Basic Branding 101

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by A-Land, Mar 1, 2012.

  1. A-Land

    A-Land LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 856

    As we prepare our plans for spring advertising, I'd like to share a little wisdom that I gained from my own advertising experiences in the past. If you're wondering how effective your postcard/doorhanger/flyer/etc will be and how to make it better, start here!

    The most important part of your marketing plan is recognizing why you are marketing your business.

    That sounds simple. It's not quite that easy.

    Let's talk about a company sending out 5,000 mailing pieces, say postcards. I've been there and done that. Take a look at your marketing piece and ask yourself, in the one second that most people will have their eyes on your ad, "is this marketing piece going to be memorable?" Your postcard is probably up against a stack of mail full of other ads. Does your ad stand out? Will it get you remembered?

    Remember, you're sending out mailings or distributing flyers because you want to increase recognition of your brand. You want to introduce people to your company. That's a process that is bigger than just a one time mailing and you have to think of it that way. You have to think about how people see you, your branding, your logo, and your image. Do they see your trucks around town? Do they drive by your crews wearing uniforms? Do they see your ad in the paper and your signs around town? The keyword is building. You're building an impression on your future customers so when they need your services, your company will be first on their list of calls.

    I created the logo below as an excellent example of something that will get you noticed and remembered. How does yours stack up?

    Finally, and most importantly, remember that you can't afford to not have a good branding strategy. If you're putting money into marketing you must do it effectively, or you will pour money into the proverbial black hole. Plus unlike so many other industries, in the green industry almost all of the new client acquisition happens in the spring. That means your window is limited and you have to get it right. And remember, Lawnsite is full of talented graphics and branding people. Use them! Think of all the money you spend on your business: Your trucks, your equipment, your insurance. Branding is an investment just like those things, and a lot less money! Treat it that way!

    Good luck with your spring advertising. Remember, invest wisely in your branding and you're sure to get your year started in the right direction! Feel free to post your marketing material below and I will try to get back to you with any advice I can offer.

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  2. GMLC

    GMLC LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,353

    Great Thread!

    I hear many people on LS say "Why didn't I get many calls from my door hangers? or post cards? or flyer's?"

    I have mentioned this before on here. Its marketing 101, you must remember the rule of 13. It can take up to 13 views before a prospect even reads your ad! This doesn't mean you just put out door hangers 13 times. There is not one form of advertisement that works alone, they all work together. You need to have a plan and create a brand like the OP says. Here are just some examples I use.

    1: Logo.
    2: Ad in local paper running all year.
    3: Business cards.(Hand out and hang at town hot spots)
    4: Uniforms.
    5: Truck lettering.
    6: Trailer lettering.
    7: Door Hangers.
    8: Direct mail(post cards or introduction letters)
    9: Letter head on everything you mail.
    10: Flyer's(Hand out and hang in town hot spots)
    11: Website.
    12: Google, Yahoo, Bing places/maps presence. Craigslist in some areas.
    13: Signs that can be stuck in the ground when your truck and trailer cant be seen.
    14: And the most important, NETWORKING, get active in your community so everyone knows who you are and what you do!

    I know some of these CAN be expensive but many are FREE or can be made with microsoft office or similar programs!
     
  3. McFarland_Lawn_Care

    McFarland_Lawn_Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,387

    subscribing....Great info thanks so much! If you live on a busy street, think about putting a big sign up in front of your garage/office/house. Make it twice as big as you think it should be. Personally the best advertising I've used is rather "unconventional". Such as having some employees and yourself enter a foot race for a good cause and sponsor on the t-shirts - or donating a "spring color package" of annuals to be planted at a town park or public area. People notice people who care. Bumping elbows in the communities make a big difference. Mind you, you have to do the other stuff first so they can put a face and personality to the truck signs they see "everywhere". ;-D
     
  4. A-Land

    A-Land LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 856

    That's the most important part.

    Remember, think of your landscaping company as your product. You are selling your product to prospective clients. Remember that the next time you think about cutting corners somewhere, it will factor into what your customers tell their friends about you.

    Always think about ways you can improve your product and make your customers want it more. That's the holy grail of the business and marketing universe - You have such a great product, people are buying it as fast as you're able to make it. In this industry, that means a backlog of work that's longer than you can handle. In that environment you have more of an ability to dictate prices, etc. It's a win-win-win in many different ways.
     
  5. caseysmowing

    caseysmowing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,851

    Bring this to the top since its the first time I have seen it and it's getting close to that time of year. Thank you GMLC for posting this on another thread.
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  6. GMLC

    GMLC LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,353

    Time to bump this thread. Im seeing a lot of "why arent my door hangers working?" threads lately.
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  7. newguy123

    newguy123 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,094

    Yeah...this is a really good thread. I was surprised it didn't generate more posts but very good information.
     
  8. GMLC

    GMLC LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,353

    Me too...guess a marketing plan is just like a business plan, no one likes to admit they dont have one.
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  9. newguy123

    newguy123 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,094

    Very good point...
     
  10. ygim

    ygim LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 300

    Subscribed... This should be very informative.
     

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