Building Your Own Brand – One Step At A Time
This morning I was getting down to work when there was a knock at the door. I went downstairs and stood at the door was a guy called John, holding a mug of steaming black coffee. John is a builder and last year he did some work for me. He was back in the neighbourhood doing some work on a house across the street. Anyway, John asked if he could have a drop of milk as the people whose house he was working on hadn’t left him any; shame on them! Of course I obliged, and we got talking. During the conversation John pointed out about 7 houses on my road that he had worked on in different capacities; building whole extensions, removing chimneys and some simple plastering jobs. The first time he worked on my street was over 20 years ago and he is back in this road today still plying his trade and still building his brand.
As he finished his coffee and was about to get back to work, I asked John if he had a bit of cement to fix my front step. One of our friends had stood on the overhang and the stone had broken free creating a trip hazard for everyone who comes to our door. I just wanted a small amount of cement so I could fix it back in place. John put the remainder of his coffee down, went to the back of his van, pulled out a bucket and started mixing cement. He then proceeded to not only fix the loose flag stone back into place but also renew the existing cement on the step. The job took him no longer than 5 minutes and it looked great when completed.
Now, if I were to undertake this job, I would have had to go to the D.I.Y centre purchase a full bag of cement and a bag of sand at a cost of around $15-$20. I would then have had to invest the time in mixing the cement and fixing the stone back in place. I would then be left with an almost full bag of sand and cement; the sand I could potentially use in the future but the cement would only last a few months before it went off and I don’t have any other jobs I could use it for. In essence, I would have to throw it away and waste the best part of $10, plus the cost of my time and to be honest the job would have been finished to a less satisfactory standard than that of a professional with 30 years experience.
When I asked John if I could give him anything for his trouble he said, “You did, you gave me the milk for my Coffee! It only took me 5 minutes. It’s nothing.”Of course that was the answer I was hoping to hear but somebody else might have said that’s $20 or $10 and proceeded to write me out an invoice. This small job might be nothing to John, but the generosity he showed and that 5 minutes work he did has saved me an hour and a half and $15-$20.
The Importance of Building Your Own Brand
In those 5 minutes John gave me a lesson in the importance of building your own brand, he showed me exactly why he has had repeat business from this street for over 20 years: a handful of cement and 5 minutes of his time has meant that whenever I need work completing on my house, John will be the first person I will call. I know he can build extensions, I know he can remove fireplaces, I know he can point cement and on top of all of that he is a nice person. For however long I choose to live in this area and John continues to work I will go to John -and what’s more if somebody asks me whether I know of a good builder I will say yes, I do, and happily provide them with his details.
Creating a successful and reputable business is about going that extra mile, leading with value and always, always providing excellent customer service. This is a great example in building your own brand. It’s 11am and John has completed a job and built incredible value with a future customer. John is now finished for the day he is going to go to the gym and take his wife for an early lunch. He should be incredibly happy with himself as his brand is doing the work for him.
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