Last time in our conversation about creating a brand, we touched on creating a vision, mission statement and values that clearly define your company. We talked about the importance of how having a clear vision can help you stay on track when difficulties come your way. Also, by knowing without a shadow of a doubt what you value as a company- you have a clear road map to achieve your goals. If you work in a similar industry, either as a cedar supply company or you are a contractor- you may not think to define your brand. However, it is vital to the success of your business and will help you immensely in the long run.
Using RMFP as an example, let’s recap where we have come so far.
Creating a Brand: Vision
It’s more than just a mission statement, it’s who you are at your core. For RMFP our vision is “Building Relationships”.
Creating a Brand: Mission Statement
Our mission statement is what we will do, given who we are in our DNA (Building Relationships). For us, our mission statement is “To become the best building materials supplier possible, by doing the right thing”.
Creating a Brand: Values
Values are how we will achieve our mission statement, which in turn allows us to complete our vision. Our 5 core values are:
- Be Human
Go back to Part 1 of this series to learn more in depth what these values mean to RMFP.
Now that we have recapped where we started in our brand pyramid, let’s move forward onto defining our audience for our cedar supply company.
Creating a Brand: Define Your Audience
For each company in every market, your target audience will be different. Some companies may only want to reach homeowners, some only contractors, or some want to reach a specific niche within their industry. For RMFP, we have identified these 3 main target audiences for which we cater our brand to.
The first target audience that we have are homeowners. In the past, homeowners may not have been able to purchase their cedar supply directly from a company like us. By taking out the middleman and selling mill direct to the consumer, we have opened up a group of people that are able to buy from us. How we relate to our homeowners is different than how we relate to our contractors, and vice versa. As we get into our content strategy, you will see how different types of content are geared specifically towards homeowners with a specific purpose in mind. While homeowners are still interested in the technical aspects of the products we provide, most of them need to know the basic information about why a certain product works better than another and what the prices points are for all of their options.
Contractors, Land Developers, Real Estate
The next target audience that we have with RMFP are contractors, land developers and real estate professionals. This group of people will have more technical content provided to them for a couple of different reasons. We want to be a knowledgeable resource for these types of clients. We want to know all of the latest requirements and building codes and know what is the best type of material for the job. We aim to be an extension of every company we work with in terms of knowledge, fast quotes and reliable cedar supply and delivery of products.
Interior/Exterior Designers and Architects
Our final target audience group are interior/exterior designers and architects. These people are the ones that will get our products spec’d in home and commercial project designs. Our goal with this type of client is to provide them with a plethora of information so they can make an educated decision. We will tell them the best type of decking to use, given the sun exposure and climate of a new build they are designing. We also want them to know, that as a mill direct company, we are able to order hard to find products like Aspen Tongue and Groove, special siding products and fire treated plywood. Basically anything the project calls for, we want to be their first point of contact because they trust us as a reliable resource to assist them in their designs.
We are now at the bottom of the pyramid, where our actual content is. We call this our “Show”. Every piece of content, whether it be video, photo, or blog must work it’s way up the brand pyramid. If we post a graphic about “Cedar Decking- Resistant to Rot and Decay, Lasts 20+ Years” we want to make sure we are hitting multiple touch points on our pyramid. This type of graphic would resonate with all 3 audiences, it shows that we care about offering a high quality product, we are knowledgeable about the benefits of cedar and we are doing it in a transparent way to our customers.
We also may post a clip from our Podcast, The Mill, discussing the importance of asking the right questions in a sales scenario. This probably doesn’t resonate with our homeowner audience (unless they work in sales), it may or may not matter to our designers and architects but it does matter to our contractors, land developers and real estate professionals. We are utilizing the values of integrity, transparency, being human and sharing knowledge. So this type of content works for our brand.
There are several other examples that we could run through our brand pyramid to make sure we are “on brand”, but you get the idea. The final step to our brand pyramid is knowing which type of content belongs on which type of platform. Some content does better on Facebook than it does on LinkedIn, and some content is specifically tailored for distribution on Instagram. It really depends on the content type and audience we are trying to reach.
Hopefully this guide has been helpful in starting to think about creating a brand in a cedar supply company. We are here to help, so do not hesitate to reach out with any questions!
For more information on creating a brand, and if you would like to learn more about how we here at RMFP created and handle our brand, check out our videos here: