the imagery and the colors and the typefaces that we use. So if you went black and gold, the personality for that brand as opposed to that soft grays and old gold, the personality would be quite blingy, quite flashy. Or do you want something that’s a bit more sophisticated and a bit more aspirational? So you’re thinking about the personality. If your brand was a person, what would they be like? What would their personality traits be like?

(46:20)
What kind of person would they be? How would they communicate with your target audience? So think about it as a person and you probably want them to be trustworthy, honest with one of those things that, again, builders have a bad reputation for. Not always telling the truth or certainly not telling you how long a job’s going to go on for or something like that, or not getting back to you. So you’re trying to go, if everybody else has got that reputation, you want to position yourself slightly differently and communicate that. And then the brand voice is literally the personality spoken or written. So what’s the vocabulary that you use? What’s the vocabulary you don’t use? And what kind of tone and voice is that taking? So again, I would encourage people in this space to talk about the transformation and actually still sell the dream.

Greg Wilkes (47:07):

That would be really useful for your social media posts and whatever else. Once you know how you communicate.

Sapna Pieroux (47:14):

Certainly, the business scales. You may want to be outsourcing your social media. So it’s really important to have this stuff documented. If you’re doing your own social media, you’re writing it in your own voice. And so that’s okay, but it’s really hard for a social media manager to take that and then continue that. So you kind of need to have a brand tone of voice, not just your own personality. It needs to be brand personality. I worked with another company, not in the trades, but they were a website development company and there was about 30, 50 employees, I don’t know, quite a lot of employees. It was a big company and the founder had a really strong personality and a slightly off color sense of humor, slightly odd sense of humor. And that came through in everything they did. But they had, oh my god, they had branded mugs and I can’t remember the slogan on the side, but it was something that was really sarcastic and snob because they worked with lawyers, they gave the lawyers a mug which said, “Hang on, forget about my law degree, I’m just going to Google that,” or something like that.

(48:18)
It was the fact that people are trying to sort out legal $%#@& by just Googling. It was like, oh, “Let’s put my law degree aside. I’m just going to Google that.” And it was quite sarcastic and a little bit snippy. And so lawyers are going to have that on their desk. And when I actually brought that up, because I did a brand assessment with them and I talked about the stuff they were doing. They were a very successful company, but the stuff that actually they should stop doing, and then there’s stuff that needs a bit of tweaking. And this one I was like, this is really not, the tone of it was just wrong, but it was his sense of humor. And one of his salespeople just went, “oh my God, I’m so glad you said that.” She went, “I’m so embarrassed handing those to my clients.”

(48:53)
But they got told that they had to hand them out. You’ve got work out. What the personality is is not necessarily your personal personality. Certainly my personality, I have got a dark sick sense of humor, right? Dark, sick, filthy sense of humor. But that’s not my brand personality. My brand personality has a sense of humor, but it’s much more benign, it’s much gentler and it’s much more professional. So it is about having to divorce those two things.

(49:21)
That’s interesting.

(49:22)
Yeah. If you’ve got a strong personality leading the company, that can bleed into the brand personality. And actually what you need to do is actually, well actually I want the professional side of me, not all of me.

(49:38)
And then we move to standout, which is my favorite part of the vision process, which is looking at your competitors. It’s standing out. The standout phase is competitor analysis where we look at the rest of the trade or look at the other people in your space, look at their branding, what are they doing right? What’s not working? What are they? I just literally go, would go building company logos on Google and search a load of them will come up. I know I said that logos not all of the brand, but it’s a good place to start and you will see things come up that everybody’s doing. There’re always trends. There’s industry trends and what I call interesting cliches. So I’ve worked with property developers in the past as well, and people who are a building like HMOs or converting things do HMOs and there’s an awful lot of roofs.

Greg Wilkes (50:29):

Yeah, I was going to say that roofs over ace.

Sapna Pieroux (50:32):

Roofs maybe the odd key, the occasional keyhole. So it’s kind of, oh, and also if it’s property management, a pair of hands maybe around a house.

Sapna Pieroux (50:43):

Hands in a house. So this is what I can’t you going into cliche mode and if you’re going to stand out in your industry, if you want to stand out in your industry, don’t do what everybody else is doing. And this is where you start looking back at your fab brands and you go, well actually what are they doing that I can bring into my industry and do something slightly differently. So for Ricky, it was, don’t look at other tiling companies because the logos are all bloody awful. Let’s have a look at architecture firms. Let’s have a look at interior design companies and actually let’s take some of that influence in, and suddenly he’s got a brand that looks so much better than the rest. Right? With Renosash, we looked at things like interiors, magazines, interiors, again, interiors companies and actually don’t take influence from you.

