We hear it frequently, even from businesses outside of the building materials and construction industry: “We just need a nice logo and a good-looking website.”
While those two ingredients can be key to the mix, they aren’t the only things your commercial construction company needs to focus on when branding itself.
In fact, branding a construction company means considering every interaction with every customer or subcontractor along the way. To truly get the benefits of carefully crafting a solid brand identity, you’ll have to work to ensure the whole thing is both instantly recognizable and seamless.
Even if your company is already branded (because it is branded whether you did so formally or not—by your current customers, vendors, subcontractors and your peers in the industry), you might want to read along and see if our how-to-brand tips can help you be a better brander.
Here are eight solid tips on how to brand your commercial construction company:
How people think and feel about themselves is determined by their relationships with others, including brands. People need brands because brands can effortlessly provide a specific benefit (or benefits). Without getting too in-the-psychological-weeds, but to provide an example, a functional benefit solves a problem related to an external need. This is what consumers (and your customers) see as what a brand or product does better than others.
Fancy talk for “I have a problem and this product/brand has a solution.” People with broken windows after a storm need to replace them, so Pella® or Anderson® windows provide a functional benefit by improving the status of broken windows. But how consumers or contractors feel, or what they know or have experienced, about those brands determines which they purchase. In the construction industry, researchers found the strategy of creating a brand “starts by understanding the customer needs and developing a mutual trust.”
With that in mind, how do you choose the best practices for branding?
Decide where to go with your brand and determine the resources to support that journey.
This includes reflecting on your company’s core competencies. What do you do well? What can you deliver and where are the challenges you shouldn’t overpromise around?
Understanding your company or business goals and aspirations for your brand, such as establishing an identity in a market, includes components of identity, such as desired feelings (usually trust) and associations with your company as a brand. Document how you want to be perceived specifically, such as safety-focused, reliability, consistency, foresight, transparency, integrity or quality-focused—and get your decisionmakers’ buy in—so you can reference them repeatedly, particularly when you get off track.
Making a list and keeping track of these elements as you continue to build your brand image.
is important for a few reasons. As your company starts to grow and you create more marketing content, you’ll want to reflect on these qualities and try to incorporate them in any message you send, from a customer service interface to a billboard outside your business.
When you’re comfortable with who you are as a brand, you’re ready for the next step.
Identify your target customer by demographics and psychographics.
Defining your target customer is a smart next step. Doing this now will make it easier to cater your messaging and digital marketing toward your target’s needs. Think about your target audience members in both psychographic and demographic terms.
Demographics might include age, size of business and geographical location. Psychographics are embedded in how people make decisions, where they put their resources, including money, and their communication preferences.
When you think about who you generally work with when signing a contract, can you identify their style and their comfort level? What about real estate developers? Project managers for corporations? Small businesses? As you sort out the specifics of whom you reach—and whom you want to reach—establish one or two buyer personas that explain the target audience members’ motivations, needs and decision-making style. As you move forward with crafting your visual identity, keep this person(s) in mind.
Develop a memorable and distinctive logo.
When starting to craft a strong brand visual identity, it is important that you start with a good logo. After all, this is the image that you’re going to tie to your company name and attempt to get everyone to recognize right away.
While we highly suggest working with a professional graphic design expert on this part, if you go it alone, consider these key tips:
- Choose logo colors based on psychology: Don’t just go for a color palette that’s typically your favorite. Pick a hue that conveys a meaning, such as black for power and sophistication or blue for professionalism. Avoid colors that can evoke feelings of violence and stress.
- Select a good icon for the logo design: Most construction logos generally depict a house or building, but that doesn’t mean you have to mimic that idea. Try to choose an image that matches your company’s mission and sense of self, but still makes it easy to understand you’re in the commercial construction industry.
Add your logo to everything.
Next, we suggest adding your logo to everything. Yes, we really mean everything. If you have a fleet of company trucks, make sure they’re updated with the new design. Add it to company letterhead, invoices, envelopes, and whatever else your customers, or potential customers, see. Give your employees new shirts with the logo, or other swag to add.
While it might sound excessive, there’s a reason behind this. Visual branding can be very powerful if you take an all-in approach. In the end, you want both your target audience and market (and anyone in your regional area) to see your logo and connect it with who you are and what you do. The best way to do this is to show it off.
Update your website to reflect your branding.
Of course, you don’t want to go through all the trouble in the prior steps to completely ignore your commercial construction business website. Make sure to have your digital marketing team update your website to reflect your new visual identity.
This includes adding the new logo, redesigning any layouts, or coordinating page colors. For some businesses, this could mean even undergoing an entire website overall to really drive home the core values of your organization.
