By Freelance writer: Rick Brache
Ready for your small business to join the Apples, BMW’s and Coca-Cola’s of the world? Your biz needn’t be a household name in order to make an impression. The truth is those three names all started out under humble circumstances, but BUILT strong & recognizable brands from scratch.
There’s a lot more to your brand than a logo and slogan (although those don’t hurt either). Approach your business like a consumer would, or more importantly-how you would were you ready to consume!
You need to define what you do better than anybody and how to tell people about it so that they
- Notice you
- Patronize your business
- Come back for more
- Tell other folks about you
ASK Yourself: What comes to mind when you mention a famous, established brand?
Let’s take a quick look at the three examples from above:
Apple designs elegant, easy to use consumer electronics at the cutting edge.
BMW manufactures high performance vehicles that combine luxury and looks.
Coca-Cola brews & bottles refreshing soft drink that quenches thirst and tastes great.
While all three of these companies have branched out into other markets and products, their early success was built on one-two products: For Apple it was the personal computer, for BMW it was aircraft engines & motorcycles, For Coca-Cola it was the “Original Formula” cola soft drink.
So the lesson is, keep your mission simple and consistent.
Establish what you do and that you do it well before expanding or moving on to other products and services. Keep it consistent so that word of mouth can spread, and differentiate yourself from the competition by establishing a presentation that’s consistent as well. This can be accomplished using a combination of time-tested & cutting edge methods.
1. Business cards – Old Fashioned yet effective. People will take a business card and stuff it in their wallet, or post it on their fridge. Say your small biz is a restaurant-when evening rolls around and everybody’s hungry after work, but don’t feel like cooking? “Hey, remember THAT place?….Looked good”
2. Of course a business card isn’t very effective unless you have a Distinctive Logo. Who can forget the Apple with the bite missing, or the blue, black & white BMW badge, or the white Coca-Cola script on red?
3. E-mail Newsletters – these can be effective but can also be annoying. Most people I know like to be informed once or twice a week but resent 30 messages a day nagging them!
4. Brick & Mortar signage. Probably the most old-fashioned of them all and not always necessary, unless you own a restaurant or shop.
5. No 21st century biz would be complete without a Great Website. Are you a graphic designer as well as a small business owner? Probably not, so consider hiring a firm like Tucson’s Amped Marketing & Advertising. The internet is full of options, but variety is not always “the spice of life.” You want your business’s website to separate from the herd AND to make a positive impression immediately. A professionally designed website will make you stand out amidst the competitive clutter.
6. Traditional banner ads are a thing of the past. Let Amped exponentially increase your digital profile with Native Advertising that blurs the line; interweaving promotions so subtly into the website’s content that customers cannot tell the difference!
- Targeted to a specific audience
- Delivered in-stream to site such as: Facebook, Twitter & Instagram
- 82% increase in brand awareness
- Native ads that include rich media boost conversion rates by up to 60%
7. A Facebook or other social media business page allows for interaction with current or potential customers in real-time. It’s like a giant worldwide bulletin board, accessible to everyone who ever “liked” your page (and many of their friends). It also acts as a giant “letter to the editor” allowing members to give invaluable feedback to your business-in short what’s working and what needs tinkering. Amped offer’s the most comprehensive, creative and professional Facebook Design & Management in the market today. They also specializes in the other big Social Media sites, including, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Google+.
8. Looking for a plumber or a pizza? Everyone “Google’s it” these days. But if your website end’s up on page 47 near the bottom of the search results, you’re sunk. That’s where SEO comes in: Search Engine Optimization. A professional Advertising & Marketing firm like Amped understands the importance of SEO: the goal is always to appear as early and as prominently in the major search engine results as possible. They will launch a campaign to bring in a stream of new visitors to your website, building a framework to sustain a long-term increase in website traffic. They can also optimize your SEO campaign to convert your traffic into customers as well as manage it: making continual improvements to increase the percentage of your new traffic that turn into paying customers.
The digital era makes it easier to reach your customers, but also harder to do so. By building your brand the smart way, you stand out from the clutter and stand a much greater chance to reap the rewards.