A company’s brand is very important. In fact, Forbes values the worth of Apple’s brand as $170 billion, Google at $102 billion, Microsoft at $87 billion, Coca-Cola at $54 billion, Toyota at $41 billion and McDonald’s at $40 billion. What this means is that even if you had Coca Cola’s secret recipe and could sell the exact same drink for half the price you would battle to compete against Coca-Cola because the majority of people would choose to drink Coca-Cola rather than the replica you are selling for half the price. Why? Well simply because most people go with the company they believe they can trust, and with the drink, they are used to consuming.
In construction it is often much the same – who will we call to price the project? It will usually be the well-known contractors and the ones we have successfully worked with before.
What influences a contractor’s brand?
A contractor’s brand is influenced by:
- The quality of the product they deliver. No one wants a poor quality product – no matter how cheap.
- Ease of doing business with them. Clients and customers want the least problems possible on their projects.
- After service – a contractor can deliver a successful project, but if problems occur after project completion which the contractor doesn’t resolve then clients quickly forget the successful construction phase and only remember the problem which hasn’t been resolved, a problem which could even be relatively minor in the whole project scope.
- Protracted legal battles and numerous variation claims.
- The project not meeting the client’s expectations. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the contractor’s fault since the client may have had unreasonable expectations, or the problem may even be due to the design (often done by others) which delivers a project below expectation.
- Poor safety record. Accidents attract negative media attention. Accidents may get the project closed down by the authorities until they are investigated and problems fixed. Accidents often involve the client’s team in the investigation. Clients hate accidents.
- Industrial relations incidents and work stoppages or protests attract negative media attention. They disrupt the project, causing delays. They can also spill over and impact the client’s workers and operations.
- Clients believing they haven’t received value for money, or worse suspecting that the contractor has deceived them by submitting false and excessive claims. Often this is a misconception and is due to clients not understanding the true cost of what they demanded of the contractor.
- The contractor’s reliability for delivering projects on time.
- The contractor’s employees. Poor behavior of personnel on the project and surrounding the project, in company branded vehicles, or by employees wearing company branded clothing is a poor reflection of the company. Company branded vehicles being driven badly or disobeying the road rules aren’t good advertisements.
- Contractors need to be consistent with advertising and branding. You don’t see Coca-Cola or Apple using different logos or changing colors and taglines.
- People are an important aspect of a construction company’s brand. Ensure all your employees understand how their service, attitude, and behaviour impact the company’s brand – both positively and negatively.
- Instil a culture of delivering quality products.
- Ensure that you can meet your client’s expectations. If they have unrealistic expectations or expectations that your company cannot achieve explain why their expectations can’t be met. Don’t execute projects where the company can’t meet the client’s expectations – it will almost surely end in a disappointed client.
- Constantly communicate with clients.
- ....Continue Reading....
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