I am thinking about starting a laundry delivery service……do I need to focus on my brand?
The short answer is YES and here’s why:
The number one reason is that laundry is personal to people. Regardless of what you think of your wardrobe, the majority of your delivery customers like to look nice and have nice clothing. People have a personal attachment to clothing. How many times have you heard someone say “those are my favorite pair of jeans”. Additionally, people want their laundry done exactly how they do it at home. If you are unable to give this level of service it will be hard to build a large, profitable delivery business.
So how does this relate to branding?
We believe the presentation of your brand is the first important step in getting customers comfortable with your business. People do not make the decision to outsource the laundry chore lightly, but when they do, they are going to choose a company that presents well. Since your website provides the first impression, it is important that it flows well and represents you and your business correctly.
Can’t I just use my laundromat brand?
You certainly can, but we recommend that you create a separate brand because you are marketing to a different demographic. There is a reason expert marketers have different brands for different demographics. Think of the car industry, Ford makes the Taurus and the luxury brand Lincoln. General Motors brands include Buick and the luxury brand Cadillac. Even in our own industry, Alliance is the manufacture of both the Primus, Huebsch, and the Speed Queen lines of washers.
The same is true for your delivery business and your laundromat. Your delivery customers are a different demographic from your laundromat customer and they are searching for a laundry service not a laundromat. It is also important to note that many laundry service customers might have a negative impression of the laundromat industry in general and they might have concerns about outsourcing their laundry to a laundromat. Furthermore, you do not want a negative event or review from a disgruntled laundromat customer effecting your delivery brand. If you do your branding correctly, many of your customers will not even know that there is common ownership between your delivery business and a local laundromat. Our local laundromat is called Lighthouse Laundromat and our delivery business is called HappyNest.
Besides the website, what other opportunities do you see for branding?
There are many…one of the best branding opportunity is your delivery vehicle. Your delivery vehicle becomes a mobile billboard when it is driving around providing service. It is important to keep this vehicle clean and dent free because if not, you are hurting your brand. Do you think someone would hesitate to sign up for laundry service if the Company delivery vehicle is dirty and rusting out? It amazes me how many inquiry calls we get about our laundry service from someone who is behind our vehicle at a stop light.
We also have basic uniforms for our drivers. Once again, someone getting out of a branded vehicle wearing a branded shirt is creating an image we want to promote. If our drivers decide to wear a winter hat of baseball cap in the summer, it is going to be our branded hat. A company that does this well is UPS. I don’t think I have ever seen a dirty UPS truck or a driver that was not in their standard brown uniform, have you? Branding laundry bags and having branded stickers placed on returning clean laundry bags is another branding opportunity.
Other branding opportunities include using a Company email address (email@example.com) and having your voicemail set up with a personal greeting identifying your company. We also make a point to make sure all email correspondence to our customers is in a branded template.
While the opportunities are many, the key is to make sure your brand is always used correctly. You want to have brand consistency in terms of colors, fonts and layouts.
If you want to discuss branding in more detail, please do not hesitate to reach out. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Look forward to connecting.