How Contractors Can Stand Out From the Crowd

Creative signs in interesting shapes, and with interesting designs, will catch people’s eyes and help you build brand awareness that will lead to increased job opportunities.

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Editor’s Note: The following article is brought to you by StickerYou in partnership with

You certainly know what sets you apart from other contractors, but you might be surprised that many consumers view contractors as interchangeable. They might ask neighbors for recommendations, or use an online directory like Yelp to scour reviews and find a highly rated option… but they’re not necessarily looking for a particular contractor to do the job. They just want the best option available.

This is a problem rooted in the way contractors brand themselves, or, more accurately, the way they fail to brand themselves. Many contractors simply use their own names for their businesses, which is understandable but not necessarily memorable to the consumer. Contractor logos, if they even have one, tend to look alike as well - maybe it’s the business name underneath the roof of a house, or next to an icon of a wrench. And while all of this is straightforward and makes sense (if you fix roofs, why wouldn’t you have a roof on your business logo?) when everyone is doing it, it doesn’t stand out.

Even the physical signs contractors use to advertise their services tend to look alike: squares or rectangles, with a name or logo and some sort of contact info. And while changing your business name is probably a non-starter, and changing your logo is a time-consuming process, changing the shape of your signs is easy and effective in helping you stand out. Creative signs in interesting shapes, and with interesting designs, will catch people’s eyes and help you build brand awareness that will lead to increased job opportunities. The next time someone needs some work done on their house, they’ll think about “the contractor with those signs” before they think about anyone else. That’s the power of good branding.

Lawn Sign Visuals 03 Landscaping 720 Sq 20210714185118 0And it’s easy to do. Signs tend to all be square because of the costs involved in creating custom die-cuts. There’s the price of creating the shape of the sign, and the additional materials needed because of leftovers caused by cutting irregular shapes from a square piece of stock. But recent advances in technology have helped to bring these costs down dramatically. AI-assisted programs can optimize the way custom sign shapes are laid out for cutting, and computerized cutting machines can follow even the most complicated shapes without any significant margin for error. Combined, these reduce the amount of materials wasted from a die-cut shape. Improvements in online ordering technology has made it far easier to design and share custom yard signs ideas as well. All together, the comparative cost of die-cut signs is now at a place where the era of “boring old rectangles” may be at an end.

Of course, signs are just one piece of the branding experience. Large-format decals can help create a cohesive brand experience at a construction site, especially for larger commercial jobs. People have grown used to floor decals telling them where to stand during social distancing restrictions, and now that same approach can be used to mark important locations and direct traffic flow on a work site, all while reinforcing and promoting your brand to whomever walks past the work in progress.

Building a recognizable brand is one of the most important aspects of a successful business, but it’s too often ignored by smaller companies and independent contractors who, perhaps, see it as “unnecessary fluff.” Construction is hard work, and it might seem a little silly to fuss over the shape of a sign used to promote your hard work. But brands work because they stick in people’s minds - the Golden Arches of McDonald’s and the Nike Swoosh serve as great examples of the way a simple shape can instantly recall a brand identity. Not that using a die-cut sign shape will turn you into the next Nike, but it will certainly help you stand out from the crowd of contractors in the eyes of the consumer.

Andrew Witkin is the founder and CEO of StickerYou, a global, e-commerce leader in custom-printed, die-cut products that empowers consumers and businesses to create high-quality materials for personal[1]  expression, marketing, and packaging.