SECTION 2 OF 14
Logos and Branding
Stand out, don’t blend in, when choosing a look for your business
Contractors typically pick logos similar to those they see from similar businesses in their area.
For air conditioning companies, think a red and blue circle, or a snowflake and image of the sun. For plumbers, it might include a pipe wrench or a leaky pipe. The thought is that someone should know what you do when looking at your logo.
And of course, a white van. Always a white van.
Dan Antonelli says that’s wrong, because your brand and logo blend with every other contractor out there. But it’s something else, too, he says.
It’s an opportunity, Antonelli says, because most companies do not understand why branding is so important.
“I love it when we do competitive analysis and I look at some of the big players in any market and you see that they do not have their act together as far as branding is concerned.”
Good branding will grab the attention of the passer-by enough that it will leave an impression. But most brands leave the passerby thinking, “Oh, there’s another plumbing truck.”
From your van wraps to employee uniforms, branding defines how your company is perceived to the world. According to Antonelli, “branding is how people feel about your company, what they say about your company behind your back.”
Great brands, in many cases, have nothing to do with the product or service that they represent.
Take Apple, for instance. Their logo is so iconic you’re probably picturing it now. Apple doesn’t even put the company name on stores. They simply put the apple out there.
What does the apple have to do with a computer? In the minds of the consumer now, everything! Apple made the Apple logo represent computers.
UPS? The delivery giant painted all its trucks brown. You can see one from a mile away and think, “That must be a UPS truck.” The company dropped UPS from its commercials, too, asking instead, “What can Brown do for you?”
Having a memorable logo or a color no one else has, can make a trade company stand out, too. Many contractors need a brand facelift, and they need look no further than their fleet of white service vans to know it.
Why would you think about rebranding a successful business? Antonelli hears this question often and in response to that viewpoint, he counters, “Imagine how much more success you might have had if you had a better brand.”
The basics of branding:
Your brand should stand out and be uniquely you and not be even close to your competitors.
It should resonate with your target audience. If your target audience is large commercial buildings where investors are the target market, a lighthearted smiling mascot probably isn’t the best for you.
A brand is more than a logo. Your brand has to be woven throughout everything you do that is customer facing and non-customer facing. This includes, your trucks, your website, your company meetings, your interactions with your employees.
Here are some examples of some very successful brands:
But branding is about more than just truck wraps and colors, too.
Antonelli says it’s important to have consistency in delivering your brand promise to potential clients. Your digital marketing, print marketing, and outdoor advertising efforts should all be consistent and connect back to your branding.