By Bryce Davis

Just a few weeks ago something amazing happened in our area. My wife received a call from her daughter around 11 p.m., saying, “Mom, go outside and look up.” So, we both went outside on this semi-clear night with lots of stars in the sky, and what did we see but the amazing and beautiful Northern Lights. Every time I look at the pictures we took that night, it still makes me stop and take in how this happens, and the good memories of that night.

This is also the way we could be promoting our asphalt businesses for the same results. Make something about you and your company that will be remembered in the minds of your current and future customers. Traveling around the U.S. and Canada and visiting asphalt paving companies over the years, I’ve seen some great examples of what you could do if you’re not already doing it. Standing out can be accomplished in so many ways. It’s what your customers remember you for or why they keep calling you back to do more work for them. It’s also what’s going to make your future customers call you and choose you over your competitors down the street.

Let’s start with branding. This can be done with your company name, your logo and your equipment. Design a logo that’s different, unique and one that stands out. Do you have a company color and use it for everything, on all your trucks, equipment and work shirts? Is your logo on every truck you own and piece of equipment you have? What about the equipment you rent from time to time — do you have magnetic logos to put on them? Nothing stands out more on a jobsite then all the same color equipment and a logo to match.

Advertising your brand is very important to any company these days. I’ve seen everything — local radio, local television, billboards, fliers, e-mail blasts, social media, signs on a jobsite, blogs, websites, a Google business profile, online directories, press releases and hosting a podcast.

Start a referral program from current customers, friends, co-workers and business partners. Hold free workshop training webinars on your market industry and applications. Offer coupons or special offers in the off season. Promote online reviews or start a loyalty program. Become the expert in your industry for your local market, be the go-to person for any asphalt related questions. Look for local speaking opportunities.

Networking through local community events, golf outings, charity events, local summer fairs, local fundraisers and sponsoring a local sports team (such as Little League) are all great options.
Still, nothing beats personal selling face-to-face with your customers and doing a quality job. Tell your story, people want to know you. I’ve seen some companies go overboard on cleaning up their job sites when the work is completed. A professionally finished product/job site sells the next customer. Have the cleanest trucks and equipment in your market — first impressions matter.

Partner with a complementary business or two in your market. If you only do asphalt paving, work with companies that only do sweeping, seal coasting, line striping or even concrete work.
Take a look at other industries in your market to observe ways these companies are promoting themselves. Every industry and local market have branding leaders. Learn something from them that you could start that fits your business.

As Alexander Isley says, “A brand is the promise of an experience.” Or, if you’re an Elon Musk fan, “Brand is just a perception, and perception will match reality over time.”

Bryce Davis is the Director of Sales with LeeBoy. He can be reached at Bryce.Davis@leeboy.com