I watched a really interesting programme on 4OD last night, using the Pimlico Plumbing group as a guinea pig in a new salary initiative.
The thrust of the show was that by revealing your salary to your co-workers, you would create an environment of equality, trust and respect. That in itself was a very interesting exercise but what really struck me was the strength of the brand that they have built.
I have been working with brands for a fair while and it is fair to say I think we become a little blindsided to the reality of how brands work for most consumers. We take it for granted that people get brands, and that they find them interesting and valuable things. When you step outside of FMCG however, you start to see things from a new perspective. Rather than being inundated with brands as we are in the supermarket, in some sectors they are the rarity rather than the norm. This makes it blindingly obvious when businesses like Pimlico Plumbers do so well.
First and foremost, they give people confidence to choose quickly. Most people don’t want the hassle of shopping around, but equally in a field where they maybe lack expertise, neither do they want a cowboy. This is a conundrum that the Pimlico brand has solved perfectly.
It requires stature to pull it off, and it requires all the classic things that brands do best:
- An identifiable icon/identity – something that becomes the short-cut to the brand experience
- Presence – having a clearly visible presence on their livery, in their advertising on radio and sponsorship of charitable events
- Delivery – what became clear on last nights programme was that they really delivered, there was a consistency of response from the call centre and that was delivered through to the service itself.
This builds loyalty and it helps build repetitive behaviour. We need the same in the supermarket environment. Consumers are sticklers for a habit that gets them in and out quickly. Nothing does that better than a brand that is clearly visible and delivers on the promised experience.