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By Erica Sweeney
August 28, 2017
“We wanted something that was bold, something that projected strength, something that projected capability,” says Jonathan Logan, president and co-founder of Castle Black Construction based in Memphis, Tennessee, describing his company’s rebranding.For their logo, Logan and his twin brother and business partner, Jarrett, decided a lion would be the best image to convey that message. When it came to the name, the brothers looked to their favorite TV show, “Game of Thrones,” which features a location called Castle Black.“Most ‘Game of Thrones’ fans know that location,” Jonathan Logan says. “That’s how the name was born. It sounded bold, like a company that would have strength, and so we just married those two together: the lion and the name, Castle Black.”
The Logan brothers first formed Jonathan Jarrett Builders in 2005 as home designers and builders. Their path into the construction came through a friend, whose dad was an architect in California. They worked for a civil engineering firm while attending Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi. Jonathan Logan also has a master’s in construction engineering management from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.“One of my biggest passions is just seeing something come from raw land,” Jonathan says. “It is very amazing to me how we can take something from a client that is their initial vision and take it from paper to something tangible, something physical. Even to this this day, I'm amazed by some of the things we can build.”Since rebranding to Castle Black in 2013, the company has grown exponentially. They have a well-designed website, strong social media presence, and a blog. All of their digital marketing is handled in-house.Jonathan, as president of the company, handles business development, finances, and project management. Jarrett is vice president, focusing on business operations, including bidding and making sure the team has everything they need to complete the build.Castle Black’s core is commercial construction projects in Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi, such as religious facilities, schools, industrial, government projects, and medical facilities, including projects for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. Their focus areas include pre-engineered metal buildings, general contracting, design-build, and pre-construction.The Jobsite has recently spoken to Jonathan Logan about the future of Castle Black, its rebrand, and the importance of branding and marketing in construction.How did you transition from Jonathan Jarrett Builders to Castle Black?Back then, we focused on home construction. Around 2008, the housing market and the economy took a big hit, and we had to make some really tough decisions. In 2009, we scaled back the company, and I left and went into the Army. I was a captain and did construction while I was in the Army.Jarrett was still home and maintained the company, but it was much smaller. When I came out of the Army in 2013, we rebranded and restructured the company. We now mainly focus on commercial construction.How do you think the rebranding to Castle Black has contributed to your success?When we first changed the name, I didn't think it would have that big of an impact. But, it's funny because just about everybody that we talk to asks how we came up with the name. When we tell them it came from “Game of Thrones,” everybody gets excited because that show is very popular now.We're growing very fast. We can attribute some of this growth to teaming up with much larger builders here locally. We are able to join forces with these guys and have been awarded larger contracts than we have in the past.
We have just finished up one of our largest contracts to date, which was the (Memphis charter school) Freedom Preparatory Academy, a 44,000-square-foot church that was converted into a school.Besides the branding and partnerships, what other qualities make a construction company successful?One of the major components, in my eyes, is the ability to persevere, and the will and tenacity to drive on whenever things get tough. It’s also maintaining your commitments to your customers. It’s my vision and my guidance here that, no matter what, we always aim to make our clients happy.What kinds of marketing have worked well for Castle Black?We've had several referrals from Facebook, so we do the pay-per-click ads on Facebook and Google. We are actually expanding into doing a TV commercial. Also, we get business from referrals from past customers.These days, why should construction companies embrace digital marketing tools, like Facebook?That's where most of the people are. I think it's just about the brand and getting those impressions. More people see you—and even though they may not be ready to do a project right now—when it comes time for something, they'll say, ‘Hey, why not call this company?’ It’s getting your name out there.Where do you hope to take Castle Black over the next few years?I would like to go into other markets. Recently, we have opened a small office in Nashville so we're in that market now and hoping to grow there. I would like to see us expand further into the South and Southeast, into markets such as Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, and Florida.
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