There are two main goals HVAC and Plumbing Businesses need to think about for Marketing. One is, of course, Lead Generation - filling your schedule today. The other is "Branding" - make your business memorable for when a customer needs your service tomorrow. Generally, your brand should be composed of your logo, distinct colours representing your business, a tagline, brand voice, and other features to make your company stand out from your competitors.
Branding is no longer about where you place your ad. It’s about who you should place your ad with and when. We can learn how to focus your branding investment only to target your ideal customers before they search Google for your keywords.
Let’s take a look at our client, Action Furnace, who has a very recognizable brand. Action Furnace has very distinguishable brand colours and a cartoon-like animated mascot that can be used on various marketing collateral to ensure their brand is easily discernible. Action Furnace also has a tagline, “Fixed Right, or it’s Free,” which further helps recognize the brand. However, this was not always the case for Action Furnace.
When we started with them, we saw that Women were less likely to call Action Furnace (70/30 Men to Women). The data also showed us, however, that the gender of the people conducting the Google Searches for HVAC keywords was 50/50 Men to Women. If more women were searching than called the business, what does this tell us? When we first started working with the brand, the mascot was designed to look like an Action Hero (Superhero) with big muscles and a cape. We posed the question:
"Maybe if we changed the look of the mascot to look less intimidating to women, would we increase the number of women who called the business?"
We redesigned the mascot from a guy who will "save the day" to a nerdy-looking friend who will educate customers on the best solution for their home. Our prediction was correct, we saw the ratio of Men to Women conducting online research stay the same, but we saw an increase in the percentage of Women making the phone call. We are now seeing 60/40 Men to Women calling Action Furnace.
Now, let’s get into some concrete reasons you need to establish a strong brand for your home services business.
Your Brand can be A Deciding Factor for Consumers
In a survey conducted by Global Nielsen in 2015, almost 60% of consumers said they actively buy from brands they know, and 21% said they purchased a product because they liked the brand.
Creating a brand for your business provides aspects your target market can connect with that is more than simply your services. If your brand can resonate with consumers, it increases your chances of being remembered. Even if people don’t need your services when they see an ad or your website, they are more likely to reach out to your home services business in the future when they require an air conditioner or have plumbing issues, for example.
Provides Marketing Support
We mentioned this above - creating your brand is one of the first steps to creating your marketing program. When you create a recognizable brand, all of your marketing becomes more recognizable to your target market.
Take the example with Action Furnace above. They have a distinguishable tagline and mascot, that when applied to any advertisement or marketing collateral, makes it very easy for consumers to tell its Action Furnace. Often people may even see the mascot before seeing the logo and know who the company is.
Makes Your Business Memorable
Creating a unique and recognizable brand for your home services business makes you memorable. When people are looking for home services, it’s the face and personality of your company that will help you distinguish yourself from your competitors, not simply your services. Create a cohesive brand prevalent across your marketing channels such as your website, social media, newsletters, print advertising, and other marketing communications.
Brings Your Employees and Contractors Pride
Creating a brand for your business helps to create a reputable, highly regarded image for your employees and contractors to represent. If you create a brand that strongly resonates with your team, they will be more willing to stand behind your business and will be more satisfied with their job in the long run.
Just like your brand personality is vital to attract new clients, it’s also essential to attract new employees and contractors. People are more likely to work with a brand they feel connected with and are happy to represent every day.
You can also try to create uniforms your team members will want to wear outside of work. Make sure your uniforms are not tacky, and consider using comfortable and breathable fabrics. If you can get your employees and contractors to wear a branded hat or shirt on their day off and feel proud to wear and represent your brand, this will bring your business even more visibility.
When you create a brand your team can stand behind, you will always be confident your business is being portrayed positively and consistently among your target market, competitors, and peers.
Creates Trust for Your Business
The idea around trust and your home services business is simple - the more people trust your business, the more likely they will use your services. But what’s really at the core of this idea is that people need to trust your business, period. If there is no trust, there is no purchase. This idea is especially true for the home services industry as you work within people’s homes and on equipment that significantly impacts their daily lives.
Matthew Tyson wrote, “Millennials are kind of in control now, and before long, they’ll be the number one market influencer. This means that at some point, brands and businesses are going to have to nix it with the advertisements and find a new angle—one that’s focused more on authenticity and value instead of the sale.” Tyson continued to say that “Millennials need to know you before they trust you. They want transparency.”
You must develop a brand that is easy for your target market to trust. Let’s take a look at our client, Ace Plumbing. Not only do they have an accurate picture of an individual people can relate to and resonate with, but their tagline is also “Happy Today or You Don’t Pay.” I don’t know about you, but if your business can’t stand behind this statement and have confidence in the work your employees and contractors do, then you probably wouldn’t be making it.
Helps You Generate New Customers
The goal of creating a consistent and recognizable brand is to help you gain more customers. We’ve touched on this point already - if people can easily recognize and resonate with your brand, they are more likely to trust you, and in turn, book an appointment with you when they need one of your services.
Your brand is also great for referral business. As we mentioned, your brand creates a consistent way to represent your business among your team, which works the same with your customers. If your employees and contractors always talk about your brand the same way, your customers will too.
Now that we’ve talked about the importance of developing and maintaining a consistent brand for your home services business, let’s go over some important brand terms you should know.
How familiar is your target market with your business and brand? Will they recognize your business if they see your mascot or hear your tagline? Once your company has high brand awareness, the answer to these questions should be yes. Other terms for a business with increased brand awareness include “trending” or “popular.” Ultimately, you want your business to be popular for your services in your local area, and creating a unique brand will help you do this.
If your plumbing company extended your brand and created a bathroom essentials tool kit for minor plumbing issues - this would be a brand extension. Essentially, you are expanding your core brand from its primary offering, plumbing services, into other marketing-consumer products. Generally, this is an excellent idea once you have achieved high brand awareness.
Your brand identity is the personality behind your brand. Think about it this way, if your brand was a person, who would they be?
- How would your brand introduce itself?
- If your brand was a person you just met at a party, how would you describe them? Funny? Educated? Friendly? Outgoing? Approachable?
- What are their likes and dislikes?
- What are their values?
Creating a solid brand identity is one of the most critical factors for ensuring your target market feels connected to your business. It lays the foundation of who you are and helps you build a reputation, and in turn, earn more customers!
Knowing how to properly build a brand for your HVAC and Plumbing business can be overwhelming. There are a lot of options available, and there are better options than others. There are also many factors we haven’t covered here, such as creating your brand from scratch, where to start, how to build brand credibility, and so much more. At ADHOME, we can take care of all of the steps, from creating to maintaining your unique brand.
Reach out to us to learn more or book a demo.