“Your brand is what people say when you’re not in the room.”
This great quote from Jeff Bezos of Amazon is at the heart of building a strong and high value brand. Do you want better control of those conversations?
Then this recent interview with branding wizard Alex Lucic of Black and Yellow Pavement will give you a roadmap to do just that.
Make Your Brand a Competitive Advantage
Here’s a recap with some additional examples of those five secrets to help you build a blockbuster company brand:
Does your branding grab attention?
A good logo, strong color scheme and strong tagline are the bedrock of an attention-getting identity. Do they explain what you do?
Logos: Always get a professional logo designed. With online sites like Fiverr or UpWork, you can have a professional designer create logo options for you at a very reasonable price.
Your logo should be understandable at any size. A logo that looks good on the side of a truck also needs to look good on your brochure, business cards, website or proposals. When finalizing your design, have several other people view your logo before you decide on it. Often another set of eyes will see something that you’ve missed. Here are some good (or are they bad?) examples of logos that grab attention for the wrong reasons.
Color scheme: Although there are obvious color schemes that would go with asphalt maintenance, if your competition is using them, choose something unexpected. One doesn’t equate pink with mobile phone service, but that’s what T-Mobile chose - and it is definitely unique to them. If you are not inclined to this type of creativity, then get help from a designer (see note about Fiverr or UpWork).
Tagline: Be audacious with your tagline - and make certain your business can back up any claim. For instance, a tagline of “We do sealcoating” doesn’t grab attention. How about “Top Trusted Sealcoater in Northern Virginia”?
What category do you want to own? Trust? Largest? Quickest? Also think about your target audience. For instance, if you want to focus on residential work, your tagline can mention that. “Beautifying Atlanta one Driveway at a Time.”
Is your company visually consistent?
Whether it’s your uniforms, trucks, equipment, website, social media accounts, business cards, emails or proposals, stay true to your brand. The more frequently your potential customers see your logo, colors and slogan the more likely they are to buy or buy from you again.
Think of some well known brands. Coca Cola, for instance, always uses the same type, the same red color and the same whoosh. If you saw the brand in Chinese, for instance, you would still know it was Coke.
But you don’t need a big budget to make a big impression. Start with simple changes to what you do now; get matching tee shirts for your team and magnetic banners for your trucks. A clean truck, clean uniform and professional approach will put you on the right road.
Is your brand easy to remember?
When you have a cold, you reach for a Kleenex. Need to search online? Just Google it.
These brands have become synonymous with the product or service they provide - a category name.
People remember attention-grabbing brands that are used consistently, especially if they are descriptive of the services you offer. For instance, a brand of Joe’s Services doesn’t tie into what services you provide so won’t be memorable when someone thinks about their pavement. Alternatively, people will remember a company named Driveway Doctors, with a logo and color scheme that builds on that idea.
Already have a company name with some history, but want to expand your business? Consider tweaking your logo and tagline to be easy to remember by your new target market. From an early example of “Top Trusted Sealcoater of Northern Virginia” could be changed to “Top Trusted Pavement Pro in Northern Virginia.” You will maintain the memorability of top trusted, while showing that you offer additional services now.
Does your brand set you apart from your competition?
This is where you do not want to follow the leader - because they will always be the leader! Understand who your competition is, whether they are a direct competitor or offer some of the same services. Who do they sell to? What do they say about their business?
By understanding who your competition is, you can decide how you will be different. It could be that they buy Chevy trucks. Then you could choose Ford or GM. (Alex talks about how he decided on his truck brand in the video). Does your competition spread themselves too thin on sales regions or types of customers? Maybe you can concentrate on one area or client-base.
Alex also shares some great tips in the branding video.
The most important secret is Customer Experience
Customer Experience is the cornerstone of your brand and is the secret behind controlling the conversation about you when you’re not in the room. Answering your phone on the first ring, polite sales people, professional work, thorough clean up, and a polite thank you can be your secret to branding success.
There is so much to Customer Experience, that it will be its own post. For now, consider customer experience (and employee experience) through the lens of Golden Rule. Treat others the way you would want to be treated.
Share your brand stories in the comments!