Kenny Lindsay of American Eagle Auction Co., Livonia, Mich., says he often gets razzed by friends in the business about his obsession with branding.
“The first thing you need to do is work on your branding and marketing,” he says. “The main reason people go out of business is they don’t know how to market their company. Twenty percent of all our proceeds go into marketing. You have to keep turning the soil.”
For Lindsay, that means getting the American Eagle name out there whenever and wherever he can. It’s his theory that a brand name won’t stick in potential customers’ minds until they see it at least three times.
He has at least two dozen polo shirts with his company’s name on them. He’s never seen without one on, and there’s often an American Eagle-branded cap to go with it.
Ryan George of Biplane Productions, Lynchburg, Va., also has what he refers to unapologetically as a “sweet ride” — a Mini Cooper wrapped with an eye-popping logo and graphics. So sweet, the Discovery Channel highlighted it in a piece on vehicle wraps.
But if the rest of George’s marketing — and the work that stands behind it — isn’t equally sweet, the Biplane brand would be running on fumes, George says.
“The main thing to keep in mind is, consistency is more important than creativity,” George says, outlining his branding philosophy. “I see a lot of Auctioneers who have a good brochure, but the rest of their stuff comes off a copier, or looks like it does.”