Being visible as a brand can be the difference between success and failure, but as a small business how can you make sure you are seen by the right people?
Building brand awareness is an important part of developing your business, attracting the types of customers that you want, and creating loyalty and advocacy. For small businesses, this can be a much bigger challenge than many realise.
Without the considerable marketing budgets of big multinational organizations, building your brand can seem like an impossible task. However, there are plenty of ways that you can develop your brand identity without having to dedicate all your time to it or find a colossal marketing budget.
Tell your consumers a story
If your company is very product-focused, it can be easy to think that this is what you need to start with when selling your brand, but this is a mistake. Consumers won't have an emotional connection to your product without a good brand story. You need to find a narrative that ties together your brand, your target audience and your values.
Of course, your product needs to stand up, as not even the best marketing campaign can sell a badly-made item. But without a brand story, your customers are likely to become disinterested and turn to your competitors instead.
Create a narrative that gives your target audience reasons to be invested in your company and encourage them to come back to you time and time again.
Use all the resources you have
In the modern age of business, selling yourself online is a crucial part of developing your brand and making it recognizable. Most online platforms are free to join and just take some time to understand how they work.
It’s also important to consider that people now expect brands to be present on social, and by not having a presence could seriously damage your chances of building a successful brand. The likelihood is, you already have someone in your company or your network that can give you some starting points on what you need to do on these channels.
Although social is an important part of brand strategy, this doesn't mean that you need to join every platform, and having ten accounts will make it extremely difficult and time consuming to keep up on all of them. Instead do some market research and find out what channels your customers are using the most and start with them.
Develop a consistent experience
From your social media to your website, product launches and company values, you need to be providing a consistent experience for your consumers. This is the easiest way to ensure your brand's message is clear and will be the foundation of any marketing strategy you develop.
Each element should add value to either potential or current customers, which should be closely tied to your brand identity. This way, you're establishing what your company is about right from the beginning, giving you a much better chance of developing long-lasting and more cost-effective client relationships.
Don't forget offline
Being a small business can seem isolating, but it doesn't need to be. Offline connections can be just as important for building your brand. Organize a local networking event with other businesses in your local area. This is a great opportunity to build professional ties and also get to know what the other small businesses are doing in your area.
This may not lead to any direct leads but you may find yourself connecting with peers that can assist you in other ways, such as giving you tips on social or website design. It could also develop into local partnerships to help further boost your business.
It’s important that you find a way to seamlessly blend your online and offline strategy in order to create a successful and memorable brand.
Building your brand
Building a brand takes time so it's something that you need to consistently work at. This doesn't mean it needs to take up all your time, but you need your brand identity to be a conscious concern in every decision you make.
It's also key to ensure that everyone working at your company is on-board with the branding and is actively helping to improve it.
Insights for Professionals provide free access to the latest thought leadership from global brands. We deliver subscriber value by creating and gathering specialist content for senior professionals. To view more Marketing content, click here.