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Rohan

How to Launch a Million Dollar Business in 27 Days -Day 8: Branding & Consistency

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The internet is just like real life. If you’re good looking you’ll get more breaks…

This is Day 8 in our Zero to Launch in 27 Day series. Yesterday you learned that you don’t need to be a professional to write amazing copy.

So today we’ll start to take some action and figure out our website design and the general look and feel we’re trying to convey.

But before we get moving, here’s a word of caution for the “Launch with an MVP” folks.

Minimum Viable Product is Flawed

At its core, launching with an MVP is a great idea: Launch quickly and get out the gate with as little effort as possible.

Sounds great! But often folks take this concept to heart and end up with something that looks like this…

Screenshot 2015-09-21 13.30.15

Of course nobody buys it, and then the natural conclusion is “there must not be a market for pizza”!

This is a fatal mistake that I see a lot of folks make and is really the same mistake folks often make with their websites when they are in MVP mode.

Let’s be real for a second: Nobody is going to enter their credit card into the shitty $35 wordpress theme you hacked together overnight!

We’re in it to win. So we launch with a cohesively branded website that connect with our customers from day one! MVP or not!

Launch with a solid brand instead

Launching with great design/branding makes it much easier to gain traction since websites at the local level are usually pretty bad.

We can come on the scene and start making waves right out the gate!

Screenshot 2015-09-21 13.44.46

By the time we launch if we don’t have one of the BEST websites in our market, we go back to the drawing board. Our goal is to set ourselves up to dominate!

Good branding evokes emotion

We want to evoke emotion baby! Action, trust, fun, fresh, weird, fast, high-quality, ingenuity, friendliness…something!!!

Screenshot 2015-09-11 15.43.52

 

No matter what, your branding has to leave the customer with some type of emotion. Lousy branding either misses the emotion altogether or elicits the wrong one for the product/service you’re selling.

How your customer perceives you will be the most important predictor of your success!  Here is how we drive those perceptions
Our Domain and logo

So with everything we do, we focus on keeping things simple.  In choosing a domain name we have to remember that there are two constituents:

Google and Human Beings

We considered both when choosing the domain name,  Lawn Tribe.

We went with “Lawn” (to make it explicit what the business is about and for a little marginal help with SEO) and Tribe (to create a sense of belonging and community for our visitors).

Screenshot 2015-09-21 14.45.59

Pretty straightforward stuff, simple, easy to pronounce, and ending in dot com.  I personally stay away from any fancy domain extensions like .io or even things like .net.  For us, it’s dot com or nothing!

As for the logo, again, simple text with a little bit of flare and we’re good to go.

Quick Note: I stay away from getting logos designed before the website is done. This is how most folks approach it but in my opinion it’s a terrible idea.  For me a logo should be a simple afterthought that is more like a period that completes a sentence (your website) rather than something that you put effort into to evoke some emotion.

The website should drive the logo, not the other way around!

Color Choices

I’m a fan of meeting people where they are.  And for lawn care, people are going to expect green, so we give them green.

Screenshot 2015-09-21 14.47.20

Colors should speak to your demographic and connect with them in a predictable way. So simple green hues for lawncare with a few browns and other shades for highlights.

Happy Human Faces

Quick! When was the last time you felt a personal connection with a shovel?

People connect with people. Not with lawnmowers or shovels.  So we make sure to show multiple people enjoying our product, happy after enjoying it, or performing the service.

Screenshot 2015-09-21 14.48.40

We never ever launch a website without several pictures of happy human beings on the homepage.

Sophisticated Internet Startup Feel

Our audience will be younger millennials and more web savvy folks that get the allure of instant online booking. So we make sure we connect with them by showing the mobile friendliness of our website.

Screenshot 2015-09-21 14.49.59

Even if we do not have a mobile app, we will end up keeping the mobile friendly theme so folks know that we’re a more web savvy company than they might expect with a lawncare provider.

Unique value proposition

For us, we’re going with super simple online booking at a flat rate per hour.  Very easy to understand.

Screenshot 2015-09-21 14.53.25

At the end of the day we’re going to be among the less than 1% of companies that offer this type of instant online service, so we spell it out instantly as soon as the visitor gets to the website and lead them down our funnel to schedule service.

Branding Consistency throughout social media

Last but not least, we’re careful to make sure our branding extends past our website and to all of our social media platforms.

Screenshot 2015-09-21 14.58.43

The goal is a cohesive look and feel on our website, Twitter, Facebook, and any other outpost we use to drive traffic.

So that’s about it, not super difficult stuff, but this is a very important day to figure out so we set ourselves up to win!

Spend some time getting your branding and look and feel right and it will pay off down the road in spades.

For all of my service-based businesses, I do the following:

  • I use my logo on all social media sites and have the banners and profile photos look like my site
  • I use the EXACT same colors on business cards, flyers, tshirts, etc.
  • I use the same tone and style of communication on my site as I do on social media and everywhere else (including the phone).

Although you may be thinking that this is pretty straightforward, it’s actually something that a lot of your competition don’t do.

Consistent branding throughout is how the sophisticated marketing folks do it.

And it takes just a few moments for us regular folks to pull it off too. 🙂

What Happens Tomorrow

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Okay tomorrow we’re going to chat about how we use traditional e-commerce strategies at the local level to further differentiate ourselves.

If you have any questions at all, please leave a comment below. I respond to 100% of them.

Chat soon!

Tools and resources: You can skip the worries about branding and go here for great themes that are ready to go.

 



Rohan

Rohan Gilkes is the CEO & Co-Founder of Groove Living Startups, LawnTribe, Launch27, and WetShaveClub. He loves building stuff that matters and crushing fools in table tennis! :-)

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