Homes and buildings always need to be built, repaired or maintained. In fact, Global Construction Press reports that the construction market will grow to $8 trillion globally by 2030. Competition is fierce, which means that growing your construction business requires a strong marketing and branding strategy.
Whether your construction company is nestled in a rural town or a large city, you need to proactively brand your business to take part in that growth.
Here are six ways that strong brand identity will drive sales for your construction business:
- A strong brand identity tells your company story.
- A strong brand identity increases client awareness.
- A strong brand identity builds trust and credibility.
- A strong brand identity taps into the power of psychology.
- A strong brand identity sets you apart from the competition.
- A strong brand identity inspires employees.
Let us look at each of these in detail.
No. 1 — A strong brand identity tells your company story
What is brand identity? Brand identity is the visible elements of a brand, including color, design and a brand’s logo. It is the manner in which a corporation, company or business presents itself to the public and distinguishes the business in the mind of consumers. Put simply: It is what you, customers and prospective customers can see.
According to The Branding Journal, you can consider a brand as the idea or image people have in mind when thinking about specific products, services and activities of a company, both in a practical (e.g., “the shoe is light-weight”) and emotional way (e.g., “the shoe makes me feel powerful”). It is therefore not just the physical features that create a brand, but also the feeling that consumers develop toward the company or its product.
This combination of physical and emotional cues is triggered when exposed to the name, the logo, the visual identity or even the message communicated.
It is vital that your company’s brand identity highlights the best attributes of your business. Be deliberate in creating your brand identity and leave nothing to chance. Every company has a story to tell. Invite your customers and clients into yours.
The company story you portray will help connect your audience to your brand.
Your story should be interesting, relatable, promising and successful.
Your story should be painted with good design and solid language that is consistent with what you represent. It should reflect your brand.
What is a brand? A brand is the sum total of the experience your customers and customer prospects have with your company or organization. Originally, the term “brand” referred to the mark that cattle ranchers put (“branded”) on their cattle. But the concept of “brand” has evolved to include much more than a single visual element.
In fact, as we emphasized in our comprehensive guide on how to start a business, a strong brand is more important today than it has ever been. When developing your brand story consider the following:
- What is the origin of your company? Often you will see “constructing since” this or that year as part of branding. This provides reassurance to clients that you are well-established and trustworthy.
- What do you do? What specific services are you offering? Do you have a construction niche? What kind of products or services should clients approach you about? Are you an expert in a special area?
- What are your values? Where does your company take a stand? Consider a powerful tagline that represents your brand (for example, “Built To Last”). Establish a brand mission statement that incorporates your values – then act according to those values.
- How do you operate? How do you operate your business? Do you have a track record for completing projects on time? And, if a project is delayed, how do you handle the situation? How is your customer service?
Your brand identity starts with you—what your company represents and the story you tell.
No. 2. — A strong brand identity increases client awareness
Good brand identity gets you noticed. Great brand identity gets you remembered.
Humans are visual creatures. Your business logo is the most important element of your brand identity.
Your logo is the face of your company. A dynamic, professional logo will draw the attention of prospective clients and will be recognized by clients for years to come.
So, what makes a good logo? As we explained in “The Small Business Guide to Creating a Perfect Logo,” at its most basic, a logo is a small, symbolic piece of artwork that represents a business. When you set aside all the design trends and fancy fonts, at its core, a logo must:
- Embody your brand
- Be instantly recognizable
- Be versatile
- Be timeless
Everything else is optional. In fact, I will go one step further. Every design choice in your logo should exist only to serve and strengthen the four items listed above. And, if you meet these four requirements, many other commonly cited logo must-haves, like simplicity and memorability, naturally follow.
No. 3 — A strong brand identity builds trust and credibility
No business will succeed without trust and credibility. Building that trust does not happen overnight. In our comprehensive guide on how to start a cleaning business, we stressed that:
Cleaning professionals, especially residential cleaners, are invited into the most sacred place in a consumer’s world—their home.
Ensure your brand embodies trustworthiness in addition to quality to gain a client’s trust. And be committed to that message.
It is important that you not underestimate the importance of brand authenticity.
Trust and credibility are even more important for a construction business. People want to feel safe at home. It is their sacred place. They will want to know that their builder is capable, professional, trustworthy and knowledgeable.
Consider these essential elements to building trust with your brand:
- Be accessible. The construction business is entirely offline. But your brand must be well-represented online. The fact is your prospects are researching online. Invest in a compelling website design and market on the social media platforms your clients and prospects use.
- Have a solid product. Good marketing can attract a customer to make an emotional purchase, but great products are what will keep the customer for life.
