Your brand is your company in a snapshot. It should be different but tasteful, simple, yet unique. What do you think your branding says about you? Do you think others perceive your brand in the same way? There’s a lot of mystique regarding what branding actually is and how exactly to develop it. Here are abc’s top five tips on building your small business brand.
Name, logo, and colors
Some things you’ve probably already chosen are your company’s name and logo. These are what immediately differentiate you from the “Bucket-Bob’s” of the industry (No offense to Bob). This term refers to the generic, usually one-person window cleaning business. There is nothing wrong with this type of company, and it probably makes up the largest percentage of window cleaners. Standing out in the crowd and differentiating yourself from “Bucket Bob” helps to promote your brand.
Over the past five years, I’ve heard all sorts of company names. The most popular names are usually a combination of words like clear, crystal, beautiful, view, sunshine, sparkling, etc. All great words with which to associate a window cleaning company. Other company names I’ve heard include words like ninja, genie, fish, or even monkey. These are images we associate with and can easily remember. One of my favorite unique names is Aardvark Window Cleaning. Believe it or not, there are a few of them across the US. Once I heard that name, I never forgot it!
Your logo also says a lot about your business, and unlike your business name, it’s a lot easier to change and improve after you are up and running. Take abc’s logo, for example:
Back when abc first started, owner Chris Wallace chose a name that would be first in the phonebook, and something that was easily remembered. A few years later, Chris’s son Jacob added the silhouette of a high rise window cleaner. Today we like to call him “the squeegee man.” This logo has been with the company for far longer than I have but I’ve personally seen it get some stellar recognition. For example, when I’m out traveling for abc, and I meet with window cleaning companies, I wear a polo with the abc logo. More often than not, somebody says, “that’s a cool shirt, where can I get one.” High rise window cleaners love our logo because they can easily identify and associate with it. Assuming you have a logo, can your customers easily recognize and associate with it?
Not only is your name and logo design important, but the colors you choose to represent your business also play a role. Have you ever noticed that many fast-food chains use the colors yellow and red in their logos?
Psychology suggests that different colors convey different emotions. Christopher Pappas with eLearning Industry gives us some examples of which colors make us feel which emotions:
- Yellow – Optimism, happiness, and energy
- Red – Urgency, passion, and excitement
- Blue – Peace, calm, and serenity
- Green – Nature, money, vitality, personal growth
- Orange – Refreshing, energetic, creative
- Purple – Royalty, intrigue, spirituality
Do your colors align with the emotions you are trying to convey in your business?
Grow your community
The next step in developing your brand is to let people know about you. Utilizing social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram are great places to bring people into your circle and help develop your brand. While you may want to promote your company on every platform out there, we recommend not spreading yourself too thin. Pick one or two to focus on and stay consistent. I’ve recently had success with Instagram live videos and hosting webinars on Zoom. With the way everyone’s business has been lately, it’s amazing how many people have extra time to sit down with their phone or computer. If you can create a community of people following and trusting in you, you will extend trust to your brand. Trust is key, and you can’t expect someone to trust you if they don’t know who you are and what you stand for.
Guarantee more than just satisfaction
Let’s consider one of the most popular brands on earth, Apple. Inc. Apple is popular because people love their products and services. When you walk into an Apple store, it’s significantly different than what you’ll see in any other store that sells phones and electronics. They have a modern, almost futuristic appearance, and their experts aren’t called “experts,” they are “geniuses.” Apple knows that delivering more than just a great product is key to being a successful branding.
Do you simply wash windows, or are you the friendliest, most thorough, and professional window cleaner in your city? If people didn’t care about the experience they receive along with their clean windows, we probably wouldn’t see many positive reviews online. Leaving your customers not only satisfied but with a positive emotional connection will go a long way to help grow and develop your brand. For example, in light of the current COVID-19 crisis, Scottie’s Window Cleaning in NC has decided to offer free disinfecting services on all their scheduled work. This is a great way to show customers that they care about their health and wellness and to associate their company with a positive emotional connection. Way to go, Scottie’s!
Other ways to go above and beyond are to donate proceeds to charity, sponsor youth sports teams, and volunteer with worthy causes in the name of your business. You won’t regret seeing 15 kids running around with your company logo on their shirt; trust us on this!
Having value doesn’t always mean the lowest price. Think about what sets you apart from your competition in terms of the services you deliver. Do you offer glass restoration services, or have the ability to clean windows which require special rope access training? Is leaving a bottle of window cleaning spray at each residence part of your standard procedure? It’s important to think about which of your specialties can deliver emotional value.
When you take a sip of Coca-Cola, the company doesn’t want you just to enjoy the beverage, they want you to be taken into a 1950’s diner or think back to your childhood when you would sip Coke from a glass bottle with your grandpa. Their branding, from advertising online and television, to the design of the bottle, is tapping into our emotional connection of “the good old days.”
When your customers have their windows cleaned, you don’t want to be forgotten. You want them to think of the polite employees dressed in sharp uniforms who are careful to mind your flower bed and always have a treat ready for your dog.
Ensure your brand extends to your employees
You can have the best branding in the world, but until you get your employees trained on your core principals, you won’t be doing yourself any favors. If you haven’t already, you should start with basic customer service training. GoSkills has some excellent beginner level training for an affordable price, but there are plenty of other great resources available online. Employees arriving on time with a smile and a good attitude are essential, but knowing how to speak with customers of different age groups and demographics are where the best brands rise to the top.
Having a clean, well-organized office space, warehouse, and work vehicles portrays professionalism. Ensuring all employees go out in a clean uniform every day also helps people feel more comfortable with you in and around their property. Only when everyone on your team learns and embraces the key components of the brand you have envisioned will you begin to transform from a window cleaning company into a window cleaning brand. Check out more traits of a good window cleaning crew here.
We hope our five tips will help you on your way to becoming one of the nation’s leading window cleaning brands. Download the branding strategy map below to help focus your brand: