A guide to branding for home builders: the key to success
How do custom home builders stand out from others? Apart from traditional word-of-mouth and consistent quality of work, builders also use branding to reflect and communicate their high-quality services.
For any business, there is a need for branding. Branding gives customers a memorable visual impression of the company’s reputation, experience and skill. In short, it helps a customer decide if they should do business with that company.
Branding gives your company a great opportunity for instant recall at the moment a purchasing decision has been made. Having a set place in your client’s memory puts you ahead of the competition.
It also brings you more followers, making social media marketing more effective. It can make your direct mail, email marketing and digital marketing campaigns more effective and less expensive to execute as your costs per lead go down.
For these reasons and others, it is important for home builders like you to invest in building a brand identity and to maintain a consistent brand across all content marketing platforms.
A strong brand equates to more leads, and ultimately more customers, which means more revenue and profit.
It also adds a level of trustworthiness to your brand, which in turn creates customer loyalty. Loyal customers equal repeat business, and that sets home builders like you apart from competitors that constantly try to capture market share away from you.
What branding story can a home builder tell?
Building a home is a personal one. Prospective clients are building a structure that represents the story of their lives, and home builders are experiencing this story along with them. Successfully telling clients’ stories in brick, stone and wood makes up a foundational skill for the successful home builder, and how this skill is regularly practiced should make up an integral part of the builder’s brand.
Branding is everything that a customer thinks about your business. It ranges from what they see, hear or even feel about your brand. The sum of all of those thoughts and opinions will decide whether customers choose your brand over others.
In his book Shoe Dog, Nike creator Phil Knight said, “How can I leave my mark on the world, I thought, unless I get out there first and see it?” This quote can also be used to reflect the role of branding for your business.
You can only leave your mark if your customers can see your brand out there in the world. Let’s now discuss how to do this.
The important elements of your branding story
Brand name and logo
The name and logo represent the most visual and recognizable aspects of your brand. Remember, customers ideally make an instant connection to your business when they think of home building or renovation projects. They will do so through your name and logo.
Creating a unique name and logo comes easiest from a good story about how you became a builder of custom homes.
You can talk about your origins and how you got started in the business. The challenges that you faced and how you overcame them. You should also talk about the projects that you have worked on. This builds a concrete connection between your brand and what your customers want to achieve in building their homes.
Design or theme
The feel of your brand must resonate with your customers. Your brand’s design must reflect your building expertise and how you connect to your clients.
Think about some of your favorite consumer brands. No doubt when you do so, you have an emotional connection to the brand itself. For example, McDonald’s or Coca-Cola, just seeing the logos associated with their brands brings up memories and feelings about your experiences with these companies memories.
You should design your brand and logo with a similar goal in mind. You want your prospective clients to associate something pleasant with your home construction business and also have positive memories of what it was like working with you.
Of course, how people work with you will be a function of your personality. Custom home builders need to remember that their business, and ultimately their branding, will flow from their personality.
Your relationship with today’s consumers
How you as a builder communicate both to customers and prospective clients is a usually understated but a crucial part of your brand.
Today, builders have many options for communicating. Social media marketing, through the use of Facebook, Twitter and others, is an obvious method for communicating to clients and prospective clients.
But software tools, like modern construction management tools, provide unique ways for the builder to communicate and form relationships. Modern construction management software allows for the creation of estimates, quotes and invoices that the custom home builder can design with their own brand and logo.
Builders can use modern cloud-based software to also generate online customer portals, where you can post project photo galleries, past completed projects and progress updates that stand out in the customer’s memory.
Developing a brand personality
When developing your branding, you might think of it terms of being an actual person, according to helpful advice from Hubspot. If your business were a person, what kind of person would it be? Do you want your business to be a gruff, no-nonsense type of person or maybe someone more jovial who jokes around before settling into an important conversation?
These are the kinds of things to think about because they will form visual impressions in the minds of your prospective customers. Is your home builder brand representing you in the way you want to be remembered?
The personality of your builder brand also will drive the many creative decisions about your logo, company documents and website. All of these will visualize your brand, but to do this consistently, you will need a rulebook to follow.
Consistency is key, create guidelines
A brand rulebook, or style guide, ensures no matter what form of communication you choose, there is a consistent look and feel to your company communications. Common visual elements and styles help your prospective customers recognize your brand, according to Adobe.
Having a style guide with guidelines for using your branding is also critical to keeping past and present creative work consistent, and no where is this more important that when it comes to building your company’s website.
A strong website
In today’s economy, any successful custom home building business will have a strong website. In fact, a website can make or break your ability to generate consistent revenue, according to Forbes.
Long gone are the days when printed catalogs and phone books were the primary resources for learning about home builders. Today, the only truly effective way for potential buyers to find your custom home business is via a website.
Once online, you can set up a digital marketing strategy where digital display and search advertisements drive potential customers back to your website. Once at your website, they can learn more about your business no matter the hour of the day.
Your website also can display both completed projects and projects under way so that you can visually demonstrate your skill and promote customer testimonials from past clients.
How branding can help builders and increase leads
Once you have a strong, recognizable builder brand, you can then set about differentiating yourself from the competition using real-world examples of projects you deem a success. When you position these on your website, over time, your brand positioning compared to your competitors grows stronger.
Customer recognition and loyalty
With strong branding, the level of recognition and loyalty will increase business leads through indirect conversations that your clients have about you. The more people talk about your brand both face-to-face and online, the more effective your branding becomes.
What to do next
- Create a strong brand story and logo to resonate with your target audience
- Increase your branding presence online – Find more customers online because everyone is on their mobile. Read how to do this here.
- Build a marketing strategy using various methods to boost brand awareness. Find out more here with our handy eBook.