A small business always has the uphill struggle of gaining brand awareness. When competing with large corporates that have deep pockets for marketing and advertising, it can seem almost impossible to get your brand on the map.
However, there are a number of intelligent and practical ways to improve your brand without breaking the bank:
Partner with an established business
A complementary business is a great opportunity to get your name out there. The key is who to join forces with, and how to do so. You need to understand what you hope to gain from the association and what they will gain. It must be a win-win relationship, for it to work well. If you provide organic honey, for example, you can partner with a store that sells only organic food, and launch a promotion for your brand.
Participate in social media
There are many conversations happening within your industry all the time, and much of this is occurring on social media. If you own a beauty salon, participate in Twitter conversations around beauty trends during awards season, for example. Develop authority in your industry, while conversing and engaging with your market. This will entrench your brand into the minds of target consumers as they start attaching your business label to their product and service needs.
Attend networking events
Wear well-branded and themed T-shirts or corporate clothing to promote your brand in chosen circles. It can spark conversation with other people attending the networking event and potentially open doors for immediate and future business, or strategic business opportunities and associations.
Take advantage of word-of-mouth advertising
Encourage your customers to tell their friends and family about your business. Offer them incentives such as small gifts, discounts or other loyalty rewards. One of the key factors to making this work is training staff in both remembering and doing this on a regular basis.
Send products to influencers
Bloggers and photographers can help rapidly spread your brand among their followers. Always choose a credible influencer, with an ideal platform to shed spotlight on your product or service. Identifying influencers who focus on products such as yours, then sending them some of your products (perhaps as a gift hamper) can increase brand awareness considerably. If it is well executed, the influencer will gladly add ambassadorial value by speaking, writing and sharing about the product or service publicly. This can easily catapult an unknown brand or product into the consumer limelight.
If you want to grow as a business, you need to get people not only seeing your brand, but talking about it frequently. This can seem intimidating for a small business competing in today markets and under tough economic circumstances. However, a few strategic moves and changes – such as highlighted above – can make all the difference in promoting your brand without excessive spending.
Proudly brought to you by the National Small Business Chamber (NSBC).