by Angela Dimos
Do you think that branding is only for large corporations with serious bucks to spend on their advertising and marketing? No way! It doesn’t matter what size your business is, you should have a recognisable brand that sets you apart from your competitors and gives clients and prospective clients a perception of who you are and what your business stands for. Here I will discuss the importance of branding when deciding exactly what image you want to portray to the world.
Your brand is more than your logo, business card or website. It’s the identity of the company you want to portray to the world. It tells people what your business is about, what you do and even gives them an insight on what sort of person you are. It builds credibility within the marketplace and in time, will be recognisable as the symbol you portray. A great example is Nike, with their famous tick symbol. They have been around long enough that they don’t have to let the world know their name; it’s evident by a simple symbol. This is the most powerful marketing around.
You are not Nike
Big names like Nike and Coca Cola only need to tap into the existing awareness of their "brand," not a product they are selling. This is because those companies have been around for such a long period of time and are instantly recognisable for consumers.
This type of branding is too broad for the small to medium business owners. In the beginning, you should concentrate on direct response marketing. This is anything that seeks to evoke a reaction from your audience (e.g., purchase your product, visit your website or call you for more information). This is accomplished by writing amazing copy that entices people to respond. In order to do this, you must know what your unique selling difference is, position the message to your audience (your niche) and await the response.
A good way to differentiate yourself in the marketplace is to provide your customers with some sort of guarantee. The best way to do this is to ask your customers or perspective customers for examples of their pet peeves or complaints about your industry—what really fires them up?
If you’re an executive coach, perhaps your clients may tell you they really don’t like waiting for an email response to their question. So you could offer a guarantee that if a client ever has to wait longer than 24 hours for a response, they receive a free 30-minute coaching call.
Or maybe you run an online membership site, and you discover that people dislike a long wait for the delivery of items they've purchased. Offer a guarantee that if their materials don't arrive within one week, they'll be entitled to free shipping on their next order.
People love these types of gestures, and feel appreciated. By doing this, you set yourself apart in the industry and will build word of mouth referrals as well as loyal customers and revenue for your business. Simply saying you are great doesn’t mean a thing to your prospective clients. It’s when other people say you’re great that really matters.
Ask yourself, why am I unique at what I do and how can I provide that to my customers now and in the future?
Facebook is not just for teenagers
Social media may actually be the most effective way to brand your business. Don’t believe me? Look at the likes of Gary Vaynerchuk. After primarily utilizing traditional advertising techniques to build his family’s local wine business into a national industry leader, Gary rapidly leveraged social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook to promote Wine Library TV, his video blog about wine. As his viewership swelled to over 80,000 a day, doors opened to a book deal, several national TV appearances and a flurry of speaking engagements around the world. To find out exactly how he did it, I highly recommend his book, Crush It.
Angela Dimos created www.createyourbrandtoday.com to help business owners earn passive income online. Visit her website for free Internet marketing materials and information.