By Tommy Mello, owner A1 garage doors, a $100+ million home service company. I’m sharing what I’ve learned to help other entrepreneurs scale.
You can buy a wallet for $30. Or you can buy one for $4,000. For 10 euros you can buy a large pizza. Or you can buy one for $40.
What is 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 is noticed, it increases the conversion rate of all your marketing campaigns, whether you pay organically or pay per click.
Ken Goodrich, a home service entrepreneur who makes $75 million a year, told me he went from a 4% to a 63% click-through rate on his marketing when he packed up his delivery trucks and did hardcore on TV and radio.
By the way, it’s not just your click-through rate, your average ticket value can also increase. I worked with a chimney repair business owner years ago and I got him to pack up his trucks and give his employees great new uniforms, among a few other things. He ended tripling his average ticket total.
A big reason why your average ticket is going up is because you’re attracting a different set of customers. This brings me to my next point:
2. You can attract better customers.
One day this lady called me. She asked for my buddy’s number at flooring company A. I informed her that they were very expensive. And do you know what she said next? “Well, I don’t care. I want the convenience. I just don’t want to lift my furniture and move everything. Give me his number because I don’t care what it costs.”
Read her last sentence again. She is the perfect example of people who are not buy based on price. That’s the kind of customer you’re looking for, as a) they often value good service more than others, and b) they can pay more – they’ll usually be happy to do that if you over-deliver.
3. This is how you avoid becoming a commodity.
Large companies such as Google and Amazon are operating in more and more sectors. How do you compete if you are a small player? You can’t compete on price – you just make yourself a commodity. Like Alex Hormozi, the author of Offers of $100 million wrote, “Sell your product based on value, not price.”
How do you differentiate based on where the? Let me give you an example. If you’re only installing drywall, you can differentiate yourself by advertising noise barriers in your drywall. No one wants to hear their kid across the house drumming in their room, so you can set yourself apart from the competition, as far fewer people will know how to do it – much less be able to offer it.
If you’re sold on the importance of branding, you might ask, “Okay Tommy, I get it. But what exactly can I improve on 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 on first impression. People today have a short attention span. Make sure your band has a great name and even a great jingle.
• Visually catchy: You could hire a professional branding agency like us, or you could go to 99designs and run a design contest.
Now what about the non-obvious? Two things:
1. Good branding is about reputation.
Branding is not what you say; it’s something she say. In other words, if your customers make fun of you, there’s no point in having the best looking brand.
Here’s what you want: lots of five-star reviews across multiple platforms so you’re credible wherever your customers go to research you.
If you’re in the home service industry like me, you should be on Yelp, Facebook, Angie’s List, and HomeAdvisor. Then encourage your customers to leave honest reviews about their experience with you.
2. Good branding is about focus.
The mistake I often see home service business owners make is this: they set everything they do on the side of their van. It would be something like “Angie’s List! BBB! Yep! Google Five Stars! By the way, I clean gutters! I wash gutters! I also clean driveways!”
You should just say, “I clean gutters.” That is it! Most people only have a few seconds to read. And even if they have more time to read, they’ll eventually be confused by what you’re actually doing.
If there’s one thing you’ll take away from my article, it’s this: Branding isn’t just about looking good, it’s about being focused. This way you stand out in the market and ensure that customers 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 business from scratch?” I’d say “Burn it right!”