Volume 9, Issue 5 - October 2007

Side Lites
questions and answers

What’s Your Brand?
by Bob Theriot Jr.

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of columns in which Mr. Theriot will answer your questions about sales and marketing. To submit questions, e-mail pstacey@glass.com or bob@southwestautoglass.com

Welcome to the first revamped edition of “Sidelites,” which will now be a question-and-answer column. If you’re asking, “What kinds of questions?” the answer is: any of your questions regarding the marketing and selling of auto glass.

I encourage you to submit questions that have been gnawing at you, but you didn’t know where to find good, sound answers. There are a lot of misconceptions about the marketing of auto glass. What works for other businesses won’t always work in our industry. 

Think of things in your business that you find challenging including sales, marketing your glass business, branding your business and/or yourself. Think of questions about advertising. For example, what works best in our industry? Is it radio, print, television, Internet, direct mail or hosting a fund raising event? The list goes on and on. Where should you start? Start right here, with me, and in every issue we’ll figure it out.

Setting My Company Apart
To start things off for this edition, I will answer a question that is posed to me constantly by new small business start-ups.

Q: Bob, I’m just starting my business and I’m on a tight budget. What’s the one thing I can do to set my company apart from the competition? 
A: Create a logo for your company as soon as possible. There is no good reason not to have a logo for your business. 

What is a logo? A logo is a graphical element, symbol or icon that, when put together with a logotype, is arranged in a particular way to form a trademark or brand. The symbol lets the general public and possible business prospects immediately know who you are after they have been exposed to it. 

Think about this. When my little boy, Tyler, was about 2 years old, every time he saw the golden arches in the McDonald’s logo he would start yelling, “McDonald’s! McDonald’s! I want McDonald’s!” The logo doesn’t even have the name of the restaurant on it. It’s just a big, golden “M.” Everyone who sees it while driving past a billboard or sign knows who and what it is, including a two-year-old. 

There are several ways to create a logo for your business. You can go to a local printer with an idea in mind and most can help you expand on the idea, usually for a small fee. You also can go to the Internet and search for the word “logo” on Google (or other search engines) and countless companies will appear offering this service. 

There is software on the Internet that can be downloaded for less than $50 to help you create some really professional looking logos. There also are many freelance graphic artists in the marketplace with small companies that can help you with this endeavor. Check your local yellow page directory. The worst thing you can do when starting your business is to forget to brand your company with a nice-looking logo. Your business just can’t afford it. 

I look forward to receiving and answering your questions every month. Until then, keep “pounding the pavement.” 

Bob Theriot Jr. is the author of “Pounding The Pavement – Tools, Techniques and Inspiration for Succeeding in Sales.” He also serves as sales & marketing manager for Southwest Auto Glass in El Paso, Texas. Mr. Theriot’s opinions are solely his own and not necessarily those of this magazine.


AGRR
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