The Sharpest Tool™

Why Branding Matters for Your Home Services Business

Cheryl McRae
Josh Smith
Nicholas Bosco, Scorpion's Director of Marketing, loves working with his talented team to help businesses grow through building brand identity.

Josh Smith (00:03):

Hello, everyone. And welcome. This is Josh Smith. Bring you all that marketing goodness, your way. All the marketing tips, tricks and tools that are going to make you effective in today's landscape. Um, got an awesome guest on today. I'm really excited about this. We've got Nicholas Bosco. Who's the director of internet marketing at scorpion. Nick. Welcome to the

Nicolas Bosco (00:23):

Show. Hello everybody out there. You know this, this is going to be good. It's it's

Josh Smith (00:26):

Good to have you in the booth. My man, Bosco, Bosco, welcome, uh, board. Uh, why don't you tell our audience just a little bit about what you do day in and day out. I'm kind of curious to learn a little bit more about that myself.

Nicolas Bosco (00:38):

First and foremost, the director of internet marketing. It's very broad term, but unique in its own way. What we do here at scorpion, really for myself and like any other agency, we want to help the branding, but what makes myself unique really to just dive into really helping people out. I love the fact that we can see businesses grow and managing a team here to oversee that and managing this team that just is phenomenal in their own works. Yeah. I love that. You know, diving these campaigns researching, just taking care of them. That's the biggest focus. Yeah.

Josh Smith (01:08):

So you operate a team of marketing managers at score.

Nicolas Bosco (01:12):

Yes, sir. And marketing managers and one of the most phenomenal and caring teams. Awesome. Love them.

Josh Smith (01:17):

I love hearing that. Awesome. Well, let's dive right in. We've got a pretty important topic, pretty beefy. I want to make sure we get as much value or we're talking about this idea and this concept and this thing of branding, branding for longevity. Um, why don't you give the, our audience a brief overview? What is branding and why is it really important for business owners to think with that?

Nicolas Bosco (01:38):

And here's the thing. Branding is a story in essence, it's who you are. You know what you're about, what your business is about. What do you stand for? Branding helps connect others to your business, to you. There's this tying correlation between now and people don't get that. You know, people are, uh, Revere branding as some, uh, mythical tactic, arbitrary term, you know, belief and they don't utilize it. And branding helps establish your business and your foundation. And without it, you, you fall short. I mean, and that happens a lot with, with a lot of businesses out there and market is so competitive.

Josh Smith (02:12):

Yeah. I love that. In the mythical, this mythical concept. Do you get the sense with dealing with a lot of the clients that your team deals with that a lot of business owners have a very like limited view, I guess, of branding. And if so, what's that? What does that look like? How do you move them into this broader context that you're positioning?

Nicolas Bosco (02:30):

The biggest thing to think about with a lot of these businesses is their mindset is, well, you know, I am who I am and people will buy into that. And simple as that, it's really not, you know, your brand identity. Isn't what you think of your business. It's what your consumers think of you. Sure. And that's the key thing to take away. It's how you position yourself to them. And a lot of them think, well, you know, I've been around for two years a year and that's good enough. I got a name out there and I do X, Y, and Z. And at that point they think they're comfortable with that. But then it's not, if I

Josh Smith (02:59):

Wrote a book about branding, I get the sense that I would put on the title branding more than just a name. Do you find that that's where a lot of, a lot of business owners think branding kind of stops. It's like, well, I gotta have the perfect name. You mentioned a lot of other things. How your customers feel about your business? Um, what boils into that feeling that develops that brand name?

Nicolas Bosco (03:26):

A good example. Let's take Harley Davidson. Okay. Hire Harley Davidson. What do they do? Make a

Josh Smith (03:31):


Nicolas Bosco (03:32):

Yeah. So get this back in the day they were told they would go extinct that they were going to go out of business because you make motorcycles just like everybody else. They position themselves in a different way. It's not just the name. They built a lifestyle. Yeah. And that's what it comes down. You build this lifestyle. So now you, you have this brand that isn't just selling motorcycles. They sell the lifestyle, you know, it's a good time. Uh, and it's an experience. You have a sense of nostalgia that you're buying. It's like buying a slice of America. Yeah. You know, you now own this piece. Yeah. And that's what it is. And a lot of people like, well, it's just the name. It's not the name. It's what it stands for.

Josh Smith (04:07):

What else? Give me more, I love that. What it stands for interactions with business, come to mind. I just, I just had this thought, does it feed into the interactions that a consumer has with the business? Does that play into the brand as well? Where does the line stop?

