… no matter what you’re selling
A couple of years ago, my husband and I started a kitchen renovation. For three months, a sign stood on our lawn with the company’s name and contact information. Earlier this year, we needed our roof replaced. The new company and new roof came with a new sign at the end of the driveway.
I didn’t think twice about those signs. After all, they were small and out of the way.
Then, this weekend we were out on a walk and passed a home on our street with beautiful new landscaping. We’d been thinking about doing some work on our backyard and the person we planned to work with was taking a while to get back to us with a quote.
“You should take a picture of that lawn sign,” I told my husband. “I did that a month ago,” he said.
In that moment, I realized that those construction lawn signs achieve what so many marketers only dream about.
So, inspired by my family’s morning walk, here are five marketing lessons we can all learn from construction companies.
- Don’t Neglect the Foundational Stuff
(Please excuse the construction metaphor.)
While a single sign staked into someone’s front lawn may be a bit too simple for most businesses, the lesson is the same: don’t chase shiny objects in your marketing efforts. Is there anything innovative about a small lawn sign? No, not at all. But it works.
Should you get creative and try new things? Absolutely. But throwing your company branding in 10 different directions to see what sticks is a waste of time and money. You could have the greatest company and the most brilliant marketing team on the block, but none of that matters if you can’t attract the right audience in the first place.
Starting with a solid foundation is important. Then you can dive into the world of fun, creative stuff and see what works.
2. It Means More When Someone Else Says You’re Awesome
Having work done on your home is an investment. When you hire a construction team, you’re trusting multiple people to work at your house for days or weeks at a time. People know this.
Let’s say you’re a construction company and you secure a six-month renovation project. Day in and day out, your branded truck is in the driveway and your branded sign is on the lawn. This can make several statements:
- The homeowner must have done their research before choosing this company.
- If you’ve seen the same truck and sign throughout the neighborhood, that’s a great form of social proof.
- If you’ve seen the same truck and sign in the same yard multiple times, the homeowner must’ve had a great experience—enough to trust the company with repeat business.
- The company must take pride in their work. After all, how easy is it to call up your neighbor or knock on their door to ask about their experience? If it’s bad, they won’t be shy about it.
3. Don’t Lose a Sale Because of a Bad User Experience
Have you ever left a company’s website because you can’t find what you’re looking for? Maybe the product descriptions were great and you read a compelling blog that convinced you how much you needed whatever product in your life.
But then, just when you were ready to buy, a link didn’t work or there wasn’t a “contact us” button in sight. I’ve been there plenty of times.
Let’s say you’re on an extra-long neighborhood walk and spot a beautiful in-progress landscaping project. You’ve never met this neighbor and, frankly, you’re in a bit of a hurry to get home and feed the dog. Knocking on the door isn’t an option at the moment, but there’s no sign in sight.
What could have been a frictionless experience (grab you phone, snap a picture of the sign) is now a lost sale. On your way home, you pass another yard with beautiful landscaping, but this time there’s a sign out front. You take a picture, call the company after you feed your dog, and the next thing you know, you’re talking pricing.
In person or online, don’t make people jump through hoops.
4. The Relationship Doesn’t End When the Sale is Made
To say that we had a great experience with the company we chose to renovate our kitchen is a major understatement.
One of the workers, Jimmy, was at our house nearly every weekday morning at 6:30am for months. We enjoyed our conversations with him so much that we were a little sad when the project was done. It was clear how much pride he took in his work. When we told him we were considering adding a small eating nook in the future, he added 2x4s behind the wall in just the right position so it would be easy to attach something when we were ready.
He even installed a cat door for us, free of charge. Actually, we prefaced the request with “this is probably a strange question, but…” and the response was “No problem. We’ve installed plenty of cat doors.” If I recall correctly, they also painted the wood cat door frame to match the door.
And every vendor we were sent to along the way, from the cabinets to the backsplash to the electric work to the appliances was top-notch. This company had spent decades carefully building relationships with local businesses so they could be confident in their recommendations.
When the project was done, Glen, the owner of the company, gifted us handmade wooden tongs engraved with our last name.
Compared to what Glen and his team are used to doing, our kitchen renovation was a small project with not much money to be made. But it didn’t matter.
Needless to say, we’ve already talked to Glen and his team about future projects and recommended them to our friends.
“But, Alyssa,” you might say. “My company is far more complicated than this.” While that may be true, it doesn’t matter. Big company or small company, simple offering or the most technical product imaginable, the fact remains: there’s a whole lot you can learn from construction companies.
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