by Jack Doherty
You’re the owner of a contracting firm, and you know how tough the competition can be for every contract. Whether you’re asked for a design-build on a new strip mall, a community housing project, or you’re helping rebuild a bank lobby (or anything in between), we always hope that our work speaks for itself and that satisfied customers will call back for future work and refer to others in need.
But what if you aren’t top of mind? Quality counts, first and foremost. Obviously! But so does name recognition. Most construction firm owners and managers know that they are surrounded by competitors.
The construction industry executive who thinks he/she can rest on laurels and not market the business and brand does so at his own peril. If a company doesn’t do a comprehensive job of letting potential customers know everything they do and what they offer, the company may be among the industry’s better-kept secrets.
Visibility and brand awareness are critical in every marketing effort. It begins with the company’s logo. This is quite possibly the most valuable piece of marketing that any business owns. Sure, it looks good on business cards, but there ought to be a higher purpose to it. A logo is the ticket to greater visibility, if used right. In planning your outreach, think beyond business cards, letterhead, and invoices.
If you have office space, the logo should be on your window. And if you offer giveaways to prospective customers, incorporating the logo on materials will increase customer retention and attraction.
Occasionally, construction companies consider a truck or vehicle wrap, with the logo. What a great billboard if you’re driving down Route 128 or Route 3. A logo, a website, and a phone number are all you need — whether your vehicle is moving or parked somewhere.
Consider the importance of apparel as a brand-builder, with your logo. A logo does wonders when displayed on polo shirts, outdoor work jackets, or sweatshirts. Every time a representative of your company is on the job or attending a networking or Chamber of Commerce event — he/she should wear apparel that prominently displays the company’s name and logo. This eyeball-to-eyeball visibility helps propel the company to the top of mind position and also conveys the message that the company has a strong team and culture. In effect, the employee becomes an ambassador for his/her construction company.
The promotional product also offers opportunity to showcase a logo. This can include everything from pens to calculators to flashlights — or, to be more industry-appropriate, screwdrivers or hammers. They are great keepsakes for existing and future customers. High-tech gadgets are popular giveaways. One such item is the six-in-one charger, which plugs into a computer or a vehicle’s power source and can charge multiple devices at one time. Also popular is the portable power pack which will boost the battery life of a cell phone; if someone is on a worksite without electricity, for example, it’s great for the company workers. For the customer, who may be at a board meeting or on the golf course, it’s also a valued commodity!
Calendars with local photographs are also a popular item. And, ironically, so is the pen.
Whether it’s apparel with the company’s name and logo, or products given out to customers and in the community, it makes sense for a company to brand itself through these efforts. In planning your outreach, don’t overlook the logo on promotional products or apparel as part of the strategy. It “wears well.”
Jack Doherty is CEO of College Hype, an apparel and promotional product company located in Dorchester.