Many startup owners and entrepreneurs always have a stigma that only big companies like McDonald’s and Disney can do branding. That’s not right.
“It costs a lot of money,” they believe.
But that is not entirely right. Good branding is for everybody, and it doesn’t mean that it’s expensive. Especially in the digital age, there are plenty of things that you can incorporate to make your business memorable.
These are some branding strategies that can help your small business go from idea to successful reality.
1. Don’t Try To Please Everyone
The first thing to understand is that everybody is not your consumer and pleasing them won’t give you any benefits. Try to find and classify your audience that can stick to your brand.
If your company is an expert in hand-crafted shoes, then you aren’t going to please the person who loves to buy factory made shoes from sales at a cheap rate.
Take your time and analyze what your brand’s strength is and do best in it. I am sure that you will find your brand ambassadors waiting for you.
2. Be Human
This thing is essential that gives your faceless organization a chance to be human. Though this strategy is effective, very few brands use it.
The best example I can give you right now is of NASA. Everyone considers NASA as a studious company who is busy with their space gizmo, but decidedly fewer people know that it also has a human side. During the world trailer premiere of Avengers: End Game, they tweeted a solution to the Marvel Studios to rescue Tony Stark who is drifting in outer space.
That tweet gave a human side to NASA. Trying out these things that are under your niche can help you gain more audience which will, in turn, make your brand famous.
3. Connect With Your Competitors
If you have watched the HBO series, Game of Thrones, then you must have heard the quote, “When the snows fall and the white wind blows, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives.”
This quote also resembles the branding strategy. Always share the market with others as there is room for all the brands. Rather than working solo, collaborate with other small brands for some event to market your product to a large audience and to build a strong brand appearance.
Follow the rule: think, meet, mingle, and work together.
4. Go for Micro-Moments
Google always like to add something to their vast sea of marketing and branding. Micro-moments are such things. It is a strategy that lures the people who have FOMO (fear of missing out).
Statistics suggest that in the United States, shoppers spend nearly 5 hours of the day on their smartphones, checking their social media at least 17 times a day.
Google recognizes the potential of active users and utilizes it for knowing consumer’s behavior. They deliver a marketing message to the user precisely and briefly in a compelling manner within seconds.
This method conveys a message in a crystal clear manner when the consumer needs it. The logic behind this approach is that people always make a hasty decision during certain situations like choosing a restaurant or ordering the food.
It will be a decisive way for businesses to implement this mode to pitch the perfect advertisement according to the user’s activity and to boost their brand appearance.
5. Make Employees Your Brand Ambassadors
During the early phase of your business, having a dedicated brand ambassador is not a good option as it will take out a chunk of your capital. Rather than employing someone, let your employees embody your brand as they are often on the front line with the customers.
A wise man once said, “Even the best branding strategy does not influence if all the things exist only on paper.”
Try to make each employee internalize and embody the essence of the brand. It will be easier for them to pitch the brand to the audience.
6. Use Your Logo Everywhere. EVERYWHERE!
One good thing to learn from big companies is that they always do their promotions by adding a logo to their merchandise.
Even if the stuff is too small, try to market your brand by showing off your logo.
The best example I can give is of McDonald’s. They never sell a single item without having their logo on it. It is one of the great ways to build brand recognition as people can recognize the brands easily which have visual appeal.
7. Don’t Try To Mimic The Look Of Chains or Big Brands
To stand out as a brand, it is essential that you have an innovative and unique idea. Imitating the success formula of a big company can cost you a lot of money, and it is not even guaranteed that it will be successful for you.
Try and carve out your distinctive way to attract customers. The key to customers eyes is to original and authentic that aligns with customers feeling.
Airbnb is one such brand which utilizes the emotions of the human in their advertisements. In their advertisement “Breaking Down Walls” they show the journey of a family. It was a heart touching story which helped them in elevating their sales and enhance their reach.
8. Utilize Social Platforms
Advertise yourself on social media to gain publicity. Start being active on social platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, etc. And post about your brand. It can be anything.
Try out showing behind-the-scene videos and images about how you build your product, or you can also do vlogs to shows the events that you have hosted. Such small strategies can do a lot for a company who has a small fanbase.
9. Give Back To The Community
You must be thinking that for a small business giving away stuff for charity is not a good idea. That’s wrong.
Use it as a way to brand your business. Organize or join the big events to showcase your product or service that will provide a viable solution to people’s problem.
Many brands come up with innovative ideas to visit orphanage and hospital to teach kids about the latest technology and gadgets. Such a small step make the business memorable.
10. Define Your Company Voice
One of the biggest branding mistakes companies can make is that they are not clear on what the company’s “voice” is. The voice of your company is not about what you are saying, but how it’s being said.
If you consider yourself a “young, urban” brand, then using jargon and slang in your branding and marketing is not the right way. Invest some time to know your “voice” and ensure that it rings true to the brand you want to be.
11. Define Your Company Tone
If you have figured out your company “voice,” then it’s time to define your company’s “tone.” While your voice generally stays the same, but the tone in which you deliver those messages is going to change depending on your audience.
You will always have to remain that young, urban brand, but if you are preparing a proposal to get funding, or creating an ad online, you’ll need to adjust your tone. Voice and tone are different, but necessary in building your brand communications.
That’s all folks! I know that the list is quite big now, but I sincerely believe that these branding tips will give you some direction about your brand and will take your business in a new way. Kudos!
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Hemal Bhatt is a marketing strategist for www.jiteshkeswani.com. He is well-versed in social media marketing and content marketing. He likes to share tips related to the marketing industry for budding marketers.