by Nick Gromicko, CMI®, InterNACHI Founder,
Levi Nelson, InterNACHI Graphic Design & Illustrator
and Kate Tarasenko, InterNACHI Editor-in-Chief
Every business--large and small--needs branding in order to compete on a professional level. Just because you, as a home inspector, offer straightforward services that you may think require no introduction, it doesn't mean that you should neglect marketing those services. Even if you're in the rare and enviable position of being the only home inspector in your service area, all it takes is one competitor to change your financial outlook. The quality of your marketing, which is your brand at work, will largely determine whether your phone rings. And your brand starts with your logo.
What's a Logo, and What Makes a Good One?
A logo is defined as a symbol or graphic representation of a company, which has been custom-designed for easy recognition. A logo is not a tiny picture that shows people what you do. It's an image that implies that your services are unique and that what you bring to the job is different than what someone else will. The only goal of a logo (or any branding) is to be remembered and associated with quality.
When competing with other businesses that offer the same services, however, it's easy to fall into the trap of adopting graphical characteristics for your logo that are similar to your competitors'. This can be called logo camouflage. A predictable logo makes your company blend in to a sea of similar logos. In the same way that similar colors are designed to blend into the background, a roof-over-text logo will make you look like "another one of those."
Since branding (including logo design) is almost entirely ignored in the inspection industry, you barely have to do anything to stand out. Just by avoiding using a triangle or roof or "Monopoly" game house over text, you are already different than more than half of the inspection industry.
But why settle for something that's merely good enough? Your logo is likely the first impression you'll make to prospective clients and others wherever it appears. So, it should be something that makes you feel confident and proud to have it represent your good name and business.
Your Logo Works Hard So You Don't Have To
For those who claim that they don't have the time to invest in branding, think of time as money. When it comes to branding, InterNACHI Founder Nick Gromicko says that claiming not to have enough time for branding is the same as saying, "I don't have time to make money." But a good logo does a lot of this work for you.
Your logo serves as the visual anchor for your business card, brochure, work shirts, work vehicle, and more. When you have a great logo, the rest of your marketing falls into place.
A logo is the most effective type of passive marketing because it makes its impression both while you're working and while you're not. Depending on where you use it (embroidered on a work shirt or ball cap, on a magnetic vehicle decal, etc.), your logo is establishing your brand in the minds of others when you're getting coffee, talking with people on the street, making a purchase at the hardware store, etc. Your logo is you.
And the first bullet point in "The Brand Called You" is that you are different. Differentiation is the ability to be seen as new and original, and it's the most important aspect of personal branding.
How to Get Started
When you take advantage of your InterNACHI member benefit of having your marketing designed by InterNACHI's Design Team for free, you're leaving the heavy lifting to us. But you need to consider some preliminary questions that will help us create an effective and unique logo for you.
Here are some questions we'll ask you:
- Think about your company name. Does it tie easily to an image? Has it been over-used in the inspection industry?
- What are your interests?
- What makes your services unique?
What Are You Waiting For?
InterNACHI provides marketing design services as a free benefit for all its members. You can have a custom logo, brochure, business card, and more designed just for you. (Click here to get a free quote for a custom, search engine-optimized website for your inspection company that actually brings in inspection business.) See what we’ve done for other members at InterNACHI's Inspector Marketing Library and InterNACHI's Inspector Marketing Department page, and order your custom print marketing materials today. Email Jessica Langer, InterNACHI's Director of Inspector Marketing, at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions and orders.
But don't just take our word for it...
I had an inspection last weekend and [the client] had found me on the InterNACHI site. There are only a few of us in my area. I asked him why he chose me over the others. He said--and I quote--"I liked your logo."