Branding is often thought of as “stamping”… after all that’s how you brand a cow. A “brand” is a hot iron with the ranchers “brand” at the end so they can burn it into the cow’s skin.
Can you imagine how unhappy our customers would be if we burned the Trusty Plumber’s logo into their skin?
But we are trying to burn it into their minds. We want them to remember us when they have a plumbing problem. But how do we properly brand?
Most plumbing companies have their own brand. It’s their brand… not their customer’s. Usually, it’s a brand that the business owner created as an extension of how they view themselves in the plumbing industry. They normally aren’t customer focused brands. They are usually brands we make for ourselves. Classic Plumbing, KP Plumbing, Mitch Clemmons Plumbing, TPS, Purdy…. These aren’t brands made for the customers… these are brands the owners made to reflect themselves. Yes, these companies serve their customers… but their “brand” isn’t a customer brand.
The PHCC is the oldest trade association in the nation. They have a lot of great programs and resources for plumbing contractors and their employees. However, it is another “brand” that I think is done wrong. They do a lot right. To that end, we will be joining the PHCC soon. But I think there are better ideas for a trade association.
For example, some companies put the PHCC patch on the shirts. What good does it do? Sure, other plumbers recognize that it is a symbol of a “responsible” “established” company… but what does it do for you to have the patch on your shirt? How does it help? Does it indicate anything to the customer? The PHCC patch means nothing to the customer. They have no idea what it is. But what if there was a trade association that not only provided resources & training to plumbing contractors but was also a symbol of quality plumbing to the customers? Sure, the PHCC does mean quality plumbing, … but not to the customer.
We want to be the brand that:
1. Provides the best customer service available
2. Provides quality craftsmanship in all our work
3. Provides training & resources to company business owners & their employees
4. Provides trade school options for young adults (and thereby fresh & ready employees for the companies)
5. Provides a “brand” that is recognized by the customers
6. Provides a respectable local business that invests in the community it services
7. And a lot of other things….
We need to constantly be focused on serving our customers well, finding better ways to meet their needs, and finding opportunities to “WOW” them.