No matter how big or small your business is, building your brand is imperative for your survival in the marketplace. Whether you’re promoting your company to consumers or other businesses, you have to compete in a very busy and crowded market and against established brands with big marketing budgets. So how do you increase the awareness of your brand amongst new and existing customers? Here are five classic and fundamental brand-building strategies.
1. Social media
Whether you love it or hate it, social media can make or break a business. Even if you have a minimal online presence, you can still promote your brand and reach your customers easily and cheaply through channels such as Facebook and Twitter. The nature of your business and industry will largely determine how much online marketing you do, so make sure you tailor your presence and activities on the World Wide Web to suit your business needs. You don’t have to spend hours on the Internet – unless your business is web-based – just enough to get your brand noticed by your customers.
2. Product quality & customer service
Well before the Internet was born, these two factors alone built brands. It’s good old fashioned ‘word of mouth’ and nowadays, social media now provides customers with the ability to spread their word far and wide in the blink of the eye.On or offline, what your customers say about your products and customer service is absolutely critical to the profitability and longevity of your business.
3. Online marketing
Given the impact the Internet can make on any business, it pays to invest in quality online marketing rather than relying on social networks to spread the word for you. Paid advertising can be in the form of website development and maintenance, online ads, search engine optimisation and even blogs. If these words mean very little to you, it’s probably a good idea to engage a professional to help you with your online marketing efforts.
Events are also a powerful way to spread the word amongst your target audience. They can also be a very cost effective way of doing this as you can reach a large number of people in one go, promote your business and then let them spread the word for you throughout their networks. To do this, planning and marketing are critical and the event itself must run smoothly and professionally. Events also provide a superb opportunity for you to really get your brand out there. Every piece of marketing material – both prior to and on the day – should have your brand plastered all over it. This includes invitations, event programs, registration table cloths, name badges, pop-up or pull-up displays and other promotional materials. If you truly want to bring your events and brand to life, take a look at some of the amazing marketing merchandise now on offer from specialist suppliers such as Signal Events.
5. Be strategic
As mentioned previously, when trying to promote your brand, you’re up against a lot of competition. Gone are the days when marketing meant printing and distributing loads of marketing materials and/or adopting the ‘spray and pray’ method of advertising. These things are now far too expensive and highly unlikely to yield the results your seeking. Marketing needs to be strategic, with clearly defined and measurable objectives. You need to clearly understand who you are seeking to influence, what kind of messages will resonate with them and how to reach them effectively. Invest a bit of time and effort upfront by undertaking some market research and doing some proper business and marketing planning. This will ensure your brand gets noticed by the right people and ultimately, will give you the ‘biggest bang for your buck’.
There are many ways to promote your brand. Make sure what you do is strategic as this will give you better results with the least amount of money. Capitalise on social media for low-cost brand exposure and also look into some paid online advertising. Face-to-face is also a really great way to grow your reputation, so host some awesome events that showcase what your brand is all about.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles – FreeDigitalPhotos.net