What do people in your community think of when they hear your name, or see your logo? Whatever it is, that is your brand image.
Is McDonald’s brand the golden arches? Is it the excessive use of red and yellow? Or is it the clown? The truth is it isn’t any of those things. At least not directly. The brand is the feelings and memories those images conjure within a person. That’s the goal. It’s not just about having a great logo, as much as it is the intangibles that design evokes. Although some say the arches are a Freudian attempt at breast imagery, the giant yellow ‘M’ is more likely to fill a person’s head and heart with thoughts of childhood visits.
Is it the warmth of family, stumbling over the words in the ‘two all-beef patties’ song, the Grimace glass you had to have every drink out of some forty years ago, the band in the Macy’s day parade, or whatever slightly emotional feeling you experience with the thought of the fast-food giant? That is the Holy Grail of building a brand image. Otherwise, it’s just a silly little picture and constant use of Pantone (although that is vital as well).
It’s important to check yourself periodically and determine what your brand means to people who live in your community. Is it inefficiency and ghosting customers? Or, does your logo, which should still be unique, lend toward images of impeccable service, philanthropy, and community involvement? Maybe it doesn’t make anyone think of anything at all. We can get it to where it needs to be, but I’m not going to lie; it takes a lot of work to build a brand. It takes even more to repair a reputation, so if you are known for splash ‘n dash service, we’ll have to multiply our efforts 100 fold. What people say to one another when you are not around, or better yet, your brand image, is what people who have yet to use you have heard about your company.
We could talk about the mass merchant in the swimming pool supply space with the logo resembling a broken egg. They are large enough and have been around long enough that I’m sure everyone reading this has some imagery attached to the brand in one way or another. Whatever it is, I’m sure the mention of the big-box DIY chain makes you think of something descriptive with fervor.
Similar article The perceived value of your service
Please don’t take this as I tell you that you need to do something. Of course, you do not. However, if you are determined to build an actual brand image, you can’t just go out there and do your job and consider that enough. Even if your service is stellar and beyond compare, that is just the beginning. This is about both expectations of potential customers and the experiences of your existing and former clientele.
Brilliance by contrast
Believe it or not, this is a proven method of building a brand. So few people have the passion for running their business like a responsible business nowadays that by doing it ‘the right way,’ you automatically stand out in the crowd. Be the service company where they said they’ll be when they said they’ll be there. Answer the phone! If you do miss a call, return it as soon as possible. Look at the part – wear a uniform (as clean as possible). Think of your finishing touches and deliver a work worthy of your signature.
If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job wellMartin Luther King Jr.
Solidifying yourself as the expert
Be a face in your community and make that face a face associated with expertise in your field. Join the ‘Word of Mouth’ groups on social media and that Nextdoor group. It doesn’t hurt to help someone with a word of advice now and again. Publications are always looking for content. Yes, even the local newspapers. There is no reason you couldn’t have the ‘Swimming Pool’ column or occasional article. Build a relationship with your local radio station and be the one they turn to for answers when there is something swimming pool going on. Offer a ‘Pool School,’ While you’re at it, seek out as many certifications of your own in your industry as you can. People always want to work with the pro that speaks at events because the speaker speaking must be the best of the best. Be philanthropic! People like to hire people who help people in their communities. Join the Chamber of Commerce. This list can go on and on., but whatever you do, make sure you have a great elevator pitch.