Your small business brand is crucial to how consumers view and identify your company.
Good branding can help position your business as a leader in your industry—a company that delivers on its promises and provides outstanding products and customer experience.
But just how do you go about building a strong brand? Here are five great ways to start.
1) Be a Social Media Rock Star
A strong social media presence can do wonders for small business brand awareness. Just having an account on a social network isn’t going to cut it, though. These days most every business is present on social media, so you need to find a unique voice that stands out.
For a social media masterclass, look no further than Taco Bell. The fast food chain has become a cult sensation among internet aficionados with its witty Twitter account.
The result? The company has amassed nearly two million followers, and the name “Taco Bell” has become associated with interesting and hip branding. In the process, the company has managed to distance itself from the jokes about meat quality that used to plague it. Talk about a PR win.
2) Use a Unique Theme or Mascot
Having a clever, memorable theme for your small business brand can go a long way towards gaining valuable mindshare among consumers. This is especially true for smaller businesses since limited marketing dollars don’t allow for big media ads with brand messaging.
Wufoo, an online company that creates forms and stores data, is a perfect example of doing a theme right. The company has themed its website around cartoon dinosaurs.
When you hit the landing page, you’re greeted by a cute blue dino, and they seem to follow you everywhere you go on the page. It stands out. It’s unique. And most importantly, it’s memorable.
Beyond just throwing some colorful pictures on the site, Wufoo also focuses on peripheral elements, with little “Rawrr!” messages that appear when you mouse over certain website elements.
3) Offer Free Courses or Materials
Everyone loves a freebie, so promotional offers can attract lots of traffic. If you do it right, though, the benefits can go far beyond simply getting people in the door.
A great example is design firm Elle & Company. The founder, Lauren Hooker, hosts a weekly webinar, or “Ellechat,” where she shares design tips and advice for running a creative business. These webinars attract an audience that is interested in Lauren’s expertise.
By sharing her insights, she’s able to keep participants coming back, often bringing friends or business associates. The webinars, combined with regular blogging, have positioned Lauren as an expert in her field. And when it comes time to hire a designer or business coach, an expert is always going to be in high demand.
4) Focus on Product Packaging
For a small business brand selling physical items, packaging represents a huge branding opportunity.
The gold standard for packaging and new-product experience is Apple. The technology company’s clean and minimalistic packaging is nearly as recognizable and iconic as its products. The whole experience is designed to be a pleasure, from the crisp plastic wrap to the way gravity pulls the two halves of an iPhone box apart.
Even the smell of the inside of the package is part of it—some people love that smell so much that there are “New Mac” scented candles on the market.
Now imagine your new iPhone coming in a beat-up cardboard box with cheesy product images and slogans all over it. What sort of image does that convey? Probably not one you would want for your company or product.
5) Offer Outstanding Perks to Employees
Lastly, you can build a great reputation as an employer by offering a strong benefits package to employees. Things like good health insurance obviously fall under this umbrella, but you can do more. Gym memberships are becoming common things for companies to offer, as are discounts to local attractions.
Something as simple as buying a satellite TV package with a variety of channel options for the TV in your breakroom could make the work day seem less mundane. These kinds of benefits go a long way toward improving employee satisfaction, and satisfied employees are more likely to spread the word about your business.
A big standout in this arena is Google; they’re considered one of the top places to work. The tech giant offers gourmet food, a pet-friendly environment, free rides to work, amazing maternity and paternity benefits, and more.
Becoming a Killer Small Business Brand
Differentiating your small business brand will take work.
Armed with these five innovative branding tactics, you’ll be well-equipped to build a strong brand for your small business. And with a strong brand, you can attract top talent and build loyal customers that come back again and again.
How have you gone about building your small business brand to stand out? Let us know in the comments section below!Business & Finance Articles on Business 2 Community