One of the biggest challenges you’ll face when you start your own asphalt business is creating a steady client base of repeat customers. Winning a couple of contracts might mean a good start for a new company, but how do you stay in the game and build a strong presence in the industry?

Wouldn’t you want your company to be the first – no, the only! – choice when property owners want their parking lots reopened for business? How about getting paid top dollar for your services, while getting repeat clients and new ones faster than your fiercest competitor? What makes a business more successful than others?

The secret is to build a powerful brand that makes customers immediately think of your company when they need sealcoating and other pavement services.  This discussion between Judson Burdon, founder of Asphalt Kingdom, and Alex Lucic, owner of Black and Yellow Pavement (Canada), will give you a roadmap to creating a branding strategy that actually works.

Your brand is not just your logo. It is how you leave your mark in the minds of existing clients, while attracting new ones. A brand can be defined by two major traits:

1. Outside Appearance

This is what your customers initially see about your company. This is what attracts their attention, draws them in, and builds initial trust that can lead to loyalty.

Outside appearance refers to your company logo, your trucks and equipment, uniforms of your employees, your website’s design, brochures, business cards – everything that the customers can see and touch when they interact with you and your crew. After all, impressions do last, and you would want your customers’ to be positive.

When deciding on the “appearance” of your business, such as logo creation and choosing color schemes, think of how you want potential customers to react when they see them. Is your logo easy to interpret and remember? Does your choice of colors make them feel at ease during interactions? If you want the “face” of your company to have a positive effect on your customers, hiring the services of professional designers would be a good investment.

2. Company Culture

This refers to the inside workings of your company: how you interact with your employees, how they treat clients and potential customers both in the office and on job sites, how you make them feel when you work on projects, and what differentiates you from your competitors. A simple “thank you for hiring us,” “we appreciate the opportunity to work with you,” or something along those lines, can greatly increase a customer’s experience after a job is done. This tells the customer that your company is not only good at delivering excellent service, but also speaks volumes about what kind of employer you are to your crew.

Key Takeaways from the Discussion with Black and Yellow

To summarize the points discussed in the video, the keys to creating a strong brand are as follows:

  1. Grab your Customers’ Attention. Company logos, color schemes, the uniform worn by your employees, the design of your website, business cards, letterheads, etc. – these should grab the attention of your target customers during initial contact. Don’t be afraid to make a bold statement, but make sure to back up your claim. Let your customers recognize your brand to ensure that your company is the first thing that comes to mind when they need to get a job done.
  2. Maintain Consistency and Uniformity. The visual impact of your brand should be easily recognizable. Uniformity and consistency are key factors. Use vehicles of the same make and model, encourage your staff to wear uniforms, choose colors that are not garish or clashing. Let your customers and clients identify your brand anywhere.
  3. Differentiate from your Competitor. Delivering outstanding service creates an image in your customers’ minds that you are reliable, and would be their only choice the next time they have another project lined up. Never back down on what you promised, as this is how you lose your client base.
  4. Customer Experience. All points discussed in the video boil down to customer experience, the most important factor to consider if you want your business to progress. Make your customers’ lives your goal. Solve their problems, make their lives easier, be efficient and effective. Once a customer feels that you did a fantastic job, they will keep coming back, and even recommend your company to their friends and colleagues.