Note: This blog has been updated with new information and new data, especially as it relates to market changes to home improvement businesses after the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a home improvement business — a garage door dealer, HVAC business, roofing company or window installer, for example — how well do your customers and prospects know you?
Are you the first company they think of when a problem happens? Do they trust you? Do they even have your phone number or contact information if they need your help?
As a business owner, you've probably seen the boom in the home improvement market during and after the lockdowns. It drove an 82% increase in spending on home improvement projects. This increase was driven not only by a hot housing market, as homeowners looked to maximize their return for a home sale but also prioritized an update of their existing home rather than looking for a new one.
These are important questions, and the answers can be the difference between business growth and floundering sales.
Building Trust in Your Home Improvement Business
Your customers need to trust you and your business if they invite you into their homes. You need to be more than a business, you need to be like family, a partner in their success. You need to be top of mind not only when they need you but between projects.
A good sales team and a great product aren’t enough. To succeed, you need to build and promote your brand. You need to communicate with the community, increase awareness of your business and proactively support your brand in the hearts and minds of customers.
That’s where promotional products and marketing can help.
What Is Promotional Marketing?
The goal of promotional marketing is to communicate with and educate an audience (your customers). It’s influencing and persuading them that you are the best solution to their problems.
While the post-pandemic changes in marketing and sales have driven many home improvement businesses online, it hasn't lessened the need for promotional marketing. In fact, with a savvy online strategy and an effective promotional strategy, you can see an overall and sustainable increase in leads and sales.
As a home improvement business, your promotional marketing should focus on building trust with customers so they feel comfortable inviting you into their homes. It should present a story that illustrates how working with your business will improve their lives — their safety, security, and convenience. A typical strategy might show how your business is local and part of the community, which is why you are so invested in making their home so awesome.
It’s a big story that can’t be told in a single billboard or ad, which is why promotional products are an important tool in your marketing arsenal.
How Promotional Marketing and Products Work
Promotional marketing works well with home improvement businesses, where trust and awareness are critical. A promotional marketing message may illustrate how long your business has been part of the community, and how you and your family-run business work hard to build trust with your neighbors. The focus isn’t just on your service or product, but on building trust and awareness.
Promotional products and merchandise work hand-in-hand with your promotional marketing, helping to extend and amplify the benefits to your business.
How to Boost Your Business with Promotional Products
The right promotional products strategy can keep your home improvement business top of mind with customers long after a marketing campaign is over. For a low cost, you can create multiple touchpoints with the prospect, magnifying your messaging and building your brand every day.
Keep these points in mind as you develop a promotional product strategy for your business.
1. Create Trust and Familiarity with Customers
Trust is critical in the home improvement business. As you consider your promotional products strategy, look at building trust with customers. What is your business brand? How is the promotional product you are offering connected to your business? What does the product say about your brand? A product focused on safety will reinforce the idea that your business is the safe choice. This is a subtle marketing distinction, but it can mean the difference between a promotion that makes a real connection and another promo that is quickly forgotten. If you can, provide a link, either by a QR code or a link, to your website. Add more information and maybe a deal or offer to the landing page from the link.
2. Provide Value After the Sale or Service
Look at providing a promotional product the customer will use long after the sale or service. As a business that works in the home, look at products that a homeowner can use in the home. This will connect your business to their home. Promotional products can be a numbers game. The more often a customer will use your product, the more often they will see your business name — the more touchpoints. Look at providing value for the customer, something they will often use and in ways connected to your business.
3. Make it Exclusive
Sometimes the customer needs a little push to finish the sale. Look at creating an exclusive element to your promotion strategy. Link the product to a special that is only offered to certain customers, or provide a choice with the offer and special. You could also have the customer or prospect do a little work to earn the promotion — perhaps as a prize to a game. The more exclusive you can make the promotion, the more valuable it will be to the customer.
4. Boost Your Referral Business
Referrals are one area many businesses struggle to capitalize on. After a service call, your business is no longer top of mind. The right promotional product can change that dynamic and make it easier for a happy customer to refer your business. Provide the customer with more than one of the promotional products so they can give them away to friends. Make sure your logo and contact information are on the product. Link a promotional offer to the referral that benefits both the customer and the new prospect.
5. Build Your Brand
A brand can be a powerful tool for capturing new sales and growing your business, but only if you control and promote it. Look at how you can most effectively promote your brand with the promotional product. Sometimes you need more than just a logo, a tagline, and your contact information. Focus on products that will offer multiple impressions. Look at linking your digital marketing with the promo product. Take a strategic approach to your brand and your promotional campaign.
Getting Started with Promotional Marketing
Ready to launch a new promotional marketing program for your business? We have a few tips to get you started.
- Have you considered your brand? How are you communicating your brand story? Every customer connection influences your brand, so make sure your marketing tells the story you want to tell about your business. A brand is vital for building trust with your home improvement customers.
- Avoid going cheap with your promotional products. Spending a little less on your marketing may be tempting, but what does that say about your business? A cheap, low-quality promotional product is easily forgotten and isn’t worth the minimal savings to your business.
- Work with a company that understands your business and industry as you build a promotional marketing strategy. Let the industry experts provide you with best practices and insight as they help you select the right products and promotions.
- Remember, marketing isn’t about your business but your customers. Consider how you can help them and what you can do to make their life better. For businesses working in home improvement, that means focusing on comfort, convenience, security, and value.
Need help with getting started with your next promotional marketing campaign? Want to discuss your options with marketing experts helping businesses like yours? Contact the marketing specialists at GO2 Partners and schedule an appointment with the experts on our promotional products team. We’re here to help.