No matter how much you spend in local television ads or search marketing, you’re not going to see the highest possible ROI unless people remember your brand when it comes time for local service. Yes, people turn to Google during times of need and emergency, so appearing in the search results for things like “HVAC repair” or “leaky sink” is critical, but standing out from the crowd means your name pops into customer heads before they have time to open their smartphones.
Here are five easy ways you can stand out from the crowd and encourage brand awareness.
Spend the Time on a Great Logo
While bottom-barrel logo design isn’t always the best idea, you don’t need a huge budget to create something iconic and memorable. Twitter’s easily identifiable bird cost $15, and the timeless Nike swoosh rang in at only $35.
What you do need is knowledge of your brand and your target audience. Your logo needs to speak to both, from the color and image to any words included.
Logos that set you apart from the competition and are memorable to consumers:
- Are related to your services or goods
- Align with brand values
- Match other brand messaging and marketing designs
If you’re not sure how to achieve this with a simple image, it’s worth working with a professional in logo design and branding to create what you’re going to use on every piece of paper and web property related to your brand.
Perfect Your Taglines
Not everyone is a visual learner, so not all consumers are great with logo recall. Those individuals might remember taglines, instead. There’s a reason why “I’m loving it” and “Just do it!” likely bring up mental images of Big Macs and sneakers.
Your tagline quickly tells consumers what makes your brand different from the others. “I’m loving it” positions McDonald’s as a fun, happy and in-the-moment brand; “Just do it!” tells you Nike is a brand that supports the goals and dreams of its wearers.
You can also use a new tagline to reposition when needed. In the 90s, Roto-Rooter started using “America’s neighborhood plumber” to make people aware that the company did more than clean drains. The tagline was also an attempt to compete with local plumbers.
Leverage a Marketing Gimmick (Within Reason)
Find something that engages, entertains or includes consumers in the fun, and use that to stand out from the crowd. One of the best examples of someone doing this in local marketing is Louisiana personal injury attorney Gordon McKernan. The lawyer has purchased so many billboards throughout South Louisiana cities and along I-10 that he’s become internet famous for doing so.
Not all these billboards are fancy. Mostly, they include his face, his tagline (“Get Gordon, get it done”) and his phone number. But the sheer number of them have spawned memes, which the lawyer cashed in on as well by making a Gordon McKernan meme fans Facebook page. Now, he’s got thousands of people sharing his brand throughout the state and beyond.
A word of warning with gimmicks: they don’t always work, and they can go bad quickly. Protect your brand by testing them slowly, and give them up when they stop being effective.
Turn Other Resources Into Branding Tools
Standing out is sometimes about getting your message out as often as possible, and you can do so by converting other resources into branding tools. One of the easiest ways for local service companies to do this is to use vehicle wraps.
Vehicle wraps let you add your images, logo, phone number and taglines to your personal vehicles or company fleets. And they’re more noticeable than standard logos and names added to vehicles with paint or vinyl. Wraps usually have more color and let you wrap the entire car or truck in images, which means people are more likely to notice and remember them.
Develop a Company Culture and Share It Online
One of the best ways to stand out from the crowd in consumer minds is to invite others to join you. Create a company culture so local customers can join in on your blog, Facebook page or other properties.
- Post contests where users share pictures or posts to win small gift cards to local restaurants. Example: An HVAC company might ask users to share pictures of their family beating the summer heat.
- Ask questions that users can answer. Example: Plumbers might post a poll asking whether sink leaks or clogged toilets are more concerning to customers.
- Share your knowledge. Example: Electricians might post easy tips for care or maintenance homeowners can do themselves.
By positioning yourself as a knowledgeable, caring brand that is truly part of the community, you’ll stand out from the competition.