Everyone has to start out somewhere, a lot of hard work and effort is needed to make your brand flourish. Nobody can become as recognizable as Adidas overnight. Branding refers to how people perceive your company, this is an area where the quality of the product isn’t everything. Even if you offer top-quality products, if you have poor branding and marketing, you are doomed to fail in this day and age where branding is key. This is why we are going to help you plan and execute a smart strategy.
Strategy is Key
If you are a small business, you are bound to run into several big problems including not enough funding and being understaffed. The big thing with strategizing is realizing your mistakes and working on them. You can’t expect to tell your workers to work harder and poof all of your problems are solved. Make every action count. See where you are going wrong, what area can see more attention in order to be more successful. Decide on business objectives and try to envision them. Don’t be afraid to include your employees in the process. As they can be of enormous help to you and the business overall. Considering the current pandemic, having a board meeting might not be the best idea, so try and make a coordinated zoom call, share ideas through e-mails and google docs.
Differentiate Yourself from the Competition
Just picture this scenario: You are a potential buyer and you see 3 different companies offering a product. You don’t know anything about them nor can you tell the difference between them, you will most likely buy based on price.
This will mean that if you don’t stand out, your profit margins will be purely based on arbitrarity. You want to avoid this by any means necessary, this is why you want to stand out from the crowd, be noticed. If you are the owner, it’s your responsibility to make your brand stand out, think to yourself: What do you want your business to be known for?
Don’t rush, give it some time to think it over. Once you have reached a stable decision, try your best to implement it.
You scratch my back, I scratch yours.
If you have a larger business you can probably survive without collaborating with other businesses (although it still isn’t advisable). But if you are a small business owner, it’s imperative that you cooperate with other small businesses in order to get yourself noticed. Don’t shy away from exchanging coupons with each other, so that way both business customers are stimulated to branch out to the other one, it’s a win-win situation.
Improve Web Technology
You don’t have to master WordPress in order to be a successful businessman. Just starting out with some basics like designing a good brochure, or knowing how to upload footage from your camera to Youtube. This doesn’t have to apply to only you. Encourage employees to grow themselves. Invest in your workers. That way you will have higher quality workers that can achieve more at your disposal. Not to mention that learning something new is also a great self-confidence boost.
Automate Unnecessary Processes
Automation is probably the best investment that you can make in your business. It is an expensive start but it saves you a ton of money in the long run by effectively eliminating extra paychecks. This can be done to boost the efficiency in day-to-day tasks as well. Cloud computing applications are life savers when it comes to automating functions.
Conserving power isn’t only a way to save a few bucks here and there, but also a good way of caring for the environment (which can also be a significant attribute of your brand). New technology engineers are constantly making better and greener products that lead to less and more efficient energy consumption. Be sure to keep an open eye on it.
Start a Newsletter
Newsletters are a great new trend of being able to express yourself and your views & opinions while also strengthening your brand name. E-mailing is the best way of staying in touch with your most valuable customers. Manage your subscriber database and compose professional-looking emails, you do want to appear professional at all times. Using newsletters is a great way to announce promotional events ahead of time as well.
Networking Makes the Business
Online networking has become far more important than in-person networking, it offers more possible contacts plus in-person networking is a bit hard at the moment due to obvious circumstances. Networking is a thing we don’t really pay much attention to, it’s mostly done by already experienced business owners. But in reality, you should be working on it at all times. Now, we know that it’s practically impossible to manage everything and also add networking to the list. But if you want your brand to succeed then you have to do whatever you can to make it so. Don’t neglect networking. Separate half an hour every day for it. Use popular social media for such things as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. It will lead to more website traffic, more clients, and therefore more profits.
Creating events (or sponsoring them) can have multiple positive benefits. You will invest in getting exposure while also integrating into the community and having an opportunity to amplify your networking. Opting for organizing or sponsoring charity events gives off a great image about your brand, as a selfless business, while also giving exposure.
People are easily swayed by first impressions, what better first impression is there than a professionally crafted picture, these pictures are the essence of small businesses, as they usually few very few employees. Use pictures that truly reflect your personality and style in order to make your brand stand out on websites.
Improve the Work Environment
Declutter your work environment, make sure it’s in top shape with hygienic work conditions. Decluttering leads to better mental health. Nothing is more demoralizing than seeing a desk filled to the brim with papers. This does not apply to your physical surroundings. Proper file management is also an important job, as it can have equal consequences as standard decluttering. Work on making the work environment as friendly, open, and relaxing as possible. Non-alcoholic beverages on the ready, even a well-equipped break room with bean bags can have positive effects due to the employees bouncing back mentally earlier and easier.
Remain authentic to yourself, your values, and the skills that you possess. Humbleness is not a good trait in the business world, but neither is overselling yourself, just leads to ridiculous expectations and a downright sense of disbelief and impression that you are lying. Remember, authenticity is one of the ways to make your brand stand out. This is why you should figure out what niche you want to go for and make it your defining element, and serve it to your key demographic. Simplicity is golden. People especially love it when your brand is approachable and more human, and not just a corporate shell trying to get you to buy their product.
Maintain a Social Media Presence
Social media allows you to control the image you want to have. Have a sold internet presence on active social media platforms and even starting your own (or starring in other people’s) podcast. This might seem like a hassle, but it can be done exceedingly well if you are efficient. For example, use that 10-minute lunch break to make a short video and share some of your thoughts and ideas.
Don’t dehumanize your customers, you have to keep in mind that people know when they are being patronized. Don’t treat them as expendable consumers, but as human beings. Quality engagement leads to a better provider-consumer relationship from which both parties prosper. Research has shown that fully-engaged customers represent 23% more revenue than average customers do. They are also more willing to advertise and recommend your product to friends and family. Focus on building relationships to make random people into devoted customers.
Nurture Existing Customers While Also Trying to Branch Out
Follow strategies that allow you to maintain your existing customers via newsletters, or letting them know about promotional events and such. However, this does not mean that all of your customer-related attention should be spent on nurturing your already established base. Make sure to find the right balance of nurturing the established customers and seeking new ones.
Research the Competition
It is difficult to establish yourself as a dominant brand without any prior knowledge of your competition. This is why you should devote a portion of your time to figure out what your competitors are doing, and what are they doing better than you. It’s important to realize your mistakes through your opponent’s success.
Improve Your Site’s Visibility
If you aren’t at the top of the search results, you might as well not exist. Around 75% of internet users don’t even click past the first page of results. So if you aren’t at the top, this leaves you practically invisible. This is why you should perform search engine optimization in order to boost your visibility. By increasing the speed of your site and inserting keywords into blogs, you can boost site traffic and bring in more organic traffic.