Establish or Refresh Your Identity
Work with a branding agency – or on your own – to create a brand identity that reflects your corporate values. Using the goals you defined for your company, think about what you want your company to stand for. Identify whom your core user or customer is. Think about your packaging design and consider if it needs to be updated.
Build Your Brand
Once you have established a brand identity, build recognition for it by including a consistent brand message across your company’s marketing materials. Make sure your brand identity (i.e. logo, values, and/or corporate colors) is included on your website, business cards, signage, letterhead, and advertisements. This necessary step can quickly build customer recognition of your brand.
Have a Professional Website
Your company’s website is frequently the first and sometimes only line of communication to your customer. Investing in a polished and professional website with appropriate social media plug-ins (e.g. Facebook “Like” buttons) and blog content, gives your company multiple platforms to relay your brand’s message to your customer. A well-designed website that is easy to navigate, comprehensive, and user-friendly can make a positive lasting impression on consumers.
A small business must think of consistency in two ways. The first is brand consistency. Make sure your brand’s message is uniform across all platforms, including your website, your customer interaction, and marketing materials. Second, be consistent with your customers. One of the primary drivers of brand loyalty is a consistent consumer experience. A positive experience can lead to repeat business and increased sales. However, a customer’s negative experience can easily damage a brand. If your small business can focus on both types of consistency it can build a positive reputation and a loyal customer base for your brand.
One advantage that a small business has over a large corporation is that it can be nimble, creative, and react quickly to changing circumstances. Small businesses should use these assets and get creative about how to achieve their marketing goals. If you have no marketing budget, try bartering or putting social media tools to work for your company. Boost sales by teaming up with a local coupon offering site such as Groupon or Living Social. Blogs are a great way to convey your brand’s message for free. If necessary, monetize your website via ad sales.