In our struggling economy, it is more important than ever that you spend time, energy, and yes, money, to market your business. Even if SheTech and Company weren’t in the marketing business, we would say this!
But this is not to say that you must merely throw your money at any marketing program that comes to your attention; that would likely be ineffective, and therefore wasteful.
If you have marketing programs that work, keep at them! A story came to our attention today that perfectly illustrates this: a new client called to discuss a web site design, and mentioned that he takes part in ValPak direct mail advertising. It’s an inexpensive and often very effective method of advertising for certain kinds of product and service business–typically home services (this particular client is in carpet cleaning).
He noticed that in the December packet, all of the competitors in his region opted not to participate, perhaps because of the economy, or perhaps because they figured they would not get enough business to justify it; whatever the reason, the result was that our client was the one getting all the calls, resulting in dramatically increased business as he picked up business that might otherwise have gone to his competitors.
Looks a little more worthwhile when you see it in that light, doesn’t it?
What does this have to do with branding? Believe it or not, it actually has to do with how he found us. He is considering making a change from his current provider and started looking at web sites for businesses doing similar work. He found the web site for one of our current clients, Eco Clean Carpet Solutions in Knoxville, and decided he liked what he saw–for three reasons in particular: because the search engine results were great, and because he liked the look of the site (yes, Virginia, you can have a site that works for search engines and people), and because he uses the same marketing program as Eco Clean, designed specifically for carpet cleaners.
This was a great lesson for us: we strive for excellent service and outstanding results. In this case, how we branded Eco Clean Carpet Solutions (using a new logo that combined logos from two separate companies), how we displayed their content, and then how we branded ourselves helped this new client make his decision. Our logo and/or link is placed on all of our client web sites so that people can find us if they like the work.
Here’s what you can take away from this: do excellent work. That seems painfully obvious, doesn’t it? Well, there’s more: go one step further and make sure that people know that it’s your excellent work. If you clean carpets, do something that goes above and beyond, and then leave extra cards or brochures that your customers can give to friends. If you frame pictures, make sure that your mark is on the frame so that admirers will know where to come to buy your work for themselves. If you’re a photographer, make certain that your mark is on the photograph so that people will come to you for their next event.
Another client of ours, Vienna Coffee Company, did a very smart thing when they were building their marketing program: they had a graphic designer create a trademark for them, a distinctive logo that is immediately recognizable. It’s an excellent design (we didn’t design it, but appreciate good work when we see it!), and makes it easier for customers to recognize and go back for their coffee. Placement is everything: Vienna Coffee Company is all over the region, and the company logo goes with it. There’s something compelling about a good trademark/logo: when you see a good one, it registers somewhere in your mind, and if the product is exceptional–as Vienna Coffee Company’s is–you associate the mark with the excellent product. It’s brilliant, because that’s how the human brain works, and has worked for a very long time.
Artists sign their work. Your work is the painting, your brand is the signature. Do excellent work, and then make certain that customers know how to reach you!
Here’s how to reach us: visit the SheTech and Company web site, or call us at 800-343-7179 for more information.