Branding Your Detailing Business
Updated: Apr 9, 2022
Branding is at the core of your marketing strategy, so branding must come first. Even if you are a startup, it is essential to clearly define who you are as a brand before you begin to devise your specific marketing methods, tools, strategies, and tactics. I don't see or hear a lot of talk on this subject so here I am. There are different levels of branding and we will go over some of the things you can do to help your detailing business stand out from the others. My motto on this subject is, don't worry about being better, focus on being different.
Name Your Business and Come up With a Slogan
Thank You Cards
Before & After Photos and Video Production
Work Uniform & Everyday Shirts
Enclosed Trailer or Work Vehicle Wraps
Work Canopies and Event Canopies
These are all things you need to have to brand your business successfully. The goal is to look as professional as possible right from the gate. The only thing is, if you do not know graphic design and you're not a very creative person, how do you go about achieving this? Many people will try to do it themselves. The only problem with that is, if you're not well versed in graphic design, it will most likely fall short of looking professional and that can be a serious problem. Personally and lucky for me, I spent years in Adobe Photoshop, Premiere Pro, and other programs before I started my detailing business. I was able to brand NitPickin Mobile Detailing on my own but I will not be getting into all of that today. My goal today is to help you understand branding.
Name Your Business & Come up With a Slogan
Let's start with the Name of Your Business and the Slogan. Short story.
When I started thinking about building a new detailing business, the first thing that came to mind was NitPickin Mobile Detailing. That name rang a bell for me because people have always said I take too long that I nitpick too much with everything I do. So then I started to think about a slogan. I woke up one morning and We Don't Cut Corners, We NitPickem popped in my head. Boom, I got my slogan and a motto that feels natural for who I am. NitPickin Mobile Detailing - We Don't Cut Corners, We NitPickem. I wanted to make 100% certain I was the only one with this name and slogan. So I did some extensive internet research and sure enough, its 100% original. Now I own it! Anyhow,
The name of your business should be as catchy and unique as possible. It should be a name people won't forget. Most people in the detailing industry use their names like Tom's Mobile Detailing or something along those lines. I did that back in 2007. That's fine and dandy, and you should do what feels right in your heart. Just note that you should try not to choose a name that fits in with everyone else. If you must use your name, your branding will still need to be just as steller as if you created a name from scratch such as NitPickin Mobile Detailing, EZN Detailing, or Detail Bookie. Your name (Walt's Mobile Detailing) can work if you brand it right! Just make certain you are 100% sure about the name of your business because it is not a good idea to change it later on down the road for obvious reasons.
Now that you have the name of your business, let's talk about the colors you chose to represent your business. The colors are just as important as your name. Colors have meaning and can provide a particular vibe for your business. For NitPickin, I chose Red, Black, White & Gray simply because those are colors I enjoy working with and I can create graphics nicely around them. My uniforms match, my business cards and all other graphic materials all match, my truck matches, my enclosed trailer matches, and even most of my tools match my business's color scheme. All of your branding should be wrapped around your choice of colors.
For example, take a look at my website www.nitpickindetailing.com to see how I've used my colors to tie everything together. Notice I use other colors that are not part of my business's color scheme in order to make certain things stand out.
For example on my home page, yellow is a color of caution so I chose yellow to highlight our Ozone Treatment. (Note: This is a screenshot of my old website that no longer exists.)
Try to use the everyday meaning of colors as needed when designing your website. Sometimes it doesn't matter though. Just be thoughtful on the matter! Colors are important.
Your business's logo is just as important as the color scheme you chose. How your logo looks should be easy to read, have shapes and use some if not all of the colors in your business's color scheme. I did some internet research on about ten other detailing businesses from all over the United States to see how their logos looked. I found that most detail company's logos looked very similar to each other. I refuse to look similar to everyone else. Although in the very beginning my logo looked like everyone else's but down the road, I re-branded my logo design. It's probably best to just look different right off the bat.
