I have often heard a business owner use the words “branding” and “marketing” interchangeably as if they meant the same thing. There is a difference. Branding goes deeper than your marketing. Your brand is made up of your voice, your personality and the message that you want to convey. The foundation of your brand is your logo. Your website, your trucks, your business cards, and your promotional materials all should contain your logo, which communicates your brand. So, let's take a look at branding and the importance of branding your landscaping company.
Branding is a strategic action, while marketing is tactical. Marketing is the various channels that are used to promote your business. Some examples are your website, direct mail, PPC, social media, etc. Branding is the message that permeates your business.
Marketing says “Buy Me” or “You need this service” while branding will help encourage someone to purchase. It says, “This is what I am, this is why I exist.”
Marketing may contribute to a brand, but the brand is bigger than any particular marketing method or campaign. The campaign may end and the brand is what remains.
Marketing may convince a prospective client to do business with you. Your brand will, in the end, help determine if he continues to do business with you and become a loyal client.
Perhaps you may not have given much thought to your brand before now. If this is the case, I hope that you now see the importance of taking the time to identify and communicate your brand.
· Why did you start your business?
· How would your ideal clients describe your company?
· What are a few words that you can use to describe your company?
Write down your answers to these questions, as well as any other questions and answers that come to your mind. Your answers will help clarify your brand.
Now, take a look at the various marketing channels that you are currently using. Look at your website, your business card, your trucks, magazine ads, direct mail pieces, etc. Do they reflect your brand? Is everything consistent and clearly understood?
Does each piece convey the same message, the same feel and the same colors? If you answered yes to these questions, congratulations! You are doing a great job. If you answered no to any of the questions, now is a great time to make the necessary changes to help solidify your brand.
Narrow in on your target market. Does your brand reflect what you want to communicate with them? Do you want to be known as experienced and traditional, or are you more on the cutting edge? Are you thought of as low cost, high volume service, or high quality, higher cost? Does your brand reflect this?
Remember, you cannot be all things to all people, and your brand should help establish this. Trying to do it all adds confusion and dilutes your brand.
The branding created by a fast food restaurant would not work for the branding of a high end gourmet restaurant. They serve two completely different markets. Yet, they both can be successful as long as they are meeting the needs of their customers and have a clear brand.
In my book, "The Complete Guide To Marketing Success For Landscapers" we take a look at optimizing your social media and various other advertising channels. A good practice is to look at all of your channels and make sure that your brand and your message are consistent throughout each one.
Feel free to drop my an email with any questions or give me a call 888-979-3870