I’m having a walk-in shower installed in my home, and getting a workshop in branding and word-of-mouth marketing in the process.
When I began the project, I thought all I needed was a plumber and a tile guy. The plumber was a no-brainer — I’ve relied on Wilson Plumbing for years. But I quickly learned that even a small construction project like mine is comprised of a general contractor cobbling together a cadre of independent niche craftspeople — the demo crew, framers, drywallers, concrete pourers, fiberglass shower pan builders and tilers.
The morning after the fiberglass shower pan was installed (and the overpowering acetone fumes had cleared), I went into the bathroom to inspect the progress and noticed a simple branding gesture that conveyed a bold message. Embedded on the new shower curb under the fiberglass was a plain card that bore just the name and phone number of the contractor in large, readable type. What it actually said, though, was, “I made this and I stand behind it. If you like it, call me.”
Clearly, that message wasn’t intended for me — it was tiled over soon thereafter. It was directed to other, unknown contractors that would encounter his handiwork and might want to work with him on a future project.
And it worked!
Later that same day the plumber came by, glanced at the shower floor and remarked, “That’s a great pan liner. Who did the work for you?” I didn’t know; I just pointed to the card. The plumber took out his mobile phone and snapped a picture of it.
Three Key Marketing Lessons
- “Marketing” can get in the way. Whenever possible, let your work product speak for itself. Share and promote well-crafted/well-reasoned pleadings and motions, not just outcomes.
- Engage with potential clients/referral sources at the times and places their needs are most immediate.
- Keep your message simple, memorable and actionable.