A small business’s brand is its business card. It’s what will keep your company in the thoughts of your consumers after they’ve used your offering, and determines how your actions will be perceived.
If you cannot create a strong impression on your customers, your company may find it difficult gaining traction, which will cost you down the line.
Here are a few things you and your small business can do to develop a strong and positive brand:
1. Be Real
Being yourself is easy, until something is on the line. Then you’ll often look at other, more successful people and brands and think that you should be more like them. Being genuine is a lot harder than it sounds when your dreams are on the line.
However, you have to stay true to what you want your company to be and how you want to be perceived. Veering off track and imitating someone else won’t work, not in the long run. Eventually, what you are and what you’re pretending to be will come to a head, and the small business will suffer for it. Focus on what you’re doing for the customer and how you want them to feel instead of the flavour of the month. Brands don’t have to be exciting or hip – they have to represent the heart of your company.
2. Go Offline
Online marketing is critical to your branding campaign, but focusing on that entirely limits your overall reach. Offline experiences are inherently more intimate and personal, which can a lasting impression on everyone involved. Attending a conference or networking event can help your brand as much as a strong campaign could.
This isn’t just about your company’s brand, it’s about your personal brand as well. Speaking at public events and meeting industry titans can galvanise your place in your field. You don’t need to go big from the start – start local. Offer to mentor someone, or run a seminar. There’s plenty you can do from the comfort of home base.
3. Focus On The Customers On Social Media
Customer service has changed in the past few years. The rise of social media platforms and the ease by which people can access those platforms has made it the contact option of choice for many consumers. It doesn’t matter how big your company is – if you lack a social media presence, people will find it difficult to contact you.
While your account can serve as a lead generator, its primary purpose should be customer support. A positive experience on social media can help grow your brand and keep customers coming back for more.
4. Tell The Story
When it comes down to it, your product doesn’t hold any real emotional weight. It’s something that most definitely helps the consumer, yes, but after it’s done its job it’ll likely leave their minds. Your brand, however, can have an emotional impact. All you need to do is tell its story.
When you tell them about how the company was built and the struggle it faced before things came together, you’ll evoke emotion in the customer. Suddenly, your brand isn’t cold. Suddenly, they can connect with it. That connection will not only inspire loyalty, but it will keep customers coming back for more.
5. Offer Great Value
The best and simplest way to develop a strong brand for your small business is to offer something to the customer beyond your product. Your content marketing strategy, for example, should revolve around informing and entertaining your audience, sometimes both at the same time. You don’t even need to sell your product. If you keep giving the audience value, they’ll view your brand in a positive light.
No small business can succeed without a well-developed brand. Even if you get reasonable sales numbers, you’ll never leave the kind of impression that sparks loyalty in your audience.
Make an effort to craft a strong brand, and you’ll be rewarded with a happy community and a successful company.