Nicolas Bosco (04:23):

It's like the client experience. You've got four steps. So you're building this brand awareness. People don't know they need you, unless you tell them, unless you show them who are you, then it buys into the brand loyalty. You know, you've, you've got this consumer base that wants to buy into you, show them that. So where's the consistency in it. Where is your, uh, reputation into it? What is your product about, you need to know who you're marketing to finding that demographic, building that brand with them and walking, alongside them, not against them, you know, and tying that all back in to what it is. You're about your mission statement is going to build that up. And so with the brand loyalty, you have your brand equity, you are having worth, there's a worth to your name, to your business, to what you stand for. And then at the end it's brand association.

Nicolas Bosco (05:03):

So when I know that I need someone for plumbing or when I need to eat, if it's pizza and I'm craving, I know that, wow, I'm thinking of this. You know, Coca-Cola is a good, you know, you look at them, it's not just the name. It's just so I can buy it. So to anywhere, when I think of Coca-Cola, I start to think of summer nights with friends, I start getting this, feeling, this emotional tie, sharing a Coke with friends. He's a winter nights by the fire. You know, you've got this association now that's with it. And it's tying of an emotional feeling. Yeah. When you do that, I trust you. I'm willing at that point to now pay more because your brand that's worth, how

Josh Smith (05:36):

Important is it to have a strong brand? You're obviously in the marketing space, in the marketing world. Sure. You know, we talk a lot about marketing for businesses. How important is the brand and branding? When it comes to a business's marketing strategy

Nicolas Bosco (05:50):

With the brand itself, you're creating the backbone. People tend to know, you they'll get to know you and help. The Honda in Southern California is a good one. Yeah. It's extremely important. So people start to see a story tied to it. It's just a car. No, they're more than just a car. You know, they have this worth now with it, that shows that they're trustworthy, they're reliable. They help the needy. They help the people that need that help. They makes me feel safe. I feel safe driving in a car while now I want a Honda. And it builds this, this sense that you have the name, the association, you, you go into the spectrum of, well, now I have a company that I can go to and rely on all the time and they will meet every need that I have, you know? And that's what the businesses do they think, well, you know what, I'm just going to drive this business and I know how it's run. Well, you're not buying your business. Your consumers are. And that's the key takeaway. Yeah.

Josh Smith (06:43):

It seems to me that every interaction with the business feeds into the perception and the brand authority. Right? So if you have somebody who's, if you have an employee, for example, who's not representing yourself well, and they're, you know, wearing your, their work shirt out in public and they're not presenting themselves. Well, that's a dim view on the brand. Is that what you find too? When working with these clients, some people who have that kind of the reputation doesn't feed into a positive brand experience when somebody is looking at

Nicolas Bosco (07:10):

Completely. And if you look at it, when you're building a brand, you're not only attracting the consumers, you're attracting the top tiered employees as well. And they don't think about that. Whenever you're looking at a I'm going to go work for a Disney show versus, you know, an off-brand theme park. Well, Disney has got this reputation about it because they built that brand. They built this lifestyle that people want to be a part of. So to the employees, it's a family, a network that they want to be a part of. So now you've got this top tiered employee who wants to work for you. He's got these tools at their fingertips. They can be a part of that. And in turn, now they're going to execute your mission statement to be that top tier employee, to be what your company is about. And that all feeds into it. Because if you know, we'll take a plumber. For example, if you're going to have a tech over to the house and start working on the house and doesn't complete the job the way you want it to be done, I'm not going to go back to them. Yeah. That represents your company. That goes full circle.

Josh Smith (08:01):

Wow. God is so good. You know, this can be a bit of a challenge. I think for a lot of business owners to think about stepping outside the day-to-day and thinking, how do we make that impact for branding? So what advice would you give being in the role that you are and the marketing managers that you deal with that deal with clients. And you're constantly talking with business owners, what steps have you given to business owners that help them develop a good brand?

Nicolas Bosco (08:30):

So there's at least four main factors that need to be looked at. What, what is your company's mission? What is your mission statement? What are you about? Who are you? I don't know who you are. Tell me, show me. Yeah. I want to be a part of what you're a part of. If it's worth it. Next thing to take a look into is what are the benefits and features of your product or service? Sure. What is it you're doing? You know, you need to know first what you're doing so you can execute it to be a part of that mission statement. Next thing to look at is what are your customers and prospects already think of your company? If you already have one know, you know, they think you're worth nothing. That's, what's going to happen. Last one here is like, what qualities do you want them to associate with your company? And that's, that's a key thing, you know, and there's a lot of rebranding. A lot of companies we work to, to go through a rebrand, whether it's in business name or domain name or, um, mission statement. Sure. Yeah. It's, it's huge. Yeah.

