Earlier on in the year, we were approached by Daniel Scott, the Managing Director of DG Scott electrical contractors.
Daniel’s brief was simple, he was struggling to be taken seriously by bigger companies and wasn’t attracting the work he wanted.
He came to us because he wanted to change perceptions of his business, as he felt it was holding him back.
The DG Scott project is very similar to what we find with a lot of other small businesses.
Business owners are busy in the day-to-day of running their business, they win work through reputation and word of mouth, have a strong client base and work on some interesting projects – yet they don’t let anyone know about it.
What people see, is completely different from what the business does.
In DG Scott’s case, they were working on some projects for some well-known facilities management companies, schools, universities and the larger student accommodation groups across the country.
Daniel mentioned that on some occasions when tendering for work, because he looked like a small business – people assumed that DG Scott wouldn’t be able to deliver.
In reality, he could deliver, but the person looking at the tenders made an assumption based on what they saw. And they saw what looked like a small business.
How he looked was negatively affecting new clients getting in touch.
Matching perception with reality
Over time, we’ve made associations of what good companies look like.
We know what cheap looks like – and what expensive looks like.
We know that some of the biggest companies in the UK (see the FTSE 100) use design and care about their company image, and we know that local tradesman look a certain way too.
Identities are about managing perception
You can design an identity to look any way you want. You can look traditional, you can look new, you can look tech-savvy, or you can look like you are future focussed.
It’s the first thing that someone will see before they get in touch with your company. And in some instances, you may put off potential customers, as you might be sending them the wrong message.
When we don’t have perfect trust and perfect information when making a decision, we tend to go with something we ‘feel’ answers our goal.
If we’ve got associations of what a good company looks like (like some of the companies in the FTSE 100 above), that can help us when making a decision.
Brand identities help people make decisions
At the tender stage, or when potential clients were on Daniel’s website – they were making assumptions on what they saw.
The old website had your typical small business feel.
The website talked about domestic work, whereas Daniel didn’t do a lot of domestic work anymore – he was working on larger commercial projects.
Perception didn’t match reality.
Closing the gap
Most of the time when we’re working on a branding project, our job is to close the gap between perception and reality.
Businesses change quick, and their identity doesn’t always keep up with the rate of change.
Our job is to tell the truth about a business.
We’ve got to make sure the identity reflects the business – or where the business wants to go.
We presented Daniel with three brand identity concepts that matched what the business did, and where it wanted to go.
We suggested making some trivial changes, which would make a big difference.
We recommended changing the name from DG Scott Electrical Services Ltd, to just DG Scott.
We bought the dg-scott.com domain – rather than dgscottelectricalservices.co.uk
All with the strategy of making him sound bigger.
Designing the identity
Electrical contractors tend to follow a similar theme. Most use blue, and most try to be clever by symbolising an electricity spark, or electrical tools.
There aren’t many electrical contractors that have differentiated identities.
We suggested taking inspiration from some of the big facilities management and civil engineering companies. Those kind of companies look a certain way, and we associate them with being big businesses.
The current look could sit next to some of the big facilities companies, and it stands on its own.
It’s not just pretty pictures
Daniel’s always on the hunt for new work, so having a company image that makes him look more serious will help him in the future.
Within the first 3 months, he’s already seen a return on investment of 268%. He says the new branding has completely changed his business and given him more confidence when approaching new clients.
Not all projects we work on have such quick wins like this, as branding is a long term objective. But it’s not unusual when you change the perception of a business, for people’s behaviour to change towards it.
October 28, 2019