I have decided to write this because many small business and individuals think branding is only for large multi-national corporations and many atimes feel that premium work is tied to high end.
I say this because prospective clients take a look at my portfolio and do call me with a perceived notion that I’m expensive. I do laugh it off and still take on their project even with a considerable budget. The point is you don’t have to break the bank before achieving success with your brand.
Proper branding is critical to your long-term success. A lot of people think of branding as logo design. But in reality, branding is managing the thoughts and feelings of your customers to ensure that you are what they desire.
Here are 5 easy tips you can use to grow your brand with your customers.
The Design of your logo.
Yes even as an individual why not get one, you might perhaps search for a very good font to write your name, try to avoid cheesy fonts. As an owner of an SME, don’t hire your nephew or have a do-it–yourself approach that will affect your brand. I’m all for a professional logo, but don’t think you need to spend a fortune on it. It’s more important to include your logo on every piece of communication. Put it on business cards, letterhead, envelopes, invoices, building signage, etc…
A Professional website.
It’s not just good enough to just have a website, you must reflect your brand image. Have a mindset that you are opening your home to everyone in the world, so do remember to keep it clean and tidy. Design is very important. So employ a good designer to assist you. If someone recommends your service, you can almost guarantee that they will go online to look for you.
Looking for anything you often hear GOOGLE IT. Your website design should be updated regularly with valuable content to stay current preferably use a blog. Blogs helps your business because they enable conversation. Also employ the service of a professional that understands SEO basic or techniques to help your site to be easily found which leads to the next tip.
An effective marketing strategy.
You should have a comprehensive multi-touch marketing plan to get your value proposition in front of your target audience. This can take many forms. You can launch a direct mail campaign, email campaign, host a seminar, sponsor a local event, attend a trade show, cold call prospects, win awards, etc… There are a thousand different ways for you to be noticed.
You have to find the best combination of methods for your strategic goals. With the advent of social media, it is easy to employ the service of a digital consultant to help advertise yourself or your brand on facebook, google, youtube and over 300 websites at a relatively considerable budget using the google content network.
I have a confession to make: I’m guilty on this one. It’s vital to participate in local business events or functions. And by participate, I mean be on the guest list or on the committee pioneering the event. Just showing up at events is great, but you’re just a face in the crowd. Believe it or not, every industry has its own mafia or clique. Establish a good relationship with people. It’s beneficial to both your business and your personal life, so don’t be like me and neglect that part of your life.
Drive your Brand, because the audience controls it.
That’s right, you only set the direction for your brand. Your audience determines your actual brand image. Therefore there is need for constant re-evaluation because branding isn’t a one shot deal; it’s an on-going juggling act of marketing, research and conversation.
One of the primary drivers of brand loyalty is a consistent experience. You have to ensure that every single thing done by you or the company from the stationary, website and marketing efforts puts out the right image.
Lastly, Branding is as much about your people or oneself as anything else. Never forget that the best interactions come from one-on-one conversations between executives, employees, suppliers, and customers.
Do you have any useful tips you can share? Leave your comments and remember to subscribe to follow up comments.
Good work!keep it up.
Well stated. Your last point is often the most challenging to recognize. Your brand evolves over time through interactions and outcomes.
Thanks Irene for the reply. Glad you liked the article. Every small business owner should put at the back of their mind that a brand evolve over time.