Josh Smith (09:16):

What would you say is the number one factor that builds client trust or customer trust? You mentioned trust a lot in that I want to, I'm going to parse that out a little bit. What would you say if you had to pinpoint one thing that is the factor about instilling trust in customers, what would that be?

Nicolas Bosco (09:36):

Consistency. Consistency is the key word that's associated with the trust, whether it's consistency in the job, performance consistency, in what you're saying. One of the biggest things that we say here obviously is say what you're going to do, do it and tell them you did it. Yeah. It's, it's consistency in what you do. Because even if it's simple, as the CEO reaching down to some of the consumers yeah. For having trouble times or having issues and reaching out and being consistent on how you reciprocate, how you talk to them, how you feel and making sure that your employees follow suit and the job performances across all entries. And a lot of ways,

Josh Smith (10:08):

It seems so simple. Doesn't it? But so difficult as with a lot of things,

Nicolas Bosco (10:14):

Branding itself as a change, the change in the thought process. A lot of people nowadays is like, well, I'm going to get online. I've got my brick and mortar, whatever it is. Yeah. I've got it. I've got my name. I'm done. I'm ready to go. No, it's putting them in an uncomfortable zone and it's very time consuming to build this brand because if you're brand new, no one knows you

Josh Smith (10:30):

And you bring up a great point of time consumption how long it can take to develop a brand. I gotta imagine Coca-Cola wasn't Coca-Cola we know today, the first year of business that they had, what's the time factor look like? How does that play into consistency and how, what does that overall effect have on the bottom line of a business?

Nicolas Bosco (10:56):

So there's a lot of factors that will go into that, for sure. I know whether it's, you're in a competitive market where you've got 50 others going against you, or whether you've got two or it's just yourself in this niche market where Hey, this product that I'm doing is just me or 50 other people, you know? So there's that factor, you know, are you the first to do this? And we talk about media mixes too, with the branding. Branding is huge in the media mix. World. Consumers are going from TV to online advertising of YouTube videos, Instagram, Facebook, all of these different social media platforms. People are more consumed with that. So it's pushing your brand out that way. So people know who you are and it's not going to happen overnight. It is very time-consuming, but in the long run, the gain, the worth it'll increase. The bottom line is that the branding will increase your visibility and your profits. Yeah.

Josh Smith (11:40):

How does it do that? Let's talk about the marketing side of that. How does branding affect the marketing aspect and make the overall marketing more effective? Does branding allow you to get more from your marketing? I think that's a, it's an interesting point that a lot of business owners are probably faced with that decision. Like, well, do I even invest in some branding aware

Nicolas Bosco (12:01):

And things like that, a lot of the business owners today are really focused on one thing and what is my ROI? That's what they're focused on. And what we try to do is take them into the bigger picture as a business owner. You need to look at the big picture and let us try to worry about the smaller pictures and break that apart for you. And the big picture is that investing into your brand, the ROI isn't necessarily measurable in a sense of here's what you're getting instantly as an example of like cost per click, PPC, boom, this is what you're getting X amount of leads on average note, your ROI, what you do is over time, you, you know, we project that anywhere from three months to six months to a year, but branding is ongoing and it will not stop because everything around us is changing.

Nicolas Bosco (12:43):

And so do you, you have to grow with it because once you get static, you stop and fall short. So when you come back to this measurable point of branding, what does that look like for me that you start to see a return of lifetime value clients bringing in the new clients is great, but then it's those that come back to you because it's way less expensive to keep the lifetime value client that is to reach out to the new one. It's extremely cheap, you know, but it's, it's obviously they look at well, what's measurable. Is it worth it for me? Ask them why it isn't? What do you think? It's not what, where do you not see the worth and make them think about that? Because it comes down to saying that, yeah, I can measure a 10 X ROI on something versus I'm not sure where I project and how many are come through. But in a year from now, we look back, we're going to see the growth of people that are coming back and trust you and your reputation is building. So,

Josh Smith (13:33):

Yeah, cause that's a reputation builds. I got to imagine that the overall marketing channels, people trust when they see your actual ads, for example, you mentioned PPC or pay per click. You know, those, those ads that are focused on when somebody is looking for a plumber, you show up in that ad converts. But when they see your name and there's a really strong brand association, there it is. I have to imagine that those people immediately trust the brand more. Is that what you see

Nicolas Bosco (14:03):

