Grow Your Business with a Brand Story
If your business doesn’t have a brand story, you could be missing out on essential growth opportunities. We sat down with home improvement marketing expert Rich Harshaw from Level 10 Contractor to learn how he’s helped businesses grow by building out their brand story. Read on to find out how he does it.
Ingage: Let’s get to know Level 10, how did you get started in the home improvement space?
Rich Harshaw: I started out nearly 30 years ago as a general marketing consultant before meeting Tim Musch in 2005, where he invited me to join a webinar to share marketing strategies with contractors. It went over so well that Tim and I started working together to provide more marketing advice to contractors which led to creating Level 10 Contractor.
Ingage: That’s an incredible story! What do you find always stands out to contractors when you share marketing strategies with them?
Rich: I have a philosophy that every business needs to create an identity, no matter how large or small they may be. Part of creating that identity means telling a story and moving away from standard platitudes and offers. I think that part always surprises contractors who are used to using standard phrases like “best service in town” or “call now for 30% off.” They don’t realize that these kinds of ads don’t differentiate them from their competitors.
I also like to point out that what’s unique about the home improvement industry is that most customers have never purchased these types of services, which means they don’t know how to evaluate a contractor. Because of this, they usually turn to something simple like price. But, with a strong brand identity, businesses can use marketing to preemptively tell the story of what goes into purchasing a product and how their company delivers against existing standards. Doing this can set you apart from the competition and drive sales.
Ingage: What sets you apart from other contractor marketing services in the industry?
Rich: At our core, we know that every business will benefit from having a brand story and we work to create a unique story for every contractor that truly sets them apart from the competition. Building this identity is keystone to marketing and once we’ve got it down, we can inject it into every marketing campaign whether it’s the website, local TV ads or social media, and see incredible results.
We’ve seen it a thousand times, but my favorite example is a metal roofing company in the Northeast that initially came to us to help drive organic traffic to their website. Of course, we went through all of their current marketing strategies plus our 5 Pillars of Identity and through that we learned they were also doing local TV ads that weren’t seeing great results. We also learned they have an incredible company story that involves being a 5th generation business.
They initially just wanted a quick website but - and this is what truly sets us apart - we were able to build out their story and bring it to life across all channels. Now, they have customized content that makes a real impact and has helped them not only knock out the competition but also grow their business.
Ingage: We love your approach to telling a brand story, out of curiosity, could you share the 5 Pillars of Identity to help build a brand story?
Rich: The 5 Pillars are Products, Workmanship, Bedside Manner, Core Values and Community/Culture. In each pillar, we aim to find 3-5 points for each core value and actually build that into a company’s Ingage presentation. For example, Product doesn’t just mean high quality products, it’s more specific information about how each product you deliver makes a difference. This makes for a much more compelling sales presentation that actually resonates with customers and keeps them interested in your pitch.
Ingage: Speaking of sales presentations, what made you want to partner with us?
Rich: When I first saw Ingage, I was really excited because I knew it was going to be able to solve the issues with in-home sales that PowerPoint could not. Ingage really feels like an obvious solution - like when they put an engine on a lawn mower - it’s just the right evolution of the sales presentation process. I’ve also seen how much value it’s been to customers, and that’s what I really care about when it comes to partners.
Ingage: Finally, what do you think business owners should pay attention to as we kick off the new year?
Rich: We all know that the market is uncertain right now, but now is the time to lean in and start playing offense. Go out there and keep marketing, spend the money (strategically) and you’ll still see results. Because we have to remember this has happened before back in 2008 and the companies who survived that were the ones who played offense, invested in tech and kept marketing to grow their market share. Do that and you can make 2023 a better year than 2022.
About Level 10 Contractor
Level 10 Contractor is a digital marketing agency that specializes in lead generation for home improvement contractors. Remodelers need alot of leads to get to $10MM+. We specialize in delivering them.