3 Important Words To Understand in Your Business

Posted by David Chism | Wed, May 21, 2014

 3 Important Words To Understand in Your Business

Mar­ket­ing, Adver­tis­ing & Branding

Three words, or ter­mi­nolo­gies, are kicked around often in the mind of many small busi­ness own­ers when it comes to grow­ing one’s busi­ness: mar­ket­ing, adver­tis­ing & brand­ing. Many times brand­ing and adver­tis­ing are com­bined into the one word, mar­ket­ing.” So when one thinks of brand­ing, he is think­ing mar­ket­ing.” Or anoth­er might say, I need to do some adver­tis­ing”, he typ­i­cal­ly is think­ing, I need to mar­ket my busi­ness”. These impor­tant ter­mi­nolo­gies are actu­al­ly quite dif­fer­ent from each oth­er and yet play a sig­nif­i­cant role in work­ing together.


One of the best def­i­n­i­tions I’ve heard to describe the word mar­ket­ing came from a speak­er who said some­thing like this: Mar­ket­ing is every­thing you do or don’t do in your busi­ness.” In oth­er words, we are always mar­ket­ing. How you greet a prospect in per­son is mar­ket­ing. Do you come across friend­ly and per­son­al, or shy and stand­off­ish? How you cre­ate and send pro­pos­als is mar­ket­ing, too. When peo­ple come in con­tact with you or your employ­ees, they will come away with either a pos­i­tive, neg­a­tive, or neu­tral mind­set. So the goal here is to always be think­ing of ways to mar­ket your brand” in a way that your ide­al prospect will become a loy­al customer.

Mar­ket­ing also involves the plan­ning, orga­niz­ing, and strat­e­gy of how you will pro­mote your busi­ness. You might decide to use sev­er­al dif­fer­ent forms of adver­tis­ing.” Mar­ket­ing is brand­ing build­ing.” (22 Immutable Laws of Brand­ing, Introduction)


Your brand­ing is typ­i­cal­ly how you want your ser­vice or busi­ness to look in the eyes of your poten­tial cus­tomer. It involves your logo, the col­ors, yard sign style, web­site, vehi­cles, and so forth. Again, quot­ing from the Immutable Laws of Brand­ing book, Brand­ing pre-sells’ your prod­uct or ser­vice to the user.” It typ­i­cal­ly can be looked at as a first impres­sion. When a prospect comes to your web­site, will he (or she) find what he wants right away and feel con­fi­dent you know what you are doing? When a prospect is sit­ting behind a com­pa­ny truck in traf­fic, will she feel any emo­tion to remem­ber your brand (i.e. 800 Num­ber, easy web address, clean logo?).

If a busi­ness has no brand, there real­ly is noth­ing to sell or a way a prospect can remem­ber your busi­ness. I recent­ly spoke to an indus­tri­al coat­ings con­trac­tor who com­plained he was get­ting beat­en out of work more than ever before by young com­pa­nies. He admit­ted that they had good brand­ing and he had none. No real­ly. He did not have a brand. You could not find a logo, or real­ly a name, and what he did any­where on the web. He spent most of his 30+ years in the indus­try rely­ing on his skills of being a real­ly good indus­tri­al coat­ings con­trac­tor. What he does not real­ize is that his com­peti­tors are brand­ing their busi­ness­es and their mes­sages are sticking.


Final­ly we come to the word Adver­tis­ing. This is basi­cal­ly the how” one mar­kets a brand to con­sumers. Will you decide to adver­tise using a pletho­ra of things such as: post­cards, social media, blog­ging, yard signs, com­mu­ni­ty events, trade shows, or a web­site? Adver­tis­ing is pay­ing to spread your brand. You either pay for it with your time, your mon­ey, or a com­bi­na­tion of the two.

A Great Exam­ple in the Paint­ing Industry

All three things are cru­cial in run­ning a suc­cess­ful ser­vice com­pa­ny. You need to always be aware of who your ide­al cus­tomers are and who they are not! Don’t mar­ket your brand to the world. Nar­row the focus to those who are most like­ly to hire you. Start by decid­ing what you want your cus­tomers to know about your con­tract­ing busi­ness that is dif­fer­ent from your competitor.

My friend, Steve Bur­nett of Bur­nett 1 – 800 PAINT­ING, mar­kets his brand with this slo­gan, Home of the 9 Year War­ran­ty.” I don’t know of anoth­er painter in his area that has a 9 year war­ran­ty. If there is now, it won’t make a dif­fer­ence, because Steve is relent­less at mar­ket­ing that slo­gan every­where he goes. He uses a num­ber of adver­tis­ing out­lets to pro­mote his brand such as his famous iClass” where he gives free iPhone/​iPad train­ing class­es to senior cit­i­zens. It took him awhile for the iClass idea to take off. Yet he now gets a steady flow of leads and clos­es almost every job. His cus­tomers love his 9 year labor and mate­r­i­al war­ran­ty, too!

Your Turn

How do you mar­ket your con­tract­ing com­pa­ny? Do your prospects know why you are dif­fer­ent? Are you the leader in one key area that you can pro­mote? You don’t need to tell peo­ple how great you are at paint­ing or remod­el­ing. No. Your cus­tomer just needs to feel that your com­pa­ny is a good fit for his or her needs. It is not always about the low­est bid! Take some time to review your brand­ing this week. How is your web­site, your busi­ness cards, brochures, sales booths, vehi­cles? Does your logo need to be updat­ed? I’ll close with this quote from Chap­ter 4 of The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding:

Adver­tis­ing may not pay for itself, but if you’re the leader, adver­tis­ing will make your com­peti­tor pay through the nose for the priv­i­lege of com­pet­ing with you. Many won’t be able to afford it; those who can won’t both­er. Instead they’ll be con­tent to nib­ble on the crumbs around your huge piece of the pie.”

About David Chism

David Chism started his business out of a passion for helping small contracting businesses grow, be more profitable and become better known to their target clients. One lifelong hobby of David is using techie gadgets. So this blog is a place where he writes about technology, marketing ideas, just for fun (humor), personal thoughts on small business and more.


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