A brand does more than just identify your company and products. It establishes the values of your company, your unique selling point, and gives customers a strong reason to believe in and buy from your company. It creates an identity that customers can relate to and claim as their own.
Customers who consistently buy Nike shoes, for example, don’t buy just for the fit. They identify with a brand that personifies the daring athlete who goes out and gets what he or she wants in life. This is what a strong brand does for your customers – it allows them to connect more deeply with their own values and goals through your product.
Large companies spend millions of dollars on branding. They hire sophisticated ad agencies to design campaigns that will promote their brand across a large section of the population.
Many small businesses panic at the thought of branding because they don’t have the budget for branding that the bigger companies do. So instead of putting any effort into branding, they lower their prices, sometimes to a tiny profit margin, because they believe it is the only way to bring in customers.
This is a mistake. Not only will lowering prices make people wonder about the quality of your product, but it will also pull in customers who are “tire kickers” – those who are never satisfied no matter how much you try to please them.
The better solution is to establish a solid brand with a narrowly targeted segment of your customer base. If you deliver on quality, that base will grow. So how does a small company on a modest budget build a substantial brand?
Know Your Customer
Do thorough research on who currently buys your product or service and why. How old are they? How much money do they make? Where do they live and work? What industry are they in? Do they have a family or are they single? What are their hobbies, interests, and passions? What do they care about? What are they worried about? What challenges do they face in their personal and professional life?
Position yourself in the Market You Serve
Once you know your customers intimately, you can figure out where to position yourself in the marketplace. Figure out what challenge or problem your product or service can solve for them. This is how you find your niche.
By finding a gap in the industry or market you serve, you will be able to then position your product to fill that gap. Once your customers see that you provide a solution to their problem, they will start to feel a sense of loyalty to your brand. This is when your branding efforts start to work their magic.
Identify your Unique Selling Point
Pick the one thing you do better than any of your competitors and the benefit that this one thing provides to customers. This should be the focus of your brand. Everything you produce – web content, print materials, logo, etc., should support this concept. Find ways to say it differently throughout all of your marketing efforts, but make sure that your basic branding message underlies everything.
Small businesses don’t have to feel intimidated by the process of branding. Just because you don’t have the million dollar budgets of the “big boys” doesn’t mean you can’t establish a strong brand presence in your particular part of the market. For more information on how to promote your brand and bring in customers with effective inbound marketing, contact Digital Flavor today. We’re here to help!