hall of fame
Dan Antonelli

Branding: It’s the name of the game for all contractors in saturated markets. What do you do to stand out rather than fit in? How quickly do you close sales or drive the needle forward in your particular slice of the market? What are your credentials? What are you doing to retain employees and recruit top talent?

In the marketing realm, we recognize that it often takes the perfect storm of qualities and opportunities to make your brand have impact. Thankfully, when it comes to industries such as HVAC, plumbing and other home service sectors, those decision makers often have vastly more control over those qualities. Trying to deliver better customer service? Be happier and hire employees who will follow your lead. Trying to prove you’re reliable? Conquer time management and see every promise to fruition. Trying to look the part for the prospective client who’s only heard of you from a friend or neighbor?

That last part is usually where an experienced agency comes in. They can help build the outward brand identity that aptly complements your inner quality, creating the second half of your holistic customer experience. In essence, they build up the brand promise, and you fulfill it with your excellent service. And just like that, you start the engines for serious market segment takeover.

Think of it as the difference between a movie trailer and the actual movie. Even though the movie is already made and has every chance to be a blockbuster hit, you need to build value and intrigue with the trailer. Your marketing agency is the trailer that gets people excited to work with your brand, and your business is the movie that follows through and delivers.

It all boils down to a simple intrinsic fact: if you look the part, you probably act the part.

It’s why you dress tidy, flash your best smile and extend your business card. Perhaps unbeknownst to you, you have either won or lost the customer already. The prospective customers either have established secular faith in your abilities, or they are going to continue to wait until you stumble, ever so slightly, thereby validating their skepticism. Now it’s true that you can’t make everyone happy. In fact, you shouldn’t if you want to niche down and be seen as a specialist rather than a generalist in your target market. But with a strong united brand identity, you sure can make it to the very top percentile.

That means everywhere you advertise, publicize, and operate, your brand identity should resound. This includes everything from your website and social media channels all the way to your vehicles and uniforms. What you’ll need is a strategic assessment of the competition: What are they doing and how can I do it better? Your budget will dictate the additional tools you can add to your marketing arsenal. However, it should start with a website and unique brand identity. That identity needs to span across every outward marketing tool, from business cards and site signs to newspaper advertisements and social media.

But before rolling out your marketing, take a moment to reflect on your current brand. Is it the catalyst for your growth, or the weight that’s holding you down? This is where our branding experts can help you turn the tables. If you want to see what we’re talking about, check out some of our success stories [LINK TO https://www.kickcharge.com/portfolio/client-stats/]. These were business owners, just like you, who took the leap with their branding and never looked back. Or as we like to call it, they went from “blanded” to “branded!” They already had the skills and tools to deliver exceptional service. Now, their branding reflects the value they’ve always had to offer, but was never apparent due to generic branding.

If you’re already having success, you’re on the right track. Delivering top-notch service to new and old customers alike is your bread and butter. However, if you are really trying to make a splash in this digital age, you’re going to need a fully integrated brand—one that’s so well executed that it makes the sale for you.

The contents in this article originally appeared on Bulldog Reporter and Home Care. Bulldog Reporter supplies analysis, news, and training content to the public relations and corporate communications professionals with the mission of helping practitioners achieve competitive performance. Home Care Magazine is the leading business magazine for HME professionals and helps business owners to succeed in an increasingly challenging environment. 

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