Build an Amazing Brand – 10 Easy Steps for Effective Business Marketing and Brand Building
1. Get a professional logo designed. The most basic step that is most overlooked in one-man businesses. But don’t neglect your logo! You can now get a great logo for just around $100 from logo-contest websites. Also make a point of getting some input from family, friend and workmates before you make a final decision on a logo. After all it is the public who is going to be seeing it after it’s up so they are your best critic.
2. Under-promise and overdeliver. This is one of the biggest keys to giving amazing service and building a business that people will actually talk about. Word of mouth marketing. What you have to keep in mind here is that good promoting takes money, so you need to budget some aside just for this. Then if you take a look around at successful businesses you will find that they never stop promoting.
3. Be consistent in everything. In your marketing, in your customer interactions, and in your level of service. Remaining consistent is how a solid brand is built. Examples: When people go to McDonalds they know what they’re getting. When people go to Starbucks they know the exact taste of the coffee they are ordering. Being consistant will also help you to keep operating costs down because people will pay more for less as long as they know up front what they will be getting.
4. Educate first because knowledge is powerful. It helps you sell and builds an inherent bond with your customer through the power of association. Keep in mind that the first time for anything really is practice. So as you become more familiar with all that, your business and your customer or client base the better you will get at whatever it is that you’re marketing. So learn your lessons the easy way through research whenever possible.
5. Ask and listen. Find out your customers likes and dislikes. What problems can you solve for your customer and how can you solve them better than anyone else? This is the basic foundation for a successful business that can stand the test of time. Markets change and even if they do so gradually over time these changes can really add up but you have to be ready and willing to accept constructive criticism to get ahead of the curve on changes as they come.
6. Engage with your customer base. With the introduction and rising popularity of social media, we have seen how big brands can succeed (and fail miserably by not even participating) at the social media game. Get your branded Twitter and Facebook accounts at the bare-minimum and start participating in the discussion! Another good idea along the same line is to try to connect your product or service to popular trends as they emerge on social networking sites.
7. Packaging is important. From getting your website professionally developed to the smallest details like getting your letterheads branded. Make sure your businesses brand is displayed in every form of communication you make with your prospects and clients. Then if you plan on marketing on the Internet you need to spend a little bit of time becoming familiar with effective search engine optimization techniques.
8. Lend your expertise. You can become the leading authority in your industry by contributing to relevant magazines, getting interviewed, or appearing on the news. Your business benefits in a big way just by association. Remember that no one is going to approach you and award you a medal that qualifies you as an expert. You have to do it yourself and remember that shy timid promoters never get recognized.
9. Don’t underestimate the importance of a brandable domain name. Google.com is brandable, Amazon.com is brandable, thebestnewyorkplumber.com is not brandable. Register your business name and develop it (see step #7). The basic law surrounding brandable names are simple. It basically states that you can not lay claim to common words spoken in languages. So for instance “sizzle” is not brandable but “zzizzle” is.
10. Lay the foundation for a professional business image in your commercial space. Make sure your offices prominently display your brand on your building and smaller touches like having a logo mat when the customer walks in the door. Customized business props are so easy to have made online now too, so there’s no reason for not having them. Logoed coffee cups, pencils and pens, ball caps and the list just goes on and on an their all surprisingly affordable now.
A Few Final Words of Advise
It’s just so easy to become intoxicated with optimism during the planning stages of getting a business venture up and going. Understand that businesses do fail and you’re certainly not immune to any of the pitfalls that have done in untold numbers of entrepreneurs who have come and gone before you. So get ready to struggle because there are going to be disappointments and potholes along your road to success. Just learn to deal with them from a position of strength, with the spirit of a survivalist and remember that what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. Then finally; believe in what you’re marketing and your enthusiasm will become contagious to others.