But your website includes other elements that reflect your branding, yes? What about your blogs that show your thought leadership in the industry, or in your materials niche? What about the blogs that demonstrate how innovative and pioneering—or reliable and consistent—you are as a company and brand? Make sure your website content reflects who you are as a company as much as, or more than, your logo and brand palette.
Ask for testimonials from past clients and feature those in your website content.When it comes to creating a brand for your commercial construction company, people may forget the power of using word of mouth from past clients. As humans, we usually believe other humans before we believe advertising, so embrace that fact. If you’re confident in your video skills, consider the power of video testimonials.
Highlight your team’s experience on your website. Your team is part of your brand. Research shows that commercial construction is built on trust. To achieve this with your new business branding, you’ll want to highlight your team’s experience within your marketing materials. Make sure to call out anyone who has successfully been with your organization for a long time or has extensive knowledge or a topic or in a region. Just like using testimonials, the experience factor combined with the appeal of your entire company can make a difference in closing new clients.
Update your print materials and swag
One common thing commercial construction companies forget to update, particularly when they re-brand, is all of their print materials. (Or there’s probably someone saying, “Use that old stuff up before we print anything new.”) We would advise against that, even though it seems wasteful not to use old materials. (Recycle!) Don’t create confusing brand messages by mish-mashing old materials with new.
You want a cohesive look that tells customers and vendors with whom they’re working. If they’re trying to compare an old logo to a new logo on an invoice, it can get perplexing in a hurry. If your commercial construction company keeps a swag closet with promotional items such as water bottles, coffee mugs and notepads, update them, too.
(Remember, when you print new brochures or collateral, use customers’ quotes to help drive home that you’re the best pick for a particular commercial construction job. Testimonials work in almost every platform.)
Invigorate your internal employees and external target audience with all the new items that include your logo, brand colors, website and blog content.
Build an informative and functional social media strategy
How will you show off your new or re-brand? Will you have a transition period, or pick a date and—bam—drop everything at once? How you unfold your brand will be determined by the size of your company, the number of stakeholders involved and what brand elements you’re trying to introduce. In short, it’s the decision of individual companies. But for all, as you move forward, be sure to plan a solid digital marketing strategy around the new identity, including cadence. Need to re-visit how to do that wisely? Sites such as social media management platform Sprout Social can help.
Remember to update your social media pages with your new branding (logo, colors and include links to those blogs!) and associated graphics. Add photos of your team, talk about any charitable efforts you’ve helped within the community, or highlight your special projects. Your goal with social media is to connect with your target audience and encourage them, through your visual stories and words, to positively recognize your company.
Use your brand to leverage lead generation
Speaking of those new clients, make sure to use your new visual brand identity to leverage your lead generation. As you can probably tell by reading this far, creating a cohesive look is about far more than just a logo. You want potential customers to see your icon and get a feelfor your company.
Make sure to use this to your advantage. Add the new logo plus any testimonials to your marketing materials. As your sales team steps out to try to bid for jobs or sign contracts, make sure they’re using this information to really drive home what your firm has that the competition does not.
Contact ER Marketing.
Branding a commercial construction company is about unspoken language and the power to explain your firm’s core values and positive reputation while still outshining the competition. If you’d like to have a conversation, email or call.
Consider your company’s core competencies, goals, desired feelings, and associations you want customers to have. Document these elements and refer to them throughout your branding process.
Define your target customers based on demographics (age, business size, location) and psychographics (decision-making style, resource allocation, communication preferences). Develop buyer personas to understand their motivations and needs.
A strong and distinctive logo is crucial for branding. Choose colors based on psychology and select an icon that aligns with your company’s mission while conveying your presence in the commercial construction industry.
Yes, adding your logo to all touchpoints is recommended for powerful visual branding. Display it on company trucks, letterhead, invoices, employee shirts, and other customer-facing materials to establish recognition and association.
Update your website with your new visual identity, including the logo, layout, colors, and content. Incorporate testimonials, demonstrate thought leadership, and highlight your team’s experience to align your website with your brand.
Update all print materials and promotional items to maintain a cohesive brand image. Avoid mixing old and new materials to prevent confusion. Use customer quotes in new brochures and collateral to reinforce your credibility.
Develop an informative and functional social media strategy to showcase your new or rebrand. Update your social media pages with the new branding, share team photos, highlight community involvement, and promote special projects.
Use your visual brand identity to enhance your lead generation efforts. Incorporate the new logo and testimonials in your marketing materials. Ensure your sales team effectively communicates your firm’s unique qualities to potential clients.
ER Marketing offers specific help with brand strategy and tactics for commercial construction companies. Contact us initiate a conversation about your branding needs!