(51:24)
But generally most trades, the imagery isn’t great. And so it’s actually really quite easy to stand out with a modicum of thought of strategy, work out what you like, look at the type faces, look at how they make you feel. Typefaces have personalities too. So with Renosash it was all about tradition and elegance and all of that. So the typeface reflects that. If you were going to go for a big, bold, blocky typeface like Adidas or something like that, it wouldn’t have had the same feel. So it’s about matching up, but you’ll start to understand it by looking at other people’s logos and looking at other companies. So what you start to do is then hone in on what you like, what you don’t like, the colors that you like. There’ll be industry trends as well. So a lot of, I know this isn’t us, your sector, but say financial companies, they always use blue or organic companies will use brown and green. So there will be colors that, again, if you want to stand out in your industry, maybe don’t camouflage yourself by doing exactly the same as everybody else. So one way of visually communicating that you’re doing something different is by looking different.

Greg Wilkes (52:36):

That’s important, isn’t it? Yeah. You can see that.

Sapna Pieroux (52:38):

Which is what the book’s about. So even those first three stages will help give you a lot more clarity on the brand that you want them to build. And then at that point you may try and choose to do your own logo. It’s not something that I fully recommend. I always recommend going with a professional, but then you’ll be able to give them a better brief. You’ll certainly know yourself and your brand a lot better to be able to give them a better brief and hopefully get better result as a result of it.

Greg Wilkes (53:04):

That’s really useful. I think what most people probably what I would do is I’d probably start giving it a go and then think, oh, forget it. Let’s use the pro. Do what you good at.

Sapna Pieroux (53:14):

People go, oh, I like that tight face. That tight face will do. And I like that color. Blue’s my favorite color, so we’re going to make it blue. But you’re not really thinking about your customer.

Greg Wilkes (53:24):

Yeah no.

Sapna Pieroux (53:24):

Think about what’s going to appeal to them.

Greg Wilkes (53:27):

I think what’s interesting, what you said too is that at the end of the day, the brand should last you a long time, shouldn’t it? Potentially maybe five years or whatever. So that investment, you split that out over five years. In the scheme of things, it’s, it’s going to win you more work. You are going to be more confident with it. It’s a bit of a no brainer, isn’t it really to get it.

Sapna Pieroux (53:45):

It is. I mean, the amount of people, I mean, Chris ended up putting his prices up and he made his return on investment back probably in the first job because he suddenly felt able and he’s getting more work now. So he’s made that back already. He’s one of my number one fans. So he knows the power of what it’s done for him and it’s made him so much more confident to go for the business that he actually wants as well. So if you want to approach bigger companies or work on bigger projects, look in the part is part of, it’s like I always say, it’s like dressing your business for success. It’s like dressing your business for the job that you want in the same way that you would if you were going for a job interview in the days that obviously before you owned your own company you’d put a suit on or you’d make sure that you were groomed. And certainly, if you’re going to go and see a client, you’re not going to turn up with spinach on your teeth and scruffy trainers and a sort of torn, not how you’re going to make a great first impression. So, the branding’s about making a great first impression.

Greg Wilkes (54:40):

Yeah, no, I completely get that. That’s brilliant. I guess for my listeners and those that are watching this, two takeaways, we can either go and get Sapna’s book and have a look at, well, at least even if you get the book, just to educate yourself on the things you should be thinking about. If you want to give it a go yourself, then go for it, but if not, and you want to get it done quick, then you’ve got your one day workshops, don’t you Sap?

Sapna Pieroux (55:02):

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, so I love doing those because I work at quite a fast pace, so it works for me as well. We can get a result and get a happy client end the day. That’s just brilliant.

Greg Wilkes (55:12):

Yeah, fantastic. Yeah. So if people wanted, the book was called Let’s Get Visible, wasn’t it? So they can get that on Amazon and where would they find you?

Sapna Pieroux (55:21):

What a free sample just to sort of see if it’s for them. They can go to letsgetvisiblebook.com and sign up there and we’ll drop you a free sample of the book as well.

Greg Wilkes (55:30):

Brilliant. And how would they get a hold of you, Sap?

Sapna Pieroux (55:33):

Find me on LinkedIn. That’s probably the best place for me. And just tell me that you’ve come through Greg’s podcast because I get some really random people sliding into my DMs, so unless I have a reason to accept, I don’t tend to accept everyone.

Greg Wilkes (55:50):

That’s brilliant. Excellent. Well, Sapna, that’s been really useful for me and my listeners. I think we’ve taken a lot of value from that, so I appreciate all the time you’ve given us and wish you all the best going forward.

Sapna Pieroux (56:01):

Thank you. Lovely to see you again.

Greg Wilkes (56:03):

Yes. You too. Take Care.

Sapna Pieroux (56:04):

Take care.

Greg Wilkes (56:13):

If you’d like to work with me to fast-track your construction business growth, then reach out on www.developcoaching.co.uk.