how to build a construction brand

Branding in the age of competition: 3 ways you can stand out

Drive-thru:

  • Branding refers to the ideas and images that define your business and set it apart from the competition, although many construction companies have yet to embrace an effective branding strategy.
  • A digital presence—whether it’s a modern website, social media accounts, or both—is the cornerstone of a branding campaign.
  • Handling all aspects of a branding campaign can be overwhelming for some companies. Hiring out various parts of it is a worthy investment as you’ll likely attract new and repeat business.

In the construction industry, being generic won’t get you anywhere. These days, you need a powerful message and a strong online presence—in other words, you need a brand.

Branding refers to “a collection of images and ideas” surrounding your business, and can include logos, slogans, colors, and designs, according to the American Marketing Association. It’s anything that defines your company and sets it apart from others.

Most construction companies focus on the build at hand, but thinking ahead to the next build and the one after that is what leads to a business’s long-term success.

That’s where branding comes in, says Mike Wice, SEO Manager at Thrive Internet Marketing Agency, which is based in Arlington, Texas, and works with multiple construction and engineering companies.

“Branding is a very powerful way to get repeat customers,” he explains. “A lot of studies show that it costs a lot more to get a new client than it does to get a repeat client. So, keeping a loyal customer saves you a lot of money, and branding goes a long way toward keeping them around to where they remember you. They understand the personality that you’re trying to convey through your brand, and they’re willing to come back to you or recommend you to friends and family.”

“Branding is a powerful way to get repeat customers. Studies show that keeping a loyal customer saves you a lot of money, and branding goes a long way toward keeping them around. Click To Tweet

If you don’t have a strong branding strategy, here are three questions to help you uncover your true brand identity and stand out among the competition:

1. What are your core values?

A top-notch brand strategy can be as simple or as complex as a company wants. At the basic level, it can include a solid company name and logo. To develop cohesive and compelling messaging, businesses need to identify their core values and who their customers are, and build the brand around that.

“There’s a big difference in how you’re going to brand yourself if you are working with primarily residential versus commercial clients,” Wice explains. “Your core values should talk about your honesty, affordability and the quality of your work.”

Branding initiatives should convey a specific image of your company and incorporate what others say about you.

2. Do you have a digital persona?

Messaging is key, but getting the message out there is equally important. Companies need a digital presence, whether it’s a well-designed website, social media channels, or both.

“In modern society, if you have neglected to have a digital marketing presence of some kind—at least a website that is professional and acts as more or less a digital business card—then you’re falling well behind the times. You’re going to have a hard time competing in today’s market,” Wice says.

Maintaining a digital presence is just as important as creating it. Wice recommends revisiting a website every year to make tweaks and ensuring that it is mobile-friendly. Content should be updated regularly, and companies using social media should continually post relevant, professional content. Outdated websites and social media channels that seem abandoned can be a major turn-off to potential customers.

3. Can potential customers find you?

Today’s consumers start their searches for a product or service online. So, businesses without an online presence may get lost in the shuffle. Wice recommends that companies make sure they have a Google business listing. This will make it easy for potential customers to find you.

“People look at a variety of websites and products and things before making a final decision about who they want to go with,” Wice explains. “You might be a better construction company and know way more than the group down the road. But if that company has a legitimate website, the customer is going to go to the other company.”

Many aspects of a digital and branding strategy can be tough to maintain in house, especially for small companies. Hiring a professional to build a website and start a branding strategy is a worthy investment, according to Wice. It will help you stand out, which can lead to getting both new and returning clients.

Too often, construction companies don’t put enough focus on their branding as a way to build their businesses.

“Often, people who are really good at constructing things may not know about branding,” Wice says. “It’s not a matter of them ignoring it. A lot of the time, they just don’t really know how to approach it, and they don’t understand the value of it. They think that [customers will] just remember them because they did a good job.”

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