Put on a Show – What builders and remodelers can learn from Carvana

  • RT Marketing
  • 25 Jun 2021
Carvana car being delivered with fanfair

In the last few years, a lot of new companies have emerged to disrupt the status quo in their industries. One of those companies is car retailer Carvana, and they set an interesting example for builders and remodelers.

In case you’re not familiar, Carvana is an online care dealership. Using their services, buyers shop for used cars online, from the comfort of their living rooms, any time of day.

Using their website or app, shoppers can select their next vehicle, set up financing, and take care of registration. Then they just wait for the show to begin.

A few days later, a gleaning Carvana truck shows up, carrying the customer’s new car. The Carvana delivery driver – or “customer advocate” as they like to be called – unloads the car, goes over some paperwork, and hands over the keys. They’ll also haul away the customer’s trade-in vehicle, if they have one.

The process is amazingly simple, but there’s a big detail that builders and remodelers can learn from.

Brand Visibility

The old way of car shopping involved going to a dealership. Carvana brings the experience to the shopper. For all the neighborhood to see. It makes the fun part of car buying very visible.

A buyer’s neighbors will undoubtedly see the sparkling white Carvana trick, complete with logo, and hear the commotion as it’s unloaded. They may come out and talk with the buyers and help them admire their new ride.

They get to live the Carvana brand experience along with the buyers, and that is what’s smart about Carvana’s approach: they put on a show.

They could have subcontracted their car delivery to towing services. They could have used any trucks. But they understood that the pageantry of getting a car delivered was an opportunity for them to build their brand visibility.

Getting the neighbors' attention when completing a remodeling project

Getting Neighbors’ Attention

Home remodeling, of course, is very different than car buying. For starters, it has to be done at the customer’s home, and the process is usually very noticeable by neighbors.

So how can contractors take advantage of this dynamic? How can they turn the visibility of their work into greater brand recognition, and potentially new business?

Here are a few ideas:

Trucks

Having logos, websites and phone numbers on their trucks is nothing new to contractors, but optimizing them for neighbor viewing might be. The beauty of the Carvana trucks is in their simplicity – blue logos on a white truck. It’s easy for onlookers to remember.

What contractors take from this is that they should keep their messaging simple. You want neighbors to remember one thing, your name. If you try to add too much information, you muddy the waters and lose their attention.

Yard Signs

Contractors will often place a sign in a customer’s front yard during a job. As with trucks, this is often a missed opportunity.

Again, many contractors will try to jam as much information onto a sign as possible, but it’s often better to do the opposite. Clean, simple branding messages are more memorable, and if you want to add more information, use a QR code that leads to more details.

Progress Photos

This is where the showmanship starts. People love to share the stories of their remodeling project, and you can help them. By providing photos of major milestones of a project, you give your customers the means to tell their story.

And if the photos you provide have your logo in the corner, you build your brand in the process.

Improvement contractor installing new custom kitchen cabinet furniture decoration new cabinets
New cabinet in a home improvement kitchen view installed of installation base furniture the drawer in cabinet.

The Reveal

Everyone loves the shows on HGTV when the final home is revealed and the homeowners are surprised, crying tears of joy.

Of course, this isn’t practical in the real world, because your customers may be living in the house while you work on it. But you can make a small show of the day you finish the job and welcome your customers into their new home, that would help you increase your visibility and build your brand.

How do you do that? This is where you can get really creative. Place balloons and a big “Congratulations” sign in the customer’s front yard. Give them a “housewarming party kit,” complete with invitations and a coupon to a local restaurant (that you partner with) to cater the event. Film a short video that provides all the little details of the home, that customers can then share.


Companies like Carvana understand that marketing is a never-ending process, and every touchpoint they have with their customers is an opportunity to build their brand.

By following this same philosophy, you can generate more recognition for your brand among your customers’ friends and neighbors. And that makes it more likely they’ll call you when they want to remodel their homes.