By Tommy Mello, owner A1 Garage Doors, a $100M+ home service business. Sharing what I’ve learned to help other entrepreneurs scale.
You can buy a purse for $30. Or you can buy one for $4,000. You can buy a large pizza for $10. Or you can buy one for $40.
What’s the difference? Branding. It just makes your marketing and selling a lot easier.
Here’s why branding is more important than most people think:
1. Branding makes your marketing a lot more effective.
When your brand gets noticed, it increases the conversion rate on all of your marketing campaigns—whether you’re doing organic or pay-per-click.
Ken Goodrich—a home service entrepreneur who makes $75 million per year—told me that he went from a 4% to 63% clickthrough rate on his marketing when he wrapped his vans and did TV and radio hardcore.
It’s not just your clickthrough rate, by the way—your average ticket value can go up, too. I worked with a chimney repair company owner years ago, and I got him to wrap his trucks and get his employees amazing new uniforms, among a few other things. He ended up tripling his average ticket total.
A big reason why your average ticket increases is because you attract a different group of customers. This brings me to my next point:
2. You can attract better customers.
I had this lady call me up one day. She asked for the number of my buddy at flooring company A. I let her know they were really expensive. And you know what she said next? “Well, I don’t care. I want the convenience. I just don’t wanna lift my furniture and move everything. Give me his number because I don’t care what it costs.”
Read her last sentence again. She’s the perfect example of people who aren’t buying based on price. That’s the kind of customer you want, since a) they often value great service more than others, and b) they can pay more—they will usually be happy to do so if you overdeliver.
3. It’s how you prevent yourself from being a commodity.
Big companies like Google and Amazon are going into more and more industries. How do you compete if you’re a small player? You can’t compete on price—you will just commoditize yourself. As Alex Hormozi, the author of $100M Offers wrote: “Sell your product based on value not on price.”
How do you differentiate based on value? Let me give you an example. If you only do drywall installation, you might differentiate yourself by advertising noise barriers in your drywall. No one wants to hear their kid playing drums in their room from across the house, so you can stand out from the competition, since way fewer people are going to know how to do it—let alone offer it.
If you’re sold on the importance of branding, you might ask, “OK Tommy, I get it. But what exactly do I improve about our brand?” Based on my experience, here’s what I recommend:
What makes a brand great?
Here’s the obvious:
• Memorable: You want people to remember your brand upon first impression. People have short attention spans these days. Make sure your band has a great name and even a great jingle.
• Visually catchy: You could hire a professional branding agency like we did, or you could go to 99designs and create a design contest.
Now, what about the non-obvious? Two things:
1. Great branding is about reputation.
Branding isn’t what you say; it’s what they say. In other words, if your customers are trash-talking you, having the best-looking brand is useless.
Here’s what you want to have: lots of five-star reviews on multiple platforms, so that you’re credible no matter where your customers go to research you.
If you’re in the home services industry like me, you should be on Yelp, Facebook, Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor. Then encourage your customers to leave genuine reviews about their experience with you.
2. Great branding is about focus.
The mistake I often see home service company owners make is this: They put everything they do on the side of their van. It would be something like “Angie’s List! BBB! Yelp! Google Five Stars! By the way, I clean gutters! I wash gutters! I clean driveways, too!”
You should just put “I clean gutters.” That’s it! Most people only have a few seconds to read. And even if they have more time to read, they will end up getting confused by what it is that you actually do.
If there’s one thing you take away from my article, this is it: Branding isn’t just about looking good, it’s about being focused. That’s how you stand out in the market and get customers to choose you. Can you describe what you do in one sentence? A few words? Here are a few examples:
- Disneyland: “The happiest place on Earth.”
- Nike: “Just do it.”
- Dollar Shave Club: “Shave time. Shave money.”
So, if you asked me, “What would you do if you started your company all over again?” I’d say: “Brand it right!”