If you are reading this, probably you are an entrepreneur, looking to get into a business, or already a business owner considering a new business or expanding your existing business. One of the key components is branding, but most small businesses pay little attention to that part of their business. When you think of branding do you see a vision of a cowboy putting his brand on cattle, or see a whiskey barrel of Crown Royal with their brand burned into the keg? Both of these examples are establishing ownership that distinguishes one rancher’s cow from another to prove ownership – or one whiskey maker’s keg from another’s. But the type of branding I’m addressing is the type that sets your product or service apart from your competitors in the eyes of the customer. The customer’s perception of quality in many cases is the product of massive advertising, not actual experience with their product or service. The real test of the product or service is – did the customer return to do business with them again?
In the Gravel Doctor’s case there was very little budget to do advertising in the beginning. I had to win one customer at a time. But, as I won more customers I realized that “word of mouth” referrals constituted a large part of the requests for quotes so I didn’t have the need for as much advertising. Now, after twenty-six years operating my local Gravel Doctor business I spend about one and one half percent of my gross on advertising – because of the local brand recognition.
On the larger scale, the Gravel Doctor presence on the internet is now such that, we are featured on the first page of search results in twenty-six different category searches. Our “badge” is the Gravel Doctor logo and is extremely recognizable and distinct. Just as Picasso signed his paintings ( because he was proud of them ), the Gravel Doctor is our “ signature” that shows our pride in the not only in our machine but in our process. To become a Gravel Doctor you must complete the Gravel Doctor training, so when you represent the Gravel Doctor “badge” in your area you will actually be perpetuating the high Gravel Doctor values in workmanship quality, honesty and safety. You will also be investing in the Gravel Doctor brand equity. This investment will pay off quickly because of your association with our brand distinction. So, what’s in a name? A lot …..if it’s branded right. Good Luck