In the advertising and marketing world, there is a lot of talk about your small business’ Brand®. However, what is a brand and how do you create one? Let’s rewind. A brand name can indicate the source of a product or service, while the word brand may also refer to a business’ identity along with consumers’ impressions of that identity. Effective branding techniques ought to portray your small business as trustworthy and ahead of the curve. The five following tips will make strengthening your existing brand tangible and easy to implement.
No. 1: Become social media savvy. In order for your brand to compete in this day and age, your small business will need to cultivate a keen social media presence. Simply setting up accounts on social media platforms and reposting article links does not make you viable in the competitive market. Your small business will actually need to produce interesting and valuable content in order to stand out to your target market(s). An example of a big business that has mastered the art of content and engagement through social media is none other than Taco Bell. Not only do they post entertaining content, they also engage directly with consumers. It will be crucial for your small business to brainstorm the value it can offer consumers through content, then translate those ideas to digital reality.
No. 2: Create a unique theme or mascot for your small business. What comes to mind when you think of Geico Insurance? This brand offers a very distinct mascot that you can see and hear: a gecko with a British-Australian accent. Crafting a clever character to symbolize your company will definitely establish mindshare among consumers. This rings even truer for small businesses since the dollars allotted for advertising and marketing won’t necessarily pay for the big ads corporations have the budget for. Another example of an unmistakable brand theme comes from the online company Wufoo. Their mascot presents itself on the homepage as a blue dinosaur, and little “Rawr!” messages appear when your cursor moves over a certain element or link. For your own small business’ brand to create an impact, it will be important to develop a vivid, multisensory theme for your customers.
No. 3: Develop free courses or educational materials. When generating content for your small business, think about the value you’re offering your audience. Promotional offers are not just limited to free items or discount codes, but can also come in the form of highly valuable and informational content. This kind of subject matter will not only lead more consumers into your funnel, but also keep them coming for more advice and life hacks. A brand that is very successful with this is Elle & Company. The brand’s owner consistently delivers high-quality and relevant content in the form of webinars and blog posts. Sharing inside knowledge will not only position your small business as a leader in your industry but also facilitate loyalty with your patrons. What sort of information can your brand share that will enhance the lives of potential readers and consumers?
No. 4: Streamline your product packaging to reflect your business’ values. Obviously, this tip is only applicable to business’ that sell physical products. If you are a service-based, online company, think of ways you can homogenize your visual content and website design. A customer should be able to look at your product’s packaging and digital materials and glean who your small business is along with it ethos. The leader of this product-experience movement is Apple. It is apparent that Apple has invested time, energy, and money into considering consumer experience with their packaging. The simple, minimal design, the subtle pull of gravity of the iPhone box, and even the “New Mac” scent are all cues of effective (and multisensory) branding techniques. Your business can apply the same methods on a smaller scale. What areas of your brand can be more sleek, efficient, or detailed? This question can be applied to your product packaging, business cards, user experience of your website, and more.
No. 5: Reward your employees. Another way to show your brand’s values is through how you recognize and treat your employees. Offering good health insurance as well as maternity and paternity benefits are a great way to not only take care of your workers but also communicate trustworthiness to potential buyers. Some huge brands, such as Google, have taken this idea and run with it. Don’t just stop at offering your employees stellar benefits. Recognize your staff’s hard work and reward them with gym memberships, discounts to local attractions, or even enhancements to the workplace, such as satellite television in the breakroom. Taking extra care of your workforce will translate to consumers’ perception of your brand’s spirit and character. If your brand holds your employees with high esteem, customers can expect (and buy into) the same treatment. In order for your small business to successfully compete and grow, it will be essential to inject your brand’s values into any dreamable detail including product, service, and business practice.