Branding is about getting people to relate to your company and products and how your company/products are perceived by the public.
It’s also about trying to make your company (or brand) synonymous with a certain product or service. You do all this by marketing your brand.
Start by setting brand marketing goals. Think hard about what you want your company, as a brand, to communicate to the world.
This is fundamental and should happen as soon as you decide you want to start a powder coating company. Take the time to think deeply about your company’s mission and values because your brand will be a direct reflection of your mission statement.
Defining your Brand
This is done with your the design/colors of your logo, your interactions with the community, how you treat your customers…everything you do as a representative of your company defines your Brand either positively…or negatively. This is why the way your define your brand is so important!
Next, once you’ve settled on a company mission and values, decide on a tagline.
They not only help your customer “get it” but stand to help you remember why you’re here.
Taglines are an easily repeatable mantra that should inspire you on good days & provide courage on tough days. One or more taglines are good to have but having too many can complicate your identity.
As powder coating becomes more mainstream, getting access to everyday customers means going to where they share & hang out. and most people hang out on social media.
That means checking in or following hashtags in your industry like #powdercoating #powdercoated as well as local hashtags specific to where you live.
If this seems like a mountain for you to climb, just pick one platform to master – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram for example – then move on to another when you feel comfortable and if you need to.
Many social media platforms offer to interlink between platforms.
For example, a business account on Instagram allows you to forward the link to other platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Tumbler & even other connected accounts in your profile.
Social platforms are becoming more friendly to businesses that want to pay for ads but growing your social media account organically is more important.
Because the audience you gain organically is following you because they want to based on your reputation, authority & personal message.
Social media can make you a celebrity tomorrow but the relational links are weak and need consistent grooming.
You don’t have to be perfect, but you do have to make an effort to post quality content. Otherwise, the message will be lost and the effort not.
The goal: If done right your social media feed(s) turns into an actionable audience.
Don’t throw away money!
Most of you may be spending money on FB, Instagram, or Google ads but most new businesses don’t have $1200+ to drop every month on social media advertising. Your main goal should be to grow organically as much as possible.
Plus FB ads are more complex than they appear. Their platform is not user friendly and rigged to make the newby spend more. You might find it more worth it to pay someone to set up the ad correctly to get the maximum on your ad spends.
I also subscribe to A/B split testing.
Read what RossKote at Maui Powder Work says about paying for ads:
I hate paying for ads!
I’m not going to lie. Crafting a post for Instagram requires effort, at least on the outset. You have to continuously hammer that effort with every post until your followers get it or reach your goal. Our goal [at Maui Powder Works] was 1000 followers. It took us 2.5 years to do this. We have a small demographic & in case you forgot… I hate paying for ads.
The good news is new content is generated in powder coating with every project you do.
First, the message needs to be clear as discussed in previous paragraphs. Then the images need to be clean and clear because viewers (potential customers) will be scrutinizing your work.
Getting the audience to engage is the most important factor for ranking in feeds. However, negative comments or engagement on a poorly worded message is a worst-case scenario and could get you booted off the platform.
To help you get started, read the following report of the results from a Branding Survey conducted by Maui Power Works this year in which they asked other powder coaters from around the world about their own branding and brand marketing efforts.
“The purpose of the brand report is to develop a priority and vision by identifying through others where you might be struggling & start building a better brand from there. Over the next few paragraphs, we’ll be focusing on giving you ideas and actionable strategies to get new clients for your business.”
After reading this you’ll find out you’re not alone because coaters in all stages of business from around the world have similar struggles.
You can use this Branding Survey results to:
1. Highlight areas of strength & weakness in branding from the survey results for comparison to your own situation.
2. How to start today: whether taking first steps or do you need to pivot?
I. Brand Research
Almost 60% of business owners did some research in their market and customer segments before starting. In choosing logo colors black, white, blue & red were dominant. Secondary colors were green, purple & orange.
In terms of conveying meaning of the image they chose for their logo, here are the results:
A. 45% felt that their logo or personal image was timeless.
B. They tended to choose images that avoided too trendy of a design. 33% gravitated to an original idea or color combination that no other company has.
C. Only 20% wanted super trendy with popular colors & design trends to ensure their logo remains current & popular with today’s styles & consumer trends.
II. Customer Interaction
Over 62% approach interaction with their customers as being helpful or educational. 20% dealt with customers in a direct, straightforward or to the point manner. A smaller percentage used technical data or proven experience to woo customers.
When trying to describe their customers’ level of understanding about powder coating when coming to them with services, over 60% agreed that the customer “doesn’t know what it is but knows that he needs it”.
Only about 30% of customers were already familiar with coating or knew how they’d like it to look.
When discussing interactions with customers, expertise was the most likely reason for building trust in the relationship. Transparency and flexibility were secondary.
When asked about how they strive to make customers feel about interacting with their customers over 83% responded that they make them feel confident.
Finally, survey respondents were asked how customers find out about a their powder coater brand:
- an overwhelming majority (91%) responded “by referrals/Word-of-Mouth”.
- 79% said on social media and 50% said at their store or workshop.
- Both advertising and website came in at 33%.
- Email (25%) and events (20%) were still one-fifth of the total number of ways consumers learn about their brand.
These numbers seem to indicate either a growing trend upward into both or utilizing website & ads working in tandem to generate quality leads.
III. Lead Generation
When it came to tracking those leads the answers told a different story.
66% did not track leads.
But a clearer picture arose when 37% thought that tracking leads & client info was what was keeping them from building a better brand.
Almost 30% needed to improve their social media presence, while 20% that building and improving their product was more important.
Only 12% would like to build or improve their website.
It’s no wonder that branding is often associated with investing lots of money in marketing and promotion.
However, for a lot of small business owners, the investment in branding will have to be made with a relatively small budget — especially during a crisis.
You might be a small local powder coater with 1-10 employees, or an industrial company employing up to 500 people. These all can be qualified as ‘small business’.
All businesses, no matter the size, have the same main goal when they start: they need to establish a name in their field of expertise.
If this is you – know that you’re not alone.
Check out their Powder Coater Podcast: RossKote.com