Large companies the world over have long recognized the value of creating a brand. To most small business owners however, branding their business is something they only dream of as they think it’s just not possible to do with their small budgets. But even a small business can benefit from the impact of having a well-honed image. At the very least, a brand image can separate a small business from it’s competitors. It can also go far in conveying a powerful message or idea that is well recognized by customers. While branding is typically very expensive, it doesn’t have to be. Here are four tips for building your small business’s brand on a shoestring budget.
Have A Well-Designed, Highly-Recognizable Logo
Something as simple as a logo can go far in branding a business so that it sticks out from the crowd of other similar businesses. Without question, one of the most important and instantly recognizable elements of a business’s brand is its logo. While it can cost thousands of dollars to have a top-rated design agency design great logo for you, it’s very easy to find talented freelancers online who offer logo design and development services. For just a fraction of what you’d have to pay a large design agency, a great freelance designer can create an eye-popping logo for your business that will do wonders for helping your business gain credibility and grow. Once you do have your new logo designed, make sure you have enough funding available to add it to your website, blog, social media pages and business cards.
Businesses of all types and sizes have no choice but to have a social media presence these days. However, just creating a profile on a few social platforms is not enough. You also must consistently engage with your audience. You can do this in many ways. The easiest manner involves simply posting status updates several times per week consisting of interesting news, product or business info, special promos/sales, etc. You also could consider running monthly competitions and asking for feedback as both are great for branding a business. Today, consumers enjoy having the opportunity to get to know the person or people behind the brand so get personal and talk about yourself, your staff and your business across your social platforms.
Enhance The Customer Experience
Making sure your customers have a great experience while interacting with your business is paramount to brand building. Marketing is all about the type of experience you deliver to your customer with each and every interaction. The more compelling the experience you offer, the quicker you build brand loyalty. When thinking of how you can enhance your customers’ experience, think of how you’d like to be treated if you were a customer. Let’s say for example’s sake that you run a coffee shop on a busy street with other coffee shops, bakeries and cafes present. A good way to enhance the customer experience is to offer free customer parking and no-cost refills. This will help attract new customers to your business, assist in retaining the customers you already have plus it will clearly show that your business values its customers which is something every consumer appreciates these days. You want to create a buzz around your business wherein people will tell other people about how great your business is because of the amazing experience you offer. Get creative and go above and beyond to make your business stand out from the crowd of others.
Involve Yourself In Networking
Face-to-face networking may be ‘old school’ but it’s still one of the best ways to build your brand as well as your business. You have to be persistent in your networking and you won’t see results right away. But if you continually get yourself seen by attending local events and meetings, you will build your brand slowly but surely. Of course, you need to carry your branded business cards with you wherever you go. Don’t be afraid to boast a bit about how your business is different and special from other similar businesses. People enjoy speaking with small business owners who take great pride in the businesses they’ve built from scratch so get out there, rub some elbows and be your brand’s best marketing tool. After all, nobody knows your business like you do! In addition to passing out business cards, if your budget allows, consider passing out small promotional items featuring your logo and contact info like pens, key-chains, thumb drives, lanyards, etc.