Performance wise? Oh, totally. And you'll see this a lot too, where, um, you'll have consumers that clicked on an ad. Yeah. I know. We'll take an, a, a plumber for example, and they'll click on an ad and uh, how did you come across us? You know? Yeah. I searched you and I saw you on a billboard, so, okay, great. So there's this offline marketing aspect of building this brand awareness now to show the consumers out there that, Hey, we're here, you've got a leak. We're there for you. Trust us. Okay. Again, when it comes to plumbing, I don't necessarily look at my pipes and go, I wonder how my pipes are doing today. It's more of a, oh geez. I got a leak. I got to take care of it. So then that association happens with it. So the growth is there. The, they tie it back to, oh, they talked about leaks. I've got one. Oh, let me see. Just start to build up this loyalty and this equity of your name. Yeah,

Josh Smith (14:46):

Yeah. Uh, equity. I love that. And he's talking a lot about measurement, which I think is on every business owner's mind. It's like, if I'm going to make this investment, then I need to measure it somehow and identify whether or not I'm getting returns on it. Totally. You know, as with anything, whether it's the stock market or investing in marketing for your business, it's an investment at the end of the day. So what success metrics do you typically look at when evaluating the impact of brand?

Nicolas Bosco (15:11):

So there's multiple areas, obviously with the success metrics to look at. So what we do over time obviously is look at what your costs look like over time. Sure. The amount of people that are start to search for you from an outside source, whether it's a direct link to you, you start to see the cost go down in the long run. When you start tying this branding, you build it up and then your organic presence with your PPC, it all ties in together. So then you start to see a reduction of the cost of cost per lead, at least two times less than what it would be. Wow. Two times it's, you know, holy cow, imagine paying $200 to, you know, something two times less. I'm just saying it's, it's, it's not going to happen overnight. And obviously we want instant gratification. Yeah. But it takes time to build a business. You look at the super bowl commercials, putting this brand association with it. You look at Budweiser, you look at Honda, you know, they went out there and they do this. They don't need to, but they do it because they keep the branding in there. So when I'm ready for it, I remember that's who I'm going to.

Josh Smith (16:06):

Yeah. So it seems like the branding, when it comes to the marketing, at least long-term, it's got the effect of lowering your overall costs. Does leads in a sense, right? How do you go about protecting that? You spend all this time, energy, money into building that brand name. Is there an effective strategy to really protecting that, to make sure competitors don't come in and swoop up all the work that you've done with that brand, by doing brand confusion or having a very, very similar name to you? How, how do you go about that from a marketing perspective?

Nicolas Bosco (16:40):

He's obviously to go with this and when it comes to, uh, in a sense bidding on your name, you know, it's obviously an option and, um, it's keeping that out there. There's a lot of an example would be again, Budweiser beer, beer association, and there's tastes and flavors and everything. So it's, it's, who's the best flavor. Who's the best taste. So we have products and services like plumbers. It's, who's the best service. Who's the best one out there. So when they other competitors and it's going to be a competitive market, no matter what you're doing sure. But when other competitors start to see they're showing up, they're getting the work, they're going to start bidding on your name. They're going to start trying to reciprocate what you're doing, but to stay ahead of the market, we have to have this media mix to really push ourselves in front of that, to be the first, to do these things, you know, having this way of standing out in front of them.

Josh Smith (17:22):

Let's talk a little bit about client experience. Sure. I'm gonna pivot over to that way, because it seems to me that client experience, he mentioned it a few times about just what you're doing to instill trust, build reputation, rapport with your clients. What is it? And why does it make

Nicolas Bosco (17:36):

Better client experience is huge. From the first time they meet you to the last time they're going to interact with you. It's huge. And this client experience goes back to the four steps, the brand awareness, the loyalty, the equity and association. Okay. So once you, you start building this, um, experience of, of interacting with your clients from the first phone call for the first job that's being done conducted the followups. It's huge because I remember how I interacted with you. I will remember. And you're known for what you don't do, not for what you do. So if you didn't do something in a way that should have been taken care of, I'm going to remember that. And I will make sure that everybody else

Josh Smith (18:10):

Knows. Can you repeat that again? Cause that was just to show

Nicolas Bosco (18:14):

You are known for what you don't do, not for what you do. Wow.

Josh Smith (18:17):

So that's heavy.

