How to Brand on the Cheap
Small businesses dream of achieving the recognition associated with brand powerhouses like Coca Cola, Nike and McDonald's. While you may not achieve universal recognition or household name status in the near future, small business branding on a shoestring budget is possible. Learn how to get your contacts to recognize and appreciate what your company has to offer without spending every penny of your profit.
Know Who You Are
Unless your company has a clear vision of your values, customers and goals, you won't be able to achieve any kind of brand recognition. Learn what sets you apart and why your customers choose you over competitors. If you're looking for insight on your organization's best selling points, ask your customer service or sales representatives for insight. Small business branding on a shoestring budget requires self-awareness, confidence and direction.
Having a unique, visually-appealing logo that your company owns is critical. Work with a talented graphic designer to come up with an image that fits your company's unique qualities, and put the image to use. Including the brand image on major social media networks and email signatures is free and an important first step towards small business branding on a shoestring budget. Don't skimp on your logo, and don't quit until you've developed something that describes your company at first glance.
Recognize Your Employees
Small businesses are defined by groups of hard-working people. If your customers wanted the gleaming, faceless brand of an enormous corporation, they wouldn't choose to be your client. Let your customers know about each member of your talented team, their achievements and what they bring to the table. Employee profiles on your website or blog are an excellent step towards establishing your company as a small business that cares, and they're a perfect example of small business branding on a shoestring budget.
Have we mentioned that inbound marketing is cheap, and it works? Focus your marketing budget towards being found by the customers who matter, and building relationships on social media with your fans. Membership on major social media networks is free and the average Facebook user spends around 8 hours a month connecting on the network. Create social media profiles that promote your business and commit to writing a blog that delivers information your customers want. Inbound marketing is an essential component of small business branding on a shoestring budget and it's more effective than direct mail, television commercials or print advertising.
Recognize Your Customers
Small businesses love their customers, and customers love being appreciated. Engage with your fans actively on social media, and offer contests and opportunities to be featured on your social media or blog. If you are a Business to Business-focused organization, feature other small businesses in your company newsletter or connect on social media. If your fans want to give a glowing testimonial about your products and services, ask for permission to use their words and publish them on the website. Working to uplift the people who support your company is a way to benefit everyone involved with small business branding on a shoestring budget.
Defining and promoting your brand doesn't require an enormous marketing budget or years of effort. Look around at the people who work hard to please your customers, and the clients who love what you do. Small business branding on a shoestring budget is possible, as long as you take the time to define your company's best attributes and goals. Develop a logo that represents your vision and adopt inbound marketing to build relationships with the clients who count. Small business branding on a shoestring budget can happen for you.
Image Credit: freedigitalphotos.net/Naypong