Think your small business brand can’t be as dominant and pervasive as Coke or Nike? These 7 tips can help take your brand to the next level.
Nike started in 1964 by selling 300 pairs of shoes out of the trunk of a car. Coke began as a homemade brew stirred up in one man’s backyard. Small brands can and do grow … linger … and become legendary. However, there are strategies to insinuating your brand, products or services into the psyche and memory of the market audience so much so that it leads to business growth. Once you master them, the brand may catapult your company to the next big thing.
7 Tips to Strengthen Your Brand in Your Target Market.
Develop Strong, Lasting Brand Elements
Branding involves the repetitive use and circulation of certain elements that convey the company’s ethos and personality at a glance. The element might be a logo, a tagline, a kind of typography or an image. Likely, all these things will be in rotation, appearing on websites, business cards, letterheads and coupons. Make sure you choose elements that are unique, memorable and even emotionally charged.
Be consistent with Usage
The icons, fonts, size, and hues used for advertising should stay the same from one campaign to the next and from one piece of signage and property to the next. Customers can’t connect with a brand that has a shifting identity. The stability of your elements suggests the stability of the company.
Blog Your Brand
You don’t have to have a blog per se, but you must have a casual interactive Web presence that oozes personality. In this digital age, audiences have become accustomed to researching products and services online. They aren’t always looking for the formal website. Often, they look for conversational exchanges of information about a brand, such as can be found on Twitter, Facebook or a blog-style site with articles about the company’s offerings.
Go Viral with Your Brand
When it comes to brand growth, the power of sharing amongst friends cannot be undervalued. People often learn about a company through their social connections. Small businesses should encapsulate the spirit of their brand in modern digital trends, such as a photo memes, videos, .gifs, slide shows, short (and free) eBook downloads, mp3 jingles and even recipes. Marketing that doesn’t look like marketing but that carries the brand elements into a viral environment can help a company explode in popularity.
Participate in the Community
Most of the time, people come to the small business. However, to sear the brand into the hearts of the target audience, sometimes it’s good for a company to go to the people. Small businesses can forge a bond with their customers at charity events, educational functions, social events, parades and any other occasions on the civic calendar. Such events offer a chance to disseminate products or coupons for services. Small business owners can also talk to individuals to learn more about how company offerings can better serve audience needs.
Have a Mission
People don’t connect with products as much as they connect with inspiration and the dream of how that product can change their lives. People are moved by companies who motivate and spur them on to a better quality of life. Somehow, a product or service must become not just necessary but meaningful to a customer before they invest in it. That inspirational message, typically embodied in a tagline, can be the most unforgettable part of the brand.
Guard Your Reputation
Small businesses know how to put their best foot forward in controlled marketing activities with customers. However, the uncontrolled collisions with the public can derail a company — especially a small one. Conflict between workers and clients, poor service by workers finishing a job for a customer and testy phone representatives who fail to resolve matters for callers can be devastating to a brand. In the past, customers dissatisfied with workers or services would get the phone with friends. Now, they go online and tell strangers. They write negative blogs against the company that can be “Liked” and re-tweeted. For small businesses, branding extends to the type of people you hire and how they represent the company under pressure.