While there are many factors that play into an effective business strategy, branding is among the most important steps a business can take on the road to success. Today, a company’s brand is more than just the font on its logo and the colors on its business cards. A successful branding strategy incorporates these features plus so much more—from the language it uses in its advertising to the material it uses in its packaging and even the other brands it agrees to partner with.
In 2022, so much of that branding lives online. There is no successful business today that lives completely “off the grid” or can afford to flourish without a substantial digital presence. That digital presence includes the company’s digital branding, which should match its in-person branding. That digital branding usually equates to healthy advertising initiatives to promote that brand all year long—whether consumers are in the market for new flooring or not.
FCNews sat down with several flooring dealers to discuss their relationship with digital branding.
Barrington Carpet, Twinsburg, Ohio
“A vast majority of today’s consumers start their purchase journey online. We firmly believe our online presence is key to bringing that online customer into our brick-and-mortar stores. We have three individual store brands that have been in their respective markets between 35-66 years, respectively. Much of our business is repeat and referral but we have found even our returning customers start their research online. We participate in Mohawk’s Edge digital advertising campaigns and have found they have generated high-quality leads. We have also pushed for online reviews from our customers as we realize the importance customers put in reviews and our overall Google rating. We do very little traditional advertising and chose to do all our brand advertising online where today’s consumer shops.
We are currently undergoing an effort to bring all three brands under a master brand called: The Flooring Edge. We will have a website linking all our separate brands under this master brand to help customers throughout Northern Ohio realize they’ll get a world-class experience they expect at any of our three uniquely branded locations.”
O’Krent Floors, San Antonio, Texas
“With us being a 107-year-old company, our branding is a bit different than most. We have the benefit of a legacy company logo, which has thankfully not gone out of style. So, our classic “carpet roll O’K” is a well-recognized brand in our market. However, we have continued to focus on keeping the brand strong by OTT and pay-per-click online advertisements, which have the advantage of being able to target by location and demographics. Mobile Marketing has also done a great job helping us with our flooring-specific website development and SEO.
Whenever there is a marketing/technology change diverting consumer eyeballs, we must pivot. This is why we have stopped all print media and transitioned to digital. Mobile Marketing helped us create a fully customized, retail floorcovering-based website that is unique to us. The additional tools, like Roomvo and Rugs.Shop, are added benefits, which keep us innovative and attractive to today’s consumer.”
Grigsby’s Carpet Tile & Hardwood, Tulsa, Okla.
“Digital branding seems to get more important every day. We started with digital media a long time ago but it has, of course, grown. We do some digital advertising, we sponsor one of the local weather broadcasts on TV and we do a reveal bar on the local, digital newspaper as well as e-blasts. We do geo-fencing and key word advertising. We promote our website on all ads and we solicit reviews and post pictures to Google. There are some strictly branding ads that we do that show pictures and remind people that we do free estimates, then there are also product promotional ads as well. Both are effective in keeping our name out there—regardless of whether someone is in the market for flooring or not.
Our brand recognition has absolutely grown through digital means. We know by our analytics that people have found us online and also by talking to customers when they come in. We also added chat to our website and it has been a great lead tool—of course leads from our website have grown also.”
Precision Flooring, Sheboygan, Wis.
“It’s very important for our company to be visible online. We are on some of the social channels (Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn) and our website has a presence. We like to post company events on our social media. Showing our company and our team has been really great for us, especially when we’re having fun! People love seeing people they know. Google Reviews has probably been our biggest contributor to our digital brand recognition. We like to re-post our reviews on our social media to give them a little more emphasis and repurpose them.
Another great way we’ve been working on increasing our brand recognition and increasing our expertise in the flooring world is by answering Frequently Asked Questions in the form of a video. We started a blog on our website answering those questions; we post the videos there; and we can refer to them anytime those FAQs come up.
I like to think the branding that we are accomplishing is showing that we’re a family-owned business, our installation expertise is very important, we’ve got designers to help you along the way to make your decisions a little easier and we have fun! This is a big purchase, and we are with them the whole time. So, let’s enjoy it.
We also emphasize our brand within our community. We have all of the company vehicles wrapped—they are literally driving billboards. Each installer has a wardrobe of Precision Floors apparel—they are always advertising wherever they go. We also have our signs at the local (Plymouth) Dirt Track and softball diamonds. We also have yard signs for any project that we are going to be on for multiple days. We often have new clients come in just because they saw us parked in their subdivision or neighborhood.”
Avalon Flooring, Cherry Hill, N.J.
“In today’s market, our online visibility is a top priority. We want to be where our customers are and that is definitely online. Consumers are constantly engaging online and we want to stay top of mind and try to be in the places where they are. Whether it’s in the early stages of planning and idea gathering or when they are ready to select a partner and begin their project, we try to be there along each step in the process.
Some of the most impactful ways we have grown our brand recognition has been with our community development on social media and our online reviews that demonstrate the social proof of who we are as a company and how we guide our customers through the process of turning their dreams into reality.
Our branding efforts are expansive and include: user-friendly, content rich, brand website; Active social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest); regular communication via e-mail marketing; and search marketing campaigns.”
(For the full Power of Brands feature, see the August 1/8, 2022 print edition of FCNews.)