Starting your own small business is a huge and also satisfying undertaking. And you should have some branding strategies in mind when just starting out.
Because just setting up shop and turning over your ‘open’ sign is no guarantee people will come and buy whatever it is you’re selling.
Becoming known in your local area and online against your competition takes marketing and building up your own brand.
Your brand is also bigger than a label or a logo. It’s your reputation, your identity and you.
So here are a few helpful tips and branding strategies you can use to build your brand.
Branding Strategies You Should Know:
While you may have a lot of competition, you are still unique!
Even though there may be major companies doing the same thing you’re doing, you don’t need to copy them.
1. Understand Your Product
Your product or service is what you need to establish, focus on what makes you unique, and not necessarily better.
Understanding your product and who it’s for allows you to market and promote yourself. And it creates on the business map attention in your own way.
Don’t focus on what you have over the others. Instead, focus on you and just what you have, why people need it, and should want it.
Focussing on what it can do rather than what it lacks makes it more valuable to your customers.
And simplifies your marketing and branding strategy.
You have a local business, so promote locally.
There are many different ways to do this, from signage out front of your store, lawn, garage, social media, and word-of-mouth.
Let people know you exist and are there to serve and help them and their needs.
Use local publications. A local newsletter, small newspapers and place flyers around town if possible.
Signs out from and at the end of your block let people know you’re there. And any new eyes on your signs promoting your new products and services will help you sell more.
Also, social media is very important. And it should be a very large part of your branding strategy. Send out pictures, discount notices, emails, and even have contests where winners can get a prize.
Word-of-mouth is still a great way to build your brand. And if you have time to monitor and reply to those coming to your website, let people leave comments and suggestions on it.
It’ll give you a better idea of who they are and how you can better help and serve them.
You can also use their reviews for your newsletter, social media posts and any other ads you might run in the future.
And when get your customers to follow you on social media, it can grow your brand in a hurry.
People love watching videos, hanging out on social media sites, and seeing pictures of your services and products.
Which is why you should make sure you read, listen, or watch every customer’s testimonial and see your product or service in action.
Promotions and promotional giveaways are one of the most used branding strategies today.
Tip: Getting a fun or funny picture and video go viral can make a big difference.
3. Community Involvement
Getting involved with your community is a great way to grow your brand.
Start by volunteering your time. Or if you’re too busy donate some money or other types of resources (clothing, food, etc.) in your local community.
However, providing your unique product or service(s) for any community events is what I recommend. It is by far one of the best ways to spread and promote awareness of your brand.
For example, if you own a restaurant, offer to supply them food or pizza for their local summer event, fair, parade, or whatever else is going on.
People will remember you and your brand when you help them out. And that can spread your brand faster and further than you may imagine.
People love to talk about great things that happened to them.
4. Special Offers
Using your social media, flyers, signage, and your website, you can offer specials and promotions.
Offering free gifts for customers is a great way to get people onto your store and interacting with your brand.
Offer contests through your social media, like a joke or a trivia question where people receive a free gift. Any promotional materials you need or may use should pay for themselves with the awareness you’ll gain.
People love to get FREE items, whether they need them or not.
I remember back in college people would wait in line for hours to get a free T-Shirt or other small items.
So, give it a try.
They’ll not only share these promotions you’re doing but if they win an item they don’t need, they’ll most likely pass it on to family or friends.
Leading to even more brand awareness.
It’s amazing how far those few items, giveaways, and your name will travel.
5. Get a Great Logo
People recognize great logos.
You want them to recognize yours.
Put it on everything. Your business, your stationery, your social media, your product, your receipts, your business cards. You get it.
Logos are the first thing people see when interacting with your brand.
Just put it everywhere!
If you use a car for your business, then have the logo on your vehicle. It’s a great way to let people know you’re there.
If you run a landscaping business, have the logo and your contact visible. Neighbors will see you in the neighborhood and will be more likely to call you.
If you don’t have a great logo, aren’t happy with the one you have or want to switch things up, reach out to us.
We have an amazing graphic designer and illustrator in KyraTheCreative. Send her a message or hit us up on our Contact page. She’ll work with you and give you options to make sure you love your new logo.
And she’s worked with tons of new and local businesses on branding and re-branding their business and logos.
6. Provide a Great Product or Service
Don’t worry too much about the aesthetics of things. Focus on what you do and how you do it.
Building your brand starts with providing people with what they need.
This means keeping an eye on what the competition is doing. You can learn a lot from their successes and their failures.
Even when business is good, the main focus needs to be the products, services and how to them better.
7. Listen to Your Customers
None of these branding strategies will work if you don’t listen or get feedback.
Read all your online reviews.
Keep a space on your own website for customers to comment on if you want.
And when you’re reading what they have to say and the bad reviews, read them with an open mind.
Some people like to complain for any reason. And people are more likely to leave a review for bad service rather than good. But feedback is important.
Just do your best to reach out and respond to ALL of them. It’s very important you do.
Acknowledge any legitimate complaints and comments. And make an effort to adapt, fix things, and make them happy if you can.
If several people have the same complaint, you should take a step back and see where you need to make changes.
8. Be Consistent With Your Branding Strategy
Stay with the same message, the same product and the same great service.
That is really what your brand needs to be about. People come to expect a certain level of service and you need to deliver that every time.
Honesty, integrity, great products, and services will help you grow your business into everything you ever dreamed it could be.
And be consistent. Especially when it comes to all your marketing.
If you use a lighthearted and humorous approach, keep that same tone throughout all the social media platforms you use. People will get confused if it varies from one to the other.
And remember to keep the same tone, colors and visuals, as well. You want to become known for them.
That way when someone sees it or something familiar you, your business and brand will come to mind.
Have Patience With These Branding Strategies
You likely won’t become a mega-franchise, business or millionaire overnight.
But you started your own company because you had a great idea and were confident things would work out
So stay committed and stay the course. Always forward.
And remember, once the product is out there, it’s up to the customers, ultimately.
It doesn’t have to cost a ton of money to build your brand. Let your customer base and your great product and service(s) do that for you.
If you need help, we can assist. We offer one on one virtual marketing and branding consultations.
Book a session with us now to talk about these and other branding strategies.
RileyAdran Riley is the co-founder of Red October Firm, a photography and graphic design studio in Bloomfield, CT. He's been in the web design and SEO industry since 2015. His mission is to help others share and do what they love online. That way, they can build and connect with even more people.
How to Create a Great Logo
Logos are the first things people see when interacting with your brand. They're important. And it's why you need to create a great logo from the beginning.
Attract New Customers With a Local SEO Company
SEO = more people finding you online, naturally. And with a Google My Business account and local SEO company, you can easily attract more customers online.