How Big-Company Branding Serves a Smart Residential Builder

Case Studies

McCarter Construction’s wise focus on marketing ROI has helped them build a recognizable brand.

t was a big expense, but John McCarter spent $5,000 on a billboard for his residential exterior construction company, John McCarter Construction in South Lyon, Michigan.

That was 12 years ago. As McCarter looked around for other ways to promote his business, he realized that wrapping one of his trailers would cost between $1,500 and $3,500 and act as a mobile billboard all the time. He was referred to Matthew Rojek, president of Upper Level Graphics in Livonia, Michigan, who had actually done decorative work on McCarter’s vehicles years before. Rojek wrapped the first truck, using McCarter’s bold logo with green grass and a white picket fence.

And then a remarkable thing began to happen: The phone began to ring, and people told him they were seeing his trucks. Roughly five years ago, he began adding to his fleet and wrapping everything—a total of approximately five sedans and five trailers. McCarter estimates that he gets six to 10 calls per month. He’s cut back on almost all of his other marketing because his vehicle wraps are so effective.

When branding controls expenses

“Marketing is a great place to lose money. I would even go as far as to say that in my business, especially, it’s probably the easiest place to lose money. But with these wraps, there’s no more expense. There’s no salesperson calling you, raising the price next month,” McCarter says.

While magnetic signs would blow off the vehicles and his crews might not always install yard signs, a few of his trucks parked at a job site makes an impression. The vehicles provide the frequency of impressions—roughly three to five—that his business needs for people in the community to remember the name and think of his business when it’s time to remodel.

McCarter says that having a group of vehicles on a job site in a neighborhood of 300 homes is effective. After people drive by them for two weeks, they remember McCarter Construction. One of his biggest suppliers once told him, “Johnny, it’s not that you’re everywhere. It’s just wherever you are, people know you’re there,” he recalls.

Rojek uses IJ180cv3 graphic film with matching 8518 overlaminate because of its durability and ability to hold ink saturation. McCarter says an added bonus is that the vehicles are protected from wear and tear. When he recently had the wrap removed from one of his cars, the paint underneath was pristine. That helps preserve resale value, he says.

“These vehicle wraps have literally branded my company. Without a doubt, they’ve created a brand I never dreamed of,” McCarter says.

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