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A Commercial Battlefield

In the fall of 2012, tbk Creative was introduced to Brock Doors and Windows, a reputable, Toronto-based window and door dealer. We were introduced to Brock through our strong relationship with North Star Windows & Doors, where we acted as North Star’s Agency of Record.

Brock had one clear and aggressive goal:

Double the company’s size.

Some things are easier said than done.

In most Canadian and American mid-to-large sized markets, a window and door market is hotly contended for. Replacing windows and doors doesn’t come cheap – projects usually start at $5,000 and, in some cases, can go up to $30,000.

Because there was so much competition and the industry wasn’t growing organically, we knew we would need to analyze the competitors, find holes in their armour, and identify Brock’s strengths and weaknesses. We did an analysis and here’s what we discovered:

Toronto map

1. Brand identity

Buying windows is not like going to a grocery store (like Loblaw) where you go every week or to an oil change facility (like Jiffy Lube) where you go 3-4 times a year; homeowners only buy windows 2-3 times in their lifetime. Because consumers rarely buy windows and doors, they don’t know local dealers, which means there’s no established mindshare with consumers. When a consumer needs windows, they start their shopping online or on Sunday after looking at their newspaper’s flyers. What a brand says about themselves determines whether they can capture an audience’s attention long enough to clearly communicate their values.g enough to clearly communicate their values.

At the time, almost all of the window dealers in Toronto lacked a brand ethos and value statement, choosing to focus on promotions and financial deals instead. But, in an ocean of companies — all offering 40% promotions and financing deals — focusing on a shared message won’t help double your market share.

2. Tracking

Brock was running an AdWords campaign and buying print from over a dozen different sources, but they lacked the analytical insight to know which sources were generating the most revenue. For example, if they spend $4,000 on AdWords Search in any given month, are they earning $3,000 or $60,000? Having this inside would allow them to better allocate their dollars and produce greater return on investment for their company.

3. Doing more

Brock, like many of their competitors, had a website, was buying print, and running AdWords campaigns, but this practice has been the industry status quo for a few years. We knew that if Brock was going to take enough market share to double their company’s size, we would need to do more with their marketing budget and push boundaries in the industry.

Brock Windows and Doors

Gathering the troops.

If a brand is going to make big progress with their marketing, both the brand and the agency must be on the same page. We’re grateful to have worked with Brock because they were ready to do whatever it took to double their size: they were willing to push the boundaries and take some risks.

In more detail, here’s what we accomplished:

1. Elevate the brand and website

It may seem unusual to work on a company’s brand identity and website at the same time as, typically, companies tackle their brand identity first and their website second. At tbk Creative, we’ve found that our best brand identity work comes through a web design project. This is because a company’s website is its most public representation – it’s on 24/7, the company has complete control over the message, and it often gets at least 4x more traffic than any retail store or office.

We built their new website on WordPress and developed 9 high-fidelity design files. To put this in perspective, most of the competing websites were built from standard, themed templates with no more than 2 design files. Brock and tbk Creative wanted to push the design boundaries on this website because each additional lead the company gets matters in terms of revenue.

Brock Windows and Doors Homepage
Brock Windows and Doors on Mobile.

We also created Mr. Brock, a symbolic representation of the trust you can have in Brock’s name. Mr. Brock was developed to address the lack of trust consumers have had with certain companies in the industry.

Brock worker

Brock would be an approachable company that customers could trust to stand behind its work.

2. Roll out the brand in print

Now that the new brand identity and high-converting website was formed, it was time to roll out the brand identity out into the marketplace. We provided this new brand identity in their large print buy.

Brock magazine
Brock magazine

3. Begin tracking the unknown

We built up their Adwords campaign and included goal tracking. Additionally, we installed phone analytics from our friends at DialogueTech and distributed traceable phone numbers across their 15 print vendors.

The plan was set. Now we could measure which media purchases were performing better than others across their vendors and determine where their $500,000 budget would be best spent.

Brock google adwords

4. Push the boundaries

Before this project, we knew Brock was meeting the status quo with both their platform and their marketing programs. They had a website, AdWords campaign, and they bought print – but so did everyone else. We needed to find a way to centre Brock out and get consumers across Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) to choose this brand over other viable options.

To accomplish this goal, we launched Brock’s $25,000 Home Makeover contest, which was promoted with print and digital advertising.

Brock homepage
Brock banner
Brock small

The results:

17 Million impressions in Toronto / GTA
Over 5,000 new leads
Over 20,000 new website visitors
20.5% conversion rate

The Result

Within two years, Brock doubled in size, going from seven to eight figures in annual revenue.

Why did this happen?

In the two years that it took Brock to double their revenue, there weren’t twice as many consumers buying windows and doors in their marketplace, they literally clawed away market share from their competitors.

When we started working with Brock, most window and door dealers were subscribing to the same thing – an average yet professional website, AdWords, and print media. Many groups dabbled in social media, blogging, and SEO but none stood out.

When we developed a brand identity that consumers could trust, showcased quality and consistency at each consumer touch point, rolled out the new brand in the marketplace, and introduced new programs through email marketing, a phenomenon occurred. Brock captured a large portion of the market share in a relatively short period of time.

In situations where a brand and its competitors are all doing the same thing, we believe there is an opportunity to do things differently. If a company can find a way to connect with consumers and capture their attention, they can grow quite dramatically in a short period of time.

In situations where a brand and its competitors are all doing the same thing and not capturing the attention of their consumers, we believe there is an opportunity to do things differently. If a company can find a way to connect with consumers and capture their attention, they can grow quite dramatically in a short period of time.

We call this scenario,

The Brock Effect.

What we learned

  • Andrew Schiestel, tbk Creative

    Because consumers don't buy enough product to gain affinity or loyalty with a particular brand, marketing and branding success in the home renovation space is very different from consumer brand environments like CPG or coffee retailers. A household may only buy windows 2-3 times in their lifetime, tops, which is why it’s extremely important to have the right brand identity and messaging. There needs to be a clearly articulated message that not only shows what the company stands for, but also delivers strategic brand promises that ensure it differentiates from competitors vying for the same consumer dollar.

  • Melissa McInerney, tbk Creative

    We learned to push harder for GREAT content. The product pages are the most important pages, and most window companies don’t build the pages that give the consumer what they need to reach out and book an appointment. We took the time to collect product feature images, create custom images, and design write-ups to ensure that, when making a decision, customers don’t have to leave the website to educate themselves.