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5 great brand management tips for tradespeople in business
Branding is essential to any business owners playbook. When done correctly, it defines who you are amongst your competitors, and makes your business memorable to clients and/or customers. So the question is: How do I build and cultivate an amazing brand for my business as a tradie. Read on to find out.
What is branding?
Branding is a term that is discussed often within the professional services industry, but from my experience, is not brought up enough amongst blue collar business owners. For the uninitiated, branding is defined by the Entrepreneur Encyclopedia as “The marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product (or service) from other products (and services)“. This definition best describes how branding should be applied to all businesses. Branding also crosses over into your marketing as well, with identification being crucial to longterm marketing efforts. With this in mind, let’s move onto my top 5 branding tips for tradespeople.
Tip 1. Create a great logo
Logo’s designed by Sagi Haviv
A logo is not communication its identification, its the dot at the end of a sentence, not the sentence.
Sagi Haviv / Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv
Creating or redesigning an existing logo is one of the first things you should tackle if you are either looking to further establish your brand or build it up from scratch.
The quote above is from Sagi Haviv, the creator of some of the worlds most recognised logos and brands.
If you are curious, you can hear the quote for yourself in this amazing podcast episode from The Futur.
Sagi Haviv’s quote is easily the best explanation of what a logo should be for any business. Too many logos are created with the intention to communicate what a business does. Feelings, elements of the business’s history, and effective use of colour and font should be carefully considered and included in the design of a logo as part of your businesses identification system.
One last thing that Sagi Haviv has consistently mentioned about creating a great logo is striking the fine line between simplicity and distinction. Sagi Haviv says Logo’s that are too simple run the risk of not being memorable enough. Another issue is that they may be too similar to designs that already exist on the web.
This could potentially open your business up to being wrongly identified by clients or even make your business vulnerable to legal action. In most cases, this can be quickly resolved by dropping the design completely. Unfortunately, this means starting from scratch with your brand.
This is a lot to think about for any business owner; thankfully, if you find a great graphic designer, they will research and design a logo that is both entirely unique, distinctive, and remarkably memorable.
Tip 2. Create an awesome website
The first step to creating an awesome website is to contact an awesome web designer. When you’ve found one, they’ll usually like to have a meeting with you to discuss what you wish to achieve and what you absolutely need on your website. This may be over the phone, in person, or online.
Sometimes a web designer will ask for a style guide from the graphic designer who completed your logo. This is a simple “rulebook” on how to use your logo. It provides correct font pairings, colours, and spacing that can help assist the web designer to ensure that they create a website that is in line with your brand. Some graphic designers may create a simple style guide for use by other designers including your web designer. It’s worth noting however that this shouldn’t be expected by default, as most graphic designers will offer this as part of a higher package.
Tip 3. Do an amazing job, on the job.
We cannot stress this enough.
When you or members of your team are out on the job, you absolutely must make sure you are doing everything right and doing everything well.
For most tradespeople, there was a time where word of mouth was the best form of marketing they could achieve.
While this is still partly true, it has come to more heavily revolve around online reviews. At the end of the day, the difference between you and your competitor is whittled down to who has the highest average review and/or stars to their name.
Some review websites automatically create pages for your business (whether you like it or not) to allow your clients to have their say about your services. The only control you have is to make sure you do a great job. This leads to my next tip.
Tip 4. Create (public) places on the web to get reviews.
If you are saying, “why would I do that? We’ll be torn to shreds!” you may have problems we won’t be able to help you with through this blog.
You can set up your Facebook page to get reviews that you can reply to and manage quite easily. Google also offers a totally free business listing service called Google My Business. Once created and verified, you will be able to receive reviews. Google reviews are very public however and can’t be turned off once created.
As mentioned in reason 3, if you do a great job every time you’ll have nothing to worry about. Right?
Tip 5. Managing public reviews.
If you are doing a tip-top job, chances are, your reviews are probably sitting around the 4.5 – 4.9 range.
So close to perfection!
It’s annoying, but it’s true of all businesses that hit a certain amount of clients. No matter how good you and your team is, there will always be one unruly individual who’s just hard work.
So what do you do when a 1-star review is left on your perfect record of 5’s? Is all your team’s hard work shattered the moment somebody drops their disapproval smack bang on your facebook page? What about your Google My Business location? Is your businesses identity in tatters? The short answer is: We know it sucks.
We know how much that 5-star average score meant to you. We’re here to tell you to stop hoping for Facebook or Google to consider removing the review. It simply isn’t going to happen. However, you can flip the script. See a great example of how to respond to a bad review below:
I honestly can’t believe how bad this business is at what they do, they said that they were going to be in before 9am, but they didn’t show up until 11am. Not only that, they cracked a really expensive tile in our kitchen as they were bringing their tools in, and their team continually swore in conversation without thinking about nearby children. Unprofessional.
Your fantastic Business:
We are really sorry about the experience you’ve described. This is definitely not in line with our team values. We will be investigating this issue further internally, however, we have sent you a private message in the meantime to discuss and potentially provide a fast and agreeable resolution for you.
The real beauty of this type of response is the following:
- You do acknowledge how they feel about the situation, but don’t admit guilt.
- You do clarify that the issues described aren’t in line with your team’s values.
- You do clarify that action is being taken to investigate the issues.
- You do clarify that a private message has been sent.
- You do clarify that a resolution can potentially be achieved.
Your next step is to try and get to the root of the issue with your client and attempt to get them to revise the review to a better score or get them to remove the review altogether. If this can’t be achieved, you’ve travelled to the end of the road. The thing is, this is often enough for prospective clients to disregard poor reviews.
In the real world, a clients review won’t be as well worded like the one above. This allows your eloquent response to appear as the voice of reason, allowing a potential client to disregard one bad review as a bad egg.
This isn’t saying “don’t ever refund or reimburse clients for bad work”.
When your business has honestly been in the wrong do ALL you can to get a client back on your side. It is crucial to tip 3 and while it’s possible to create raving fans of your work, it is also possible to create destructive enemies.
If you’re a tradie looking to take your business to the next level, we highly recommend that you use the tips on this list to further your business. If you’re a tradie looking to get the things on this list done (namely a logo and website) get in touch with us!
Check out another recent blog in this category.
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