Improving Your Small Biz Brand Visibility And Reputation

Over 50% of businesses close their doors within their first 5 years of existing. Competition is fierce in the global marketplace, and small businesses often have a hard time adjusting to these conditions. What is needed to achieve any measure of success is to set your business apart from all the rest in some way. Without a unique selling point, the odds of developing a reliable customer-base are fairly low, even if the products and services you're offering are on par with your competitors.

This is where branding comes into play. A subset of marketing, branding refers to the process of building particular associations in the minds of an audience whenever they encounter something related to your company, whether a product, a service, an advertisement, or even something as simple as a company logo. To have a recognizable brand means that a specific image will always spring to mind when people start thinking about your business.

Developing your brand is usually not something that happens over night. A concentrated effort is required to turn your company's image into something memorable. This goal is much easier to achieve with a proper branding strategy in place, and in order to help small businesses develop their own, we have created a concise guide to walk you through a number of things you ought to consider.

Create Useful Content For Consumers

One of the simplest approaches to branding also happens to be one of the more effective ones – create something useful for the consumer. Whenever people receive something useful free of charge, they are likely to remember the circumstances of the occasion, and this can include the awareness that a particular brand had something to do with it. For example, if someone offers you a free cup of coffee while you were on your way to work, chances are good that you will turn your attention to the coffee stand, the message that's printed on the cup, and the company's logo on the shirt of the salesperson. The same principle works online, just substitute coffee with an article that provides a solution to a common problem people are having. People tend to remember their benefactors, so your company should try to become one.

Champion a Cause

Sometimes, you don't need to do consumers a favor to get them on your good side. In reality, it is often enough to espouse certain views in your marketing communications, and people will start flocking to your brand on their own. The idea behind this is that people like it when others hold the same beliefs and opinions as they do, and are more likely to remember them in a positive light. So for example, an eco-conscious consumer will take notice if a company is presenting itself as being eco-friendly by using recycled packaging for their products. In the online sphere, the equivalent to this would be a company that offers a pay-what-you-want model for their products because it believes in free software, which is guaranteed to garner respect from subsets of the tech-savvy online community. Just remember that if you plan on supporting a cause, be sure to do so in a genuine manner. Nothing devalues a brand faster than the suspicion that the company doesn't actually hold the values its espousing.

Design a Memorable Company Logo


On to the more technical side of things, a brand can be strengthened by simply being more visually memorable than the competition. Apple, McDonald’s, Shell, Nike are just some of the more prominent examples where the logo practically is the brand – it became so recognizable to the point of becoming a part of popular culture. Unfortunately, many small businesses seem to be unaware of the branding potential of a well-designed logo. The fact is, having a unique visual identifier is not something that can be replicated by other forms of branding. People process images faster than words, and they are more likely to stick in the back of your head as well. So investing in a well-designed logo is a surefire way to catch people's attention, both offline and online. If there is no