When you hear the word ‘brand,’ what’s the first thing that pops into your head? Chances are, you recall large corporations with their symbols, i.e., Apple, McDonald’s, Nike, etc. However, many people don’t associate branding with small businesses. It’s a concept that seems to be reserved only for large organizations because it’s considered too time-consuming and expensive. But that’s not true!
Small businesses can reap enormous benefits from branding strategies. There are several things you can do to help your business grab customers’ attention and stand out, without going over your budget.
Listed below, are four inexpensive branding strategies that can help take your business to the next level:
1. Incorporate Lots of Visuals
Visuals play a central role in branding. For example, when you imagine Coca-Cola, do you remember their iconic red color, distinct typography, and their logo, “celebrate life”?
Here are a few ways in which you can establish your business’s brand with key visuals:
Memorable logos are vital to creating a bold image for your brand. The logo will sum up your entire business, i.e., mission, values, vision, services, and products, etc. It’s fairly easy to create on a small budget. You can use online logo makers. These are programs that can create new logos in an instant.
Your website is how potential customers and business associates will gauge your company. If your website is plain, with a poor user interface or simply looks unattractive, then it will deter visitors. It has become very easy and affordable to build good-looking and efficient websites. You can hire a local web development team or if you experience with content management systems, then consider WordPress and select their premium theme.
Business cards still hold value in today’s tech-driven world. When designing your company’s business cards, be sure to use your brand and logo style elements.
2. Exceptional Content Marketing
Content marketing is a powerful and affordable tool for branding. It works on many levels. For instance, by launching yourself as a leading resource and subject-matter expert in your domain, your target audience will begin to trust you. When it comes time to pick a company to do business with, yours is probably going to be their first choice.
Content marketing is also excellent for strengthening branding. First, you have to develop a strong brand voice with the right content. Then carry this brand voice throughout every content you develop. This will help reinforce what your business is all about to customers, which strengthens relationships and helps drive business.
The key to success is to start with some research. Figure out what customers want. What are they asking and then create content to address customers’ needs, wants, and questions. For instance, if you’re a pizzeria and you determine that customers are searching for recipes on how to make pizza dough and other recipes that use it. You can create a blog or post videos that demonstrate how to make pizza dough, how it can be used to make other recipes, special tips, and techniques, etc. This kind of content will provide lots of value to customers. When the time comes that they’re looking for pizza, then it’s likely that they’ll first visit your pizzeria.
3. Form Partnerships
One great way to accelerate and expand brand building is by forming partnerships with entrepreneurs like yourself. People prefer brands they can trust. So if you’re a new brand, it’s going to take a long time to establish trust with your customers. The best way to speed up this process is looking for partnerships with brands that your customers already use. This is similar to trust-building by proxy. If a customer is introduced to your business by another business that they already use and trust, they’re more likely to trust your business too.
To succeed with this strategy, you have to find businesses with similar audiences that are also non-competitive. For example, if you’re planning to sell your signature pasta sauce. Consider approaching specialty food shops that sell pasta. You can also showcase your products at food festivals. Offer to write guest posts for popular food writers. These are just a few ideas on how you can form partnerships with other brands.
4. Stellar Customer Service
Exceptional customer service will be extremely helpful in building your brand’s reputation. Word-of-mouth marketing is still very effective, so it’s important for you to keep customers happy, resolve their complaints and queries, and pay heed to their feedback. This will help grow your customer base and draw more attention to your brand.
Branding is about more than a beautiful website or an eye-catching logo. It’s about how you connect with customers and what you do to maintain that connection. Your reputation is built with these interactions. To succeed in the long term, you must make stellar customer service your number one priority. This means looking for opportunities to improve your business. Examples include revamping your website design, simplifying the return process, etc.
Social media is an invaluable marketing channel. One that can be smartly used for branding. Here are a few things you can accomplish with social media:
- – Use storytelling to appeal to larger audiences.- Interact with existing customers, potential customers, and followers by promptly replying to their tags, personal comments, and messages.- Promptly reply to customer criticisms in an appropriate and professional manner by first apologizing for their experience and offering a way to help.- Use your followers to seek opinions on your newest product/service.- Post-how-to videos that demonstrate your product so that it can be shared amongst your followers (who will share with their friends)
These are just a few, inexpensive branding strategies that can help your business gain a competitive step ahead in your niche. All you need is some creativity and hard words! Launch your branding with us!