Every company begins as a start-up. Whether it be Amazon or Microsoft, every organization starts with limited resources and a vision. Some of these businesses go on to become giant conglomerates, contributing heavily to the country’s economy.
As per the Small Business Administration, there are 30.7 million small businesses in the US alone. These businesses employ a cumulative of 1.5 million people, and over 90 percent of the economic growth comes from small and medium-sized enterprises.
Yet, small businesses have to withstand a lot of obstacles on their way. One such challenge is building a strong brand. After all, without brand-building, regardless of how great your product is, you won’t be able to connect with customers and create a brand value.
For instance, as per Contently, 61 percent of people prefer buying from businesses that have a unique brand voice. As per Forbes, consistent branding efforts across different channels have the power to boost revenue by 23 percent.
Due to the limited resources and financial constraints, branding for small businesses can be a challenge. However, this downside can be neutered with some smart tactics.
Here are some smart brand-building tactics that help small firms to connect with their customers.
Develop a brand positioning
The first step to creating a strong brand is deciding where you wish to position yourself in mind and hearts of consumers. The art of ensuring that you connect with customers is to make your product relevant in their lives, and this is what brand positioning allows you to do.
Let’s take Unilever’s popular beauty bar, Dove, as an example. Rather than focusing on the functional benefits of the product or selling it as a soap that cleans the dirt particles, the company positions it as a tool for empowering women.
Each of its communication is based around wanting consumers to feel confident, just the way they are. Their tagline, “Real Beauty,” and their marketing campaigns always follow this same theme.
It is something a small business can and must do as well. Research your competitors and see how they have positioned themselves. The idea is to differentiate your offering from theirs.
Make sure to consider the customer’s perspective when deciding on your unique selling propositions and positioning.
Design an impactful logo
A logo is one of the most basic yet significant elements of branding. Every company, regardless of its size, must invest in creating a quality logo. According to Pam Moore, it takes at least five impressions for customers to remember your brand. The brand’s logo facilitates this awareness process.
Your logo must be present in all of your marketing communications, whether it be billboards, ads, or packaging. It helps in boosting brand recognition and thereby improves the chances of consumers connecting with your brand.
But, designing an impactful logo is not easy. You must relay your brand image and what you stand for via the logo. Therefore, it is imperative to have a clear idea of your brand values in mind when giving the brief to your logo design company.
A logo or “publication design” should never send out mixed messages; you need your target audience to recognize you, to trust you, and to remember you.
A logo creates a distinct identity for a brand. Take Toyota as an example. It uses red as the primary color to reflect a sense of community while the use of silver and gray along with the curved edges of the design relay dependability, sleekness, and sophistication.
Understanding the various connotations of the logo, and designing elements will help you create a memorable and impactful logo for your brand.
Reward your loyal customers
Did you know that as per HBR, boosting customer retention by 5 percent can help improve profits by up to 95 percent?
To create a strong brand, you must convert your loyal customers into advocates of your brand. It is not just a cost-effective way of building a brand but also helps in gaining more customers, as peer-review is considered to be much more reliable evidence of quality than paid content.
To cultivate loyalty among customers, begin by offering impeccable customer service. Dell is great at doing so. After the delivery of its products, Dell makes sure to call its customers to check if they are satisfied with it.
The more concerned you are as a brand about the customers, the more likely they are to be satisfied. You can take it further up a notch by rewarding your loyal customers. Have a loyalty program in place for this. Starbucks is famous for doing so.
To leverage the loyalty program as a brand-building tactic, design a loyalty app, and launch special promotion campaigns for your loyal customers.
Tell a story
How you choose to reflect on what your business does also matters. For instance, merely creating an “About Us” page and writing functional posts about your business won’t seal the deal.
To engage and connect with customers, you need to think outside the box. A great way to make sure that your audience remembers you is by using the power of storytelling. This tactic can be used in a variety of campaigns to better connect with customers.
Airbnb is the master of storytelling. The company’s key messages center around local hospitality and community. Thereby, they connect with the customer’s desire to opt for local travel experiences.
For instance, in its New Year video for the year 2015, Airbnb told its story of how over 550,000 travelers will be spending the New Year Eve in their rentals. Such campaigns tug at the Fear-of-missing-out feeling prevalent among the masses.
Similarly, John Lewis’s Christmas ads are anticipated every year, for the same reason – because they tug at the heartstrings with their innovative storytelling ability.
It takes time to build a brand. The journey is much harder when you are a small business or a start-up who is just starting to find its feet.
However, the four tactics discussed in the blog can easily be implemented, regardless of the size of your business.
So, know your brand positioning and design your logo accordingly. Transform your customers into advocates by offering excellent customer service and use the power of storytelling to attract the masses. If you nail these four strategies, you are bound to leave a mark in your consumers’ hearts.