Nicolas Bosco (18:18):

You always gotta be on your end game, a game for any business you have to be. And this client experience is not only the way we interact with them, the way that businesses associate themselves, the way they can relate to them. You know, if I have someone that was in a sense, kind of going through the same struggles, whether it's life or just how I deal with things and they can just talk to me about it and get down on a level. That makes sense. And I'm not saying we need to get an emotional, I

Josh Smith (18:41):

Don't know we could cry over there,

Nicolas Bosco (18:44):

But it's, it's that correlation that tie that bond that these businesses says, look, the typical engineer as a plumber is like, oh yeah, I'm a mom and pop shop and family owned well, okay. But what makes you different? Yeah. And how can you relate to me about that? Because that's how I'm going to perceive you. This client experience the whole interaction. That's what's going to matter.

Josh Smith (19:03):

Oh man, you tie this up with a really fancy bow here, because you mentioned at the beginning talking about, about brand, about the experience, about the brand story, uh, how it makes people feel. I just got emotional talking about emotions here, and it seems that there's this, there's this emotional connection that businesses create with their clients that can't really be ignored. No. And how vital is that to client acquisition, getting more clients and then keeping clients in the long haul.

Nicolas Bosco (19:38):

It's huge. You're a trusted brand. People know you, you know, when I can relate to you and it will take again, Harley Davidson, for example, it's this lifestyle, you know, you're out with friends, you're bonding over this similarity that we all have in the business has with us. This business says, look, we're a lifestyle. We're a way for you to travel America and take us with you. You know, this is it. This is who you want to be. You've gotten out all these people that want to be a part of that. And they remember that it's a huge factor. And you build this trust of the interactions that you can have down the road with them. It's longterm. Gosh.

Josh Smith (20:08):

So good. What would be the biggest piece of advice? Do you think that to give a new business, just starting out, let's say, um, it hasn't really thought about this much, no brand equity, nothing like that. How would you advise them or coach them in terms of the direction they should go from a branding perspective

Nicolas Bosco (20:25):

First and foremost, we gotta be real. The reality of the situation is you are not going to be the next let's take Harley Davidson again. For example, if you're brand new, Josh's motorcycles coming up here, brand X.

Josh Smith (20:39):


Nicolas Bosco (20:40):

And they're all red pants all over and stuff,

Josh Smith (20:43):

Going to be red, red motorcycles. So you know, you, you,

Nicolas Bosco (20:47):

The reality, the situations you are not going to be like Harley Davidson. Yeah. No way. It's not going to happen. So how

Josh Smith (20:54):

Does that business make an

Nicolas Bosco (20:55):

Impact? So the first thing you need to do is, again, going back to those four questions, what's your mission statement? Why did you even want to do this? Yeah, let's

Josh Smith (21:02):

Talk about that. Let's get existential. Why do you exist?

Nicolas Bosco (21:06):

But once you figure out, then they start to realize like, okay, well I got into the business of plumbing because my dad was a tradesman. He did this as a trade and he loved it and I just wanted to start my own and be like him. Okay. Well, let's talk about that a little bit. Dive into that and keep in mind again. It's going to take some time and by time, I mean more than at least six months, more than a year to build up for people to know who you are because they don't trust you yet. If you were to go down to some random person's house that was selling pizza, do you trust them? If I said pizza, you're gonna call them. Probably, you know, it's this brand association, but I don't. I have to trust you. I have to buy into you. Yeah. I'm going to think and perceive of you the way you want me to.

Josh Smith (21:46):

So in summary, know who you are, correct. Do some soul searching, know who you are. Why are you different? What truly sets you apart? Who's your target audience? How are you catering a custom, completely unique experience to your customers and do that consistently? Am I missing anything

Nicolas Bosco (22:10):

Consistent? Yeah. You gotta be consistent to be consistent and not realize that this is not going to happen overnight a hundred years. You have to remember that, but in the long run, this is going to benefit you and everyone that works with you shoot all that.

Josh Smith (22:22):

I'm going to go start a business right now at Bosco. This has been awesome. I can't, there's so many light bulbs and fireworks going off in my brain right now. Um, you you've provided some incredible insight. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Nicolas Bosco (22:34):

Having me come here. This has been phenomenal. This is great. I love this. This is awesome,

Josh Smith (22:38):

But we'll have to get you back in and we'll do follow-up on branding stuff. A lot of other topics. This has been awesome. I love all the valuable insight. Thank you, our listeners. Thank you. I'm sure. Thank you everybody. Um, so thank you again for everybody listening. If you enjoyed this content, definitely pound those subscribe buttons, wherever you're at wherever you might be location-wise and platform wise, and that we're going to continue to dish out more marketing goodness for you from Bosco and myself in the booth. And we'll catch you next time. Thanks guys.

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