- Be consistent. Just as your product or service must be performed consistently, so does your brand identity. Your message of who you are and what you represent, your visual branding, and your online (and offline) presence must be consistent across the board.
- If your brand successfully builds trust, your customers will feel confident that you know what you are doing and that they are spending their money wisely when they hire you.
No. 4 — A strong brand identity taps into the power of psychology
In a single day, the average consumer is exposed to somewhere between 3,000 and 10,000 brands. Yet, somehow some brands can cut through the noise and grab their attention.
Well-recognized brands produce strong activity in parts of the brain that are associated with a positive response. Unknown brands do the opposite, activating parts of the brain associated with negative emotions.
Psychology plays a large role in marketing and branding. After all, design influences consumer behavior and there are many psychological factors that go into consumer decision-making.
Look for opportunities, big and small, to translate these factors into your branding.
For example, be sure that your business name is unique. “Alan’s Construction Company” might reflect your name, but if there are other businesses in your geographic area with the same name, you will not be able to differentiate. You will simply confuse your clients and prospective clients.
No. 5 — A strong brand identity sets you apart from the competition
Whether you are rolling out a new brand, promoting an existing brand or refreshing your brand identity, it is important to stand out from your competition. You can do this with a unique visual brand identity featuring a stand-out color palette, brand-appropriate graphics and a memorable business logo. You can differentiate with a unique brand message and personality.
You can stand out with a unique selling proposition (or “USP”). Ultimately, a USP is what your business stands for. For example, you could say that Apple’s USP is found in “user experience” — Everything they do is meant to have the user at its core.
Google’s USP might be in the way they connect people with information, whereas Amazon’s might be providing whatever product you need quickly, efficiently and at as low a cost as possible.
Figuring out what your USP takes time, but it is a crucial piece of your brand. Knowing what it is can help you sell better to your existing customers and, more importantly, possible customers.
Whatever your unique selling proposition is, make sure you take time to figure it out, share it with your customers, and deliver it every time.
Set your brand apart from the competition by:
- Delivering a stellar customer experience. Customers who have positive experiences are more likely to return. So, every action should lead to creating the ideal customer experience. The happier your customers, the more they will sing your praises to others.
- Creating a consistent visual brand across all customer touch-points. Your website should feature the same colors, typography and graphic style as your logo. Company vehicles should mimic the same, in a bold, easy-to-recognize fashion. All promotional materials, signage, business cards and letterhead should maintain this visual continuity. Tight visual brand management will reinforce your brand identity and help your brand stand out.
- Being present on social media. Most of your clients and prospects are on social media. It is becoming a go-to source of information when researching, contacting and rating businesses. You can set your business apart by responding promptly and courteously to all customer inquiries.
- Prioritizing feedback. The construction industry is all about lasting relationships and positive reputations. Client feedback offers priceless insight into how your business is doing, what the customer experience is, and critical areas for improvement. Do not just gather client feedback. Internalize it and act on it. Businesses that listen to their customers get noticed.
- Saying what you do and doing what you say. Consistently delivering on your brand promises gives clients a reason to choose your business again and again. Happy repeat customers become brand advocates who deliver valuable word-of-mouth marketing.
- Competition in the construction industry is fierce. Staying brand consistent, and focusing on the customer first will help you blow your competitors out of the water.
- A strong brand identity inspires your employees.
For construction employees, it is never just a job. The construction field is anchored by hard work, quality craftsmanship and consistency.
No. 6. — Employees who understand their employer’s mission are more likely to be motivated to work toward common goals
You must inspire current employees. A strong brand is one that employees can get behind and rally around. This is important for two reasons:
- First, a recent study found that employee satisfaction correlates positively with higher productivity and profitability.
- Second, according to the 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer, regular employees are regarded as more credible than CEOs, entrepreneurs and members of the board. Those employees can provide some of your best word-of-mouth marketing. With 98% of employees being active on at least one personal social media account, 50% are posting about their company.
You must attract future employees. Your company brand identity will impact your ability to attract future employees. You want the best people on your team. But how do you find them?
A strong brand identity eliminates the need to hunt for quality employees, They will come to you. In fact, 84% of job seekers indicate that the reputation of a company is an important factor in choosing to apply.
Do not leave your brand identity to chance. Create a strong brand identity to drive sales in your construction business.
Ashlee Brayfield is a Customer Support Specialist at crowdspring, one of the world’s leading marketplaces for crowdsourced logo design, web design, graphic design, product design, and company naming services. She helps entrepreneurs, small businesses and agencies with branding, design, and naming, and regularly writes about entrepreneurship, small business, and design on crowdspring’s award-winning small business blog.