5 Tips for Branding Your Construction Company While You're Building

What's your construction "brand?" Don't know? Here's how to build it.

Times Square at dusk
How can you compete with all these ads?. Mitchell Funk // Getty Images

If building is for today, branding is for tomorrow. You want to make the phone ring with the right kind of calls – prospects and customers looking for the kind of building work you provide and who see the value in what you offer. That way, you’ll have a healthy construction project order book going forwards. Branding your construction company, while you’re out there building, can be a big help in making that happen.

1. First things first: know what you want to express through your brand

Your brand is what your construction company stands for. It’s what people associate with your enterprise, perhaps with you personally. It can be linked to things like affordability, value, quality, service and innovation. It is expressed in items like your company name, logo, and the way you make proposals and deliver on construction projects. However, you need to know where you and your brand are headed. Just like building projects need sound design and management, your branding has to be built on appropriate values that are consistent with how you do business.

2. Use a name, slogan and/or logo that immediately tell people what you do

Signs and billboards where your company is building are opportunities to boost your branding, as are company t-shirts for your employees on site. Put your name/slogan/logo on your proposals, construction project plans, and invoices.

In most cases, a contractor’s company will benefit from using both its name and a short slogan or descriptive phrase: for example, “Garcia & Smith, Residential Builders.” A logo can help get attention, but unless you have a logo that is as instantly recognizable as that of Disney, McDonald’s or Nike, add a couple of words to say – even very simply – what you do.

3. People buy from people, so use personal branding too

The power of personal recommendation and endorsement still holds true. If you’re running your own construction company, then ‘be’ the brand yourself as well and act in ways that match your brand values. Tell your employees what your company stands for and accordingly the kind of behavior you expect from them. If you have articulate, presentable experts on concrete construction or building energy conservation, for instance, include those experts in your branding and publicity as an advantage of doing business with you.

4. If you’re busy on site, let the web carry on branding for you

Granted, print advertising, radio and TV remain viable channels depending on your market and your company growth stage. Nonetheless, advertising and relationship-building via websites, pay-per-click online advertising and social networks have added new dimensions to branding that every enterprise needs to be aware of. Three social networks to think about are:

  • Facebook. The biggest of the bunch and a place to put company info and news about what you do, and that will be of interest to your target customers.
  • Pinterest. For photos and graphics of your construction projects (get the necessary permission from your customers) to build on the highly visual aspects of what you do and what prospects are looking for.
  • YouTube. From a short, simple video clip of you saying what your company does and why customers like you, to construction videos to showcase your work and your approach, this is like TV advertising that you manage as you like, and that is free of charge.

5. Don’t ignore your branding or it might bite back

All of the suggestions above are about taking positive, proactive action to brand your enterprise. But what happens if you do nothing? Nowadays, people will do your branding for you: social networking has given customers the power to make their opinions known to the world. They may love you or criticize you. The point is that if you don’t make an effort to influence it positively, you may suffer the consequences. Remember that branding goes on with or without you, so you’ll do better by taking an active interest, responding and interacting with others to show your company in the best light.