Brand Development: Set Yourself Apart from the Start

The author had a large, three-dimensional logo made up for the back wall of this store to remind customers they were in a branded location. He also had a separate wall sign listing all of his locations. (Photo courtesy Paul Russo)

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Brand Development: Set Yourself Apart from the Start (Conclusion)

Pointers from Paulie B: Market to right demographics after mapping service area

GLENDALE, Ariz. — In today’s business landscape, brand development plays a pivotal role in setting businesses apart from their competitors. Whether you’re starting a new laundromat or seeking to revamp an existing one, establishing a strong and distinctive brand identity is key to attracting and retaining customers.

In Part 1, I discussed how customer feedback will guide you and offered some tips for differentiating your laundry business from others. Allow me to conclude:


Advertising your brand should be efficient so as to not waste your ad budget. A shotgun approach isn’t a very efficient use of your ad dollars, because not everyone you advertise to in a broad way will be interested in using your laundromat.

For instance, you can narrow your online advertising to just your ZIP code, or add a nearby ZIP code, but understand that most people won’t travel more than a few miles to you unless your mat is head and shoulders above any other competitor in the market.

Draw a ring around your location on a map. A city location may only require a 1-mile radius, while other less populated or dense areas may require going further out. Experiment with your service radius.

If there’s an area nearby that has poor laundromat facilities, target it.

Target the right demographics: the people who rent, because they’re much more likely to use a laundromat, especially if their landlords don’t offer laundry facilities or maintain their common laundry poorly.

Become an integral part of your local community by participating in events, sponsoring local initiatives, or partnering with neighboring businesses. Engage with customers on social media, respond to their queries, and foster a sense of community within your laundromat. 

Building strong relationships with customers will strengthen your brand’s reputation and encourage loyalty.

And make sure that you use your brand and logo on everything the public sees.


A logo is not just about identifying your brand. Understand that there are lots of customers who can’t read a word of English, and even more who are functionally illiterate. A logo that’s self-explanatory—such as an image of a washing machine—will help these customers know you are advertising a laundromat.

Secondly, logos are important for creating mental retention. It’s much easier for people to remember and recognize a logo. Remember, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

Your logo is up to your own imagination but I believe that it should be related to the laundry business.

To spark your imagination, try Googling “Laundromat Logos” for some ideas. It’s not wise to copy someone else’s logo, though. You may be forced to take it down and worse.

I’ve seen lots of mats use some form of an animated washing machine, or a bunch of bubbles, around their name. You could also go “vintage” with an image of a washboard, for instance.

Or, you can go completely off the wall with a uniquely unusual logo that has nothing whatsoever to do with laundry. Let me share the story of “The Happy Pumpkin Car Wash.”

Many decades ago, before I was even in the laundry business, a man bought a local car wash in my neighborhood. There were three other competing car washes in the area.

After the man took over his car wash, he cleaned it up and installed some new things to make it better. Overall, it wasn’t head and shoulders above the rest. He had raised it up to an equal, if not slightly better, car wash than the three competing businesses.

But what he did with its logo was brilliant. He changed the business name to The Happy Pumpkin Car Wash and placed a big sign on the roof in the shape of a smiling pumpkin. Aside from the pumpkin logo on his smaller signs and his business cards, that was about it!

The Happy Pumpkin ended up becoming the most popular car wash in our area, because of the name. It created buzz. People would laugh and say, “What a ridiculous name for a car wash,” but they never forgot it!

So, whenever somebody needed a car wash, they thought of the Happy Pumpkin. The owner eventually died, and the new owner—thinking the name was stupid—changed it. Guess what? The car wash eventually closed down.

Getting back to the makings for your business logo, be sure to register your logo with the U.S. Copyright Office ( It’s not difficult or expensive to protect this vital asset.

Make sure you post all your store locations under the same logo on all printed and online materials. What good is brand development if customers are not aware that they can get the same or similar treatment at another of your locations?

Once you have branded your mat, do everything you can to maintain that identity so that it’s held in high esteem by as many people as possible. People will remember your brand, so you want them to remember only good things.

Brands work most effectively, I believe, if you are operating a high-quality laundromat in the upper end of your market.

What impressions does your brand elicit from your customers?

Miss Part 1? Read it HERE

Have a question or comment? E-mail our editor Bruce Beggs at [email protected].