Getting the word out about your business takes time and involves a multi-prong approach. Branding is one of the most important ways to spread the word, what gives you a chance to convey things about your business to current and potential customers. There are certain essentials your small business should consider for better branding implementation.
1. It begins with your website. Without a website in place, your brand cannot possibly thrive. Even the smallest business should have a website, the place where people can come and find out what you’re all about. If you lack a strong web presence, then work toward making the required improvements to get the word out.
2. Your logo matters…sort of. Great weight is placed by some on the importance of having an kick-butt logo. But here is the thing — unless you are a Fortune 500 company, your logo won’t matter all that much. Indeed, having any logo that readily identifies your business is a good start. Invest in a clean web design first — you can always improve your logo later.
3. Use a blog to communicate. Your website conveys a certain amount of information. However, if you want to share current news, tips, and stories, then you need a blog to go with it. A blog is an easy way to share your content and for promoting search engine optimization (SEO). Done right, a blog can help you communicate with potential and future customers, giving you a sounding board to do that.
4. Get involved in your community. Your community supports you by giving you their business. In turn, you supply products or services that your customers need. However, that may not be enough — you need to find other ways to be involved in your community. That involvement can take on a number of different forms, ranging from sponsoring a youth sports league team to hosting a health fair or some other event. Yes, you are underwriting the costs of this event, but your name is getting out there. Thus, it is important for you to consider your sponsorships carefully, to ensure that you only back those events that align with your core values. Such events will allow you to promote your brand front and center.
5. Always follow through. What you do as a brand is important. Therefore, when you say that you will do something, then follow through. This means that if you state, “all items refunded within 30 days without question,” then you most follow through. Even if your follow through is uncomfortable, it is important to stick with what you say. Should you find it difficult to keep your word, then changing a policy may be in order. Still, only make changes for new customers or orders — never back down after the fact.
6. Your people represent your brand. Your brand is best represented by the very people who work for you. Indeed, every employee from the stock room clerk to the CEO represents you. Some of your lesser known employees may actually have a bigger impact on your business than you. Never forget the “little” guy as his impact can be quite large.
7. Consider teaming with other brands. You may realize that you cannot reach your customers all by yourself. Indeed, your brand may have only part of the solution, therefore teaming with other companies may help you complete the process. Find complementary businesses that you feel comfortable promoting. Likewise, they should share a common affinity with your business.
There are so many ways to improve your branding that go beyond the seven points mentioned here. Updating your website on a consistent basis, sending out a newsletter, supporting a local charity and distributing press releases can each help. Together, all these points can advance your branding efforts, enabling you to get the most out of your work with very good returns realized.
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