February 12, 2015
As a small business owner, you’ve probably become comfortable wearing many hats, one of them being marketer. While most people have different views on what marketing is, you’re probably doing it either through networking, coupons, social media, local ads, signage, etc. There comes a time, however, that business picks up and you need to consider having someone else manage your marketing. The last thing you want is to drop the ball, particularly since gaining momentum with marketing takes time. Of course, the dream is to produce ad campaigns comparable to the big boys, be it Nike, Target, Starbucks, or BMW. However, the true power behind these companies comes from their brand experience, and we’re big believers that smaller companies can create comparable brand experiences to the larger names, but at a lower scale. This is what the goal of a small business owner should be, taking it to the next level. One step at a time. What makes for an invaluable brand experience? The message — Arguably the most important piece, but definitely a key element is your company message. People want to know what separates your company from the competition and if you have a compelling message they’ll be happy to spend money with your company. Small-business owners often begin their companies with these ideas fresh in their mind, knowing what they offer, where they stand with the competition, and their values, but this message tends to become diluted as time passes. Thus, it is ideal to handoff your marketing to someone who will carry the message throughout all the marketing. Visual — Logos, typography, layouts and ads are mainly dictated by the message. They all work together to create the branding. However, the visual component isn’t a one-time deal. If you’re planning to take your business to the next level and investing in the branding, you have to do it all the way and carry the look throughout all marketing pieces. Never underestimate the power of consistency. Customer experience — Last but not least, customers and clients need to be treated well in order for them to become loyal to your brand. Pay special attention to this anytime you visit or buy something from the big companies, do they have standards as to how they deliver your product? This includes in-store packaging, the tissue paper, stickers, bags, and customer service. People don't just expect a product or service, they expect an experience. This is what they value more than what they are purchasing, and this is what will make them loyal to your brand. When you’re ready to grow your business and take it to the next level, keep these things in mind. There isn’t any reason why your company can’t be a brand similar to the best of them.