Simon Wright offers his top branding tips for new businesses when starting out and aiming to build a respected, credible brand.
- Branding is all about reputation
- What does your brand stand for?
- Invest in your brand
- The power of good systems
Rightly or wrongly, the construction industry is not blessed with the best reputation in the world. As a result, building firms need to work hard to be seen as professional and trustworthy, and branding can play a vital role here.
So what are the golden rules to follow if you want to create a brand that customers believe in?
Branding is all about reputation
Visual marketing is not actually the most important aspect. Branding is all about reputation, whether you have one or are in the business of creating one.
So the first thing is make sure that there is credibility behind the brand.
What does your brand stand for?
If your reputation can stand the test, the next step is to work out what your business values are. Do you sell yourself on speed, efficiency, craftsmanship, technology or cost?
“Your logo, website, stationery and livery all tell a customer so much about you”
Whatever it is that you are proudest about, your service should be reflected in your brand. It doesn’t have to be one thing; good branding can reflect several values.
Record what you say when you meet a potential customer – it can be an enlightening way to assess how you market the brand.
Invest in your brand
Be prepared to invest in your brand, as it is a pillar of your business. Your logo, website, stationery and livery all tell a customer so much about you.
Professional, thoughtful branding – with a simple, clean and consistent look and feel – is shorthand for a professional, thoughtful company.
Consider using customer references and quotes within your branding. We all feel more comfortable if someone comes recommended.
The power of good systems
Install great systems. The key is to make the customer experience as good as possible. Provide quotes quickly and advise people if something is going to take a little longer – keep customers informed, email your quote and then send a hard copy.
“Always respond to an enquiry, even if you don’t want the business”
The little things can often make a big difference. Branding is as much about action as imagery.
Finally, consider what the perceptions are of your industry. You may not agree with them, but help to change people’s views.
For example, always respond to an enquiry, even if you don’t want the business. It makes ‘non-customers’ (who could become customers in the future) feel respected.
Simon Wright is managing director of design agency Greenwich Design