Spring, 2018: Branded
YEEE – HAWWW! This exuberant exclamation may conjure up images of cowboys in the old west rounding up steers to be branded. Branding cattle guarded against rustling and allowed multiple ranch owners to graze their livestock together on open ranges and easily separate them at “roundup” time. And while free-range grazing isn’t common today, animal branding is still in use and is legally considered prima facie evidence or proof of ownership.
Animal identification has taken on many forms in recent times and not all of them imply ownership. For example, feral cats often are part of capture and release programs in an effort to control their population. Prior to release, one ear is clipped to make them easily identifiable so they’re not captured a second time. Greyhound racing dogs bear inner ear tattoos that reflect the year, month and order of their birth to facilitate identification of the winners and to track their racing performance history. In modern-day agriculture, farmers are turning to ear tagging to identify their livestock and, in wildlife management circles, GPS equipped radio collars track wild and endangered species movements.
But, branding is not only applicable to the animal kingdom; that same term has quite a different meaning that has made it a critical component of the business world. Instead of separating herds, branding is a business tool that helps you separate your products and services from industry peers. It helps you to highlight your uniqueness and capitalize on your good reputation. What branding is not is simply slapping a logo on the side of your truck.
John Williams in an entrepreneur.com article states “simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.” It’s that perception that makes people willing to pay more for brand name products than generic products. But, remember to build on what makes your company stand out from the crowd. No company will succeed with their branding if they try to be everything to everybody. Identify your target market and tailor your brand to their needs. Be specific and don’t speak in generalities:
- Are you a green builder? There’s a market niche for you.
- Do you support and purchase from local businesses? One hand washes the other.
- Are your homes “wired” for today’s electronic world? Millennials are listening.
- Does your customer service continue after the sale? Word of mouth referrals are the best.
You get the point.
The Harvard Business Review asserts that 64% of consumers cite shared values as the primary reason they have a relationship with a brand and the Lucidpress states that the average revenue increase that can be attributed to consistently presenting a brand is 23%. That’s huge! So once you’ve decided on your brand strategy, don’t forget to make sure that your internet presence is optimized. Customers need to be able to find you through a variety of search terms so google yourself and see where you stand. And, of course, remember you have to spend money to make money. Typically businesses spend around 10% of their revenue on marketing.
Now that you know the basics start building…not only your homes but your brand. And, remember to include the HOME warranty as one of your building blocks. Your commitment to backing your products and services with a written warranty certainly puts you ahead of the pack. Before you know it, you’ll be shouting YEE-HAWWW as your efforts and investment in branding lead you to greener pastures.