What or Who Was Behind Our Brand Name?
the ah-hah moment
Inspections Over Coffee is a rebrand we launched in 2020.
It is the culmination of 25+ years of experience in sales,
marketing, and outreach business. I have always been
customer-centric and driven by innovation. However, I
realized that no matter what I was doing, that was different
and better – no one was gonna know if I was doing business behind a brand name that didn’t reflect that. And the biggest
ah-hah was realizing that the name of my company that
I had +5 years of blood, sweat, and beers (not a typo)
invested in needed to be about the customer and not
me or the company. Give that a second to marinate,
and then read on.
Been there done that
When I first started, I didn’t even have an inspection
company name. I was just Curt doing inspections for the
state of Florida. Once I branched out on my own, I was
doing a ton, and I mean 10-15 four-point inspections per
day. So, I decided I needed a company name and kapow
– I was Florida Four Point. That would have been the
same as calling myself AAA Inspections in the 90s. Not too
compelling, but at least in the mid-2000s, when someone
searched online for a four-point inspection in Florida, they
found my company. I mean, that is how we got ahead back
then. After realizing that that didn’t have a ton of marketing
legs, I sat down with a family friend who was a professional
graphic designer. I rebranded and called it Elite Analysis.
Cool name, hey? I thought so, but what was I thinking? I
mean, what is that? I sold that business in 2014.
I moved across the country and started another
inspection company, and we called it HERO Inspections & Environmental. We were considering Protect Inspect.
ProtectInspect.com was $900, and HEROinspect.com was
basically free. Guess which one we went with? Yep. But
heroinspect.com looks a lot like HEROINspect.com. Oops,
not great. No problem, let’s make HERO an acronym!
Since we offer a ton of extras with our inspections, and we
needed a way to package it, we called it the HERO Home
Protection Plan. That led to HERO being an acronym that
stood for Helping Every Realtor be Outstanding! We were
out to make the real estate industry look good for having
recommended us, and we did that by making the client
feel like a HERO with the info we gave them as they were
buying a property.
Perfect! Until it wasn’t.
The word Realtor® is trademarked, and you can’t use it in
ANY way at all unless you are Realtor® talking about your
services. So, yes, if you see someone write Realtor® in
their advertising, that is something NAR would probably
like to chat with you about. More importantly, as we
expanded across the nation, even though we had HERO
Inspections & Environmental® trademarked, any overlap or confusion would be a problem for us if we went into a
new city. Even Hero Home Improvement in Phoenix could
say that we were just a little too close. And they would win
in trademark court. Do you know how many guys did two
years in the US Army and came home to be Hero Home
Inspections, wanting to use the American flag for their
marketing? It’s a lot.
What to do when being
a hero is a no go
My team and I went to the business name ideas drawing
board. And, honestly, from scratch. But WAY more
intelligent than the last few times. We knew that it needed
to be clever, been never-thought of before, tell a
story, be a brand, be a marketing trigger, have a message,
and so on.
And then we had the ah-hah moment that made it all click.
The name of our company should speak to and for our
customers. Our customers need to look at our business
and see themselves, not us. Who are our customers?
Predominantly women all-a-around with our one-one
customers and our pipelines in the real estate industry.
Yes, we work with men, of course. But everything we were
trying to do differently, like not being techy or using scare
tactics or being friendly, was all based on feedback from all
of our customers. Our customers and colleagues in the real
estate world are rightfully so fed up with being talked to or
talked around by the service industry. We realized the best
thing we could do for our business was to step as far away
from the stereotypical “Affordable, Advantage, etc.” “Best,”
“Man’s name,” “Techy,” and yes, even “hero.”
Inspections Over Coffee was inked after we vetted it with
not just friends and family but customers and partners. Now
we walk into offices with coffee tumblers, coffee stations
for open houses and events, and the marketing is easy and
fun. Our real estate contacts are raving and saying they
love our company name. It’s memorable and friendly. One
of my favorite moments when we launched was when I told
the rebranding story to Kate, a real estate colleague, and
she said, “that is SO aware!”