Written by Perryn Olson, President & COO of Brand Constructors
You've probably heard that your company needs some type of differentiation to compete in today's construction market. By differentiation, I mean some characteristic or reasoning for a prospective customer to hire your company over another besides price – a competitive edge. Differentiation can be speed, expertise, location, attitude, or any number of things.
To see a great example of differentiation, just watch the truck commercials during the football games this week. One truck has more horsepower, the next has better fuel economy, another more hauling capacity, etc. Your company needs to pinpoint your strategic edge. Just because you have that edge, doesn't mean you will automatically get the work.
We work with numerous construction companies across the country, and many of them have a competitive edge over the competition, but they miss something crucial. Many times, we see companies leave out their differentiation in their marketing pieces. THAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART!
The next biggest thing they are missing is telling their employees. The owner, management, and business developers know their differentiation, but no one else knows it. Your employees interact with a vast network of people, and they interact with your clients and prospective customers on the soccer field, school groups, church, scouts, and in their neighborhood. These people don't have to close the deal, but they have to get it started, and it all starts with what your company does and what makes it unique.
I cite a great story in my book, Construction Executive's Guide to Brand Marketing
, about Jim Cramer for "Mad Money" stating that before he invests in a company, he asks the employees what the company does. He does not ask the CEO or the sales team, he asked the receptionist, the truck driver, and the guy sweeping the floors at night. A strong company trains their employees about the company's culture, offerings, and differentiation. You think Disney employees don't know the difference between Disney and Universal Studios or Caterpillar vs. Terex? They know the difference.
Perryn Olson, president and COO of ABC member, Brand Constructors, holds the designation of Certified Construction Marketing Professional (CCMP) from the Construction Marketing Association and the Certified Professional Services Marketer (CPSM) from the Society of Marketing Professional Services). He currently serves on the board of SMPS Southeast Louisiana and is the past president of Executive Connections, a business networking organization in New Orleans.