Branding is what makes your business stand out among the rest.
Your brand can be just as important as the work you do when it comes to growing your business. Many of the big brands you see every day — Apple, Nike, Facebook — took a long time to build. Creating a memorable tradie brand for your business won’t take a decade, but it is important to get it right.
Branding is an important part of your business’s overall marketing – you can check out our guide to tradie marketing here!
What is a ‘brand’ anyway?
There’s been A LOT written about what exactly a “brand” is but let’s not get bogged down in definitions. The word ‘brand’ comes from the old tradition of ‘branding’ cattle and livestock. Your brand is more than just a logo, or your business name. It covers everything that you do. In a service business like a trade, it can be the difference between winning work and getting overlooked.
Why do I need a brand?
Your brand is your key to attracting the business you want. You won’t always be there to sell yourself! Think about who a homeowner with a leak is going to call if they have to choose between ‘Joe’s Quick Fix Plumbing’ or ‘Ace Plumbing and Roofing’. It works the other way too— if you’re seeking commercial work over residential, you want to have a professional brand that convinces your customer.
Your brand is also how you stand out from the competition. A memorable brand can stick in the mind of your customers, helping that all-important word of mouth recommendation.
How do you build a brand?
We’ve broken brand-building down into three simple steps. If you haven’t started your business yet, you’re in a great spot to set your brand up from scratch. If you have an existing brand already, don’t worry—use the tips below to further build your brand.
Step 1: Who are you?
Not just a song by The Who—think about who you are as a business. A great way to do this is to think about the values you want your business to operate with. They might be things like reliable, efficient, high-quality, or trustworthy. It also helps to think of what you don’t want to be. You might want to be affordable, but not cheap. Or you might want to be high-end, but not a rip-off.
Next, find that difference that sets you apart from your competition. Research a few of your competitors and work out your X-factor.
Let’s put it into practice. You’re an electrician, just starting out on your own. You can do rough-ins, repairs and more — but you’re a gun at switchboard upgrades. You want to be seen as approachable, affordable, and young but still professional. Nice! You’ve already started building a brand.
Step 2: Consider a name change.
If you’re starting fresh, have a bit of a name brainstorm. Aim for something that’s easy to say, is unique, and reflects those values you just wrote.
If you’re already trading under a business name, weigh up whether a new name is the right fit for you. Consider if you can fit your current name to your new definition of who you are.
In either case, it’s worth checking if your name is available online—do a quick search to confirm you’ll be able to snatch it on the Web and social media.
Step 3: Chat to a pro.
Gone are the days of jumping into Microsoft Word, throwing some WordArt in and calling it a brand. If you’re serious about taking your business to the next level, it’s worth investing in. Put the call out to your family and friends, and find yourself a professional local graphic designer. Forget a big advertising agency — it’s more cost-effective to work with a freelancer or sole trader.
With the work you’ve already put into your brand values and name, they’ll be able to help turn this into a winning logo and ‘look and feel’, and then get you set up with the right graphics for your vehicle, uniforms, and website or social media pages.
Now you’ve got a brand you believe in and a look and feel you’re loving. We talk about some next steps to get your tradie marketing started here.