Sure-Dry Basements can fix cracked basements and foundations, but it has learned that it can also shore up its company’s brand and reputation as well. And that’s important for a company that can’t rely on repeat business – especially if it does the job well.
In just one year (2012-13), Sure-Dry of Menasha, which serves 34 counties in Northeast and Central Wisconsin, showed a 60 percent increase in sales and a 43 percent increase in lead generation, according to Sure-Dry Marketing Coordinator Ryan Weyers. Already this year, its commercial division, Foundation Supportworks of Wisconsin, has nearly reached its revenue goal of $600,000, with $1 million in sight – with no marketing dollars spent outside of networking.
“It’s all coming together, and it’s showing this year,” says Weyers.
Sure-Dry attributes this success to a combination of factors, not least of all strengthening its marketing/brand campaign “All Things Basementy,” which features company president Doug Newhouse. The slogan was patented by Basement Systems, the national company that produces the water control products Sure-Dry uses, although the Menasha company, around since 1994, is independent and family-owned.
“We wanted to work on our rebranding, our image,” says Weyers. That campaign slogan and Newhouse’s image was extended to direct mail campaigns and online promotions.
“I think people recognized us. We wanted to make something that was distinct and memorable, what we’re seeing this year with the rebranding strategy,” says Weyers. “If you look at just keyword searches, 43 percent of our leads come from the Internet.
“The stuff we have tested has a good click-through rate,” he adds. “We’re looking at how that converts into new leads.”
The company’s search engine optimization has also improved. Sure-Dry has also seen four-fold growth of direct brand search traffic through the Internet.
“We definitely wanted to be one of the first up there,” Weyers says. “We continuously update our website with fresh materials.”
With the weakening of traditional marketing strategies like the Yellow Pages and, to some extent, home shows, channeling more efforts into online and mobile promotion is a priority, Weyers says. While Sure-Dry still attends about 16 home shows a year and partners with Midwest Restoration, finding new clients is different than it was even five years ago, he says.
“We can’t really wait for people to come to us,” he says. “It’s more challenging getting leads in the pipeline to your business. Homeowners are getting younger. We have to reach them where they are.”
Facebook is an avenue the company is getting more into, Weyers says. That’s especially important, he notes, because many of Sure-Dry’s customers are first-time or one-time customers. The company also invites clients to post reviews of their service on social media.
“Eighty percent of our Web visitors are new visitors,” he says. “We try to focus and highlight who we are as a company, and let homeowners know what we are doing in the community.”
Having a socially conscious and involved company is important to many of today’s younger consumers. That’s why Sure-Dry gets involved in Make-a-Wish golf outings, Toys for Tots campaigns and even sponsors a Menasha youth soccer tournament.
“It comes down to being an ethical company,” Weyers says. “We realize that people give back to us by hiring us. We just see it’s important to give back to the community.”
Sure-Dry’s branding and marketing efforts landed it a 2012 Exemplary Marketing and/or Performance Award from the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce, competing against some major local brands.
According to an email from Susan Vanden Heuvel, director of events and sponsorships for the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce, “the award acknowledges an organization who has taken risks around their marketing and promotional practices that has ultimately improved revenue, communication, customer relationships, market share or visibility.”
Sure-Dry also received the Better Business Bureau’s Ethics and Torch Award, being named honorable mention in 2011 and runner-up in 2012.
In addition to brand support, Sure-Dry also has expanded its offerings to include basement finishing and concrete lifting “to not only strategize what can help propel us through the winter months, but also to add services to make jobs more of a complete package in one stop,” Weyers says.
Branding, generating new leads and offering new products is essential to a company that relies primarily on word-of-mouth — and often bad weather — to succeed. And that may take a bit of an investment, Weyers says.
“You probably have to spend a little more money up front to get new customers. When you look at word-of-mouth, it’s very important that our crews understand how to take care of a customer.”