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August 2019


17 Jul 2019, Business Tips, Learn, Prove Your Know How

What can birds teach builders about marketing? How to get your brand out there!

Do you need to “get your brand out there”? Most people agree that online marketing can make a huge difference, but there’s less consensus about which platform is best for builders. Talking to others doesn’t remove the confusion, because they all have different stories, and few of them are doing it successfully.

So which online marketing platform(s) should you use? Facebook? WhatsApp? LinkedIn? Instagram? Twitter? Google+? Pinterest? YouTube? Tumblr?

The most important thing to realise is that the answer won’t be the same for everyone – the best online marketing platform for you is the one that your prospective clients are using.

Now, that’s what we at Successful Builder call a BFO – blinding flash of the obvious!

When you engage in the communication channels that your prospects are using, you are way more likely to find yourself getting in front of them. And vice versa. No matter how popular a medium may appear to be, if it’s not popular with your prospective clients, it’s of no use to you. For example, even though the Yellow pages are still used by millions of people, business owners seeking clients in major cities find advertising in the paper version of Yellow Pages a waste of money (since very few people in major cities use them!).

So rather than starting with the “which marketing platform?” question, it may be better to start with the following:

  • What do I want to communicate?
  • To whom?

Once you know the answers to these questions, you can go looking for the best online platform.

All about Allbirds

This is where the birds enter the article! Allbirds – to be precise. Heard of them? Of course!

One of the fastest growing companies in 2015 and 2016 and rated by Time magazine as creating the world’s most comfortable shoe. Their vision was to be fun, cool, sexy, good quality and environmentally caring – a reflection of them as people.

Their target was younger people, but there are hundreds of other shoe brands in that market. They needed a platform that would give them opportunity to communicate authentically and put them in front of their target market.

They chose Instagram. Predominately the medium of younger people, with its special provision for high quality pictures and video. Instagram provided a space where they could showcase where they sourced materials, how customers could style things with their shoes and their commitment to quality, using the medium popular with younger people – photos and videos.

It worked brilliantly, growing the Allbirds brand to international status in a very short time. (By the way, if you think I’m talking about an avian phenomenon, then you probably aren’t interacting with Instagram).

When Allbirds told their story and shared their passion and vision, they were communicating their passion and their vision to their target market – younger people (according to Statista, 71% of active users of Instagram are under the age of 35 years).

They inspired them to purchase because people buy from inspiring people. So while at least a dozen knock-offs started soon after Allbirds, these were not able to match the story, passion and vision of the Allbirds founders and their marketing seemed lifeless in comparison. They found that people wanted to buy from them. As a medium for inspiration, warmth and human stories targeted at younger people, Instagram suited the Allbirds’ marketing plan perfectly.

So, like Allbirds, there are tonnes of others in your market. People could buy from any one of them. But some will want to buy from you – because you are you! It’s the uniqueness of you that makes your company different! So choose the medium in which your target is active and tell them about you – your passion and vision. If you are targeting a younger market, then Instagram could be for you.

So, let’s assume that you are doing the basics: signs outside jobs; letterbox dropping neighbours; keeping in touch with previous clients and contacts; but you want to raise the stakes. Then it would be good for you to do the following:

1.Clarify the demographics of your target client

Are they single, parents, middle class, professional, older or retired? Do they have children, teenagers, grandchildren or parents living with them? One income or two? City or suburban?

2. Decide what it is you want to communicate to them

What is the main need or frustration that your service alleviates? How can you help them? What do they need to do to start the process – download a pdf, send an email or call you?

3. Find out the online medium(s) in which your target market is active

You may need to do some research here. You could survey people in the demographic, or get in touch with a local expert for advice. Then create your marketing!

If you don’t have the time, skills or inclination to carry out such a marketing campaign, contact a local marketing expert and get the assistance you need. But first, make sure that you are very clear on the who, the what and the where before you agree to an expensive online marketing campaign.

Remember, people buy from people! So don’t be afraid to inject your personality into your marketing!

Graeme Owen is a builders’ business coach at thesuccessfulbuilder.com. Since 2006, he has helped builders throughout New Zealand get off the tools, make decent money, and get more time in their lives. Grab a copy of his free book: The 15 Minute Sales Call Guaranteed To Increase Your Conversion Rate: thesuccessfulbuilder.com/book-15-min-sales-call or join Trademates and connect with builders who are scaling too: www.facebook.com/groups/TradeMates

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  1. dpmal@slingshot.co.nz says:


  2. jimpember51@gmail.com says:

    some form of advertising works

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