For example, take a look at this NitPickin logo.
Notice it matches my color scheme with the red and gray colors. I use this logo on the back window of my truck. It fills in the entire window perfectly. I use it in many other places as well.
Even though it looks great on the back window of my truck, it looks terrible in other places such as a Facebook profile photo. So I have two styles of logos. One is rectangular and the other is circular. I know, it's been told that we should only have one logo, or else it could be confusing to the public. They may think it's two different businesses if they keep seeing two different logos going around. I chose to ignore that statement for now.
Here is how my circular logo looks as a Facebook profile photo. Now imagine putting the rectangular logo as a FB profile photo, you would be able to read it and it would look terrible. Notice the other logo is in the cover photo. lol I use both. Also, notice I have two slogans, Raise Your Standards With Us - NitPickin Mobile Detailing - We Don't Cut Corners, We NitPickem.
If you're not a DIY graphic guy or gal, try these folks out at www.brandingdail.com. They do fantastic work and they are impressively affordable. They have graphic packages that can get you started off in the right direction!
This is a subject that should be taken seriously. A great website will land you work and help keep people coming back. On the other hand, a bad website will run people off and they will never return. A good website makes you money and a bad website will make you lose money.
Think of your website as a piece of real estate that all of your customers and potential customers will visit when they need something from you. It's your storefront and you want it to look and function as good as possible.
First, let's note that I use wix.com. I currently pay around $200 a year for everything I have tied to my website. I started with a blank website but they have templates you can start from as well. I have had zero issues with Wix and I fully recommend them. They are user-friendly and they have an SEO wizard to help you get through the headache of setting up your SEO. It's a step-by-step process.
Building a great functioning website is no easy task for your average joe. In most cases, new detail business owners will attempt to build their own website for one or both of these reasons. One being they do not know who to contact for building their professional website or they do not have the funds to pay a professional. Some people even think a website is not necessary. It is absolutely necessary. I say if you do not know how to build a functional website, you need to have the funds to pay a professional or you are not ready to start your business. A website like mine would cost around $5,000 - $6,000 if I were to pay a professional but you can easily spend $10k. Essentially, you should have a fully functional website before you launch your business. If you are serious about your business but have no clue how to do any of that stuff and you want a professional website, take a look at these guys' Detailers Roadmap. They have monthly programs for different budgets.
Your detailing website should include at least these 5 tabs, a Home page, an Estimates & Booking page, a Gallery page, an About page, and a Contact page. All of which should have your branding.
Feel free to look over my website to see how I have it set up. I get a lot of compliments on it. Pay attention to the wording, the photos, the graphics, the videos, and just how I have it all laid out www.nitpickindetailing.com I'm not saying I have the best website in the detailing industry but I will humbly say it does make us money and we always get compliments from our customers as being the best detailing website they have ever seen which is why I figure its a decent example for you guys to take notes from.
Moving on, your logos should be all over your website. You should have a book now or get estimate buttons at every corner. Your phone number should be in plenty of places as well. The photos you use should be yours and not stolen from other websites but if you have to start with paid stock photos that's fine just plan on adding your own photos later. If you suck at taking photos then hire a professional photographer to go to work with you for one or two days. Yes, that can be expensive but it's worth it. You need to have photos of yourself and whoever works for you on your website and those should be professional portraits. People like to see who they are hiring. It can build trust right away. Your before and after photos and any photo you took that you use for your business should have your logo placed on them in post edit so no one else can use them. Use my website as a reference www.nitpickindetailing.com The literature on your website should be written by you and you should use proper grammar. If you are not good at writing, look into www.grammarly.com it will help you. If you copy and paste other people's literature from their website to yours, Google will now and it will hurt your ranking on search engines. Don't be scared to be yourself when you are writing for your website. Just keep in mind how people will perceive what you're saying by how you're saying it. Always be informative, straight to the point, and always be positive. Never ever be negative or insulting.
Quick Under The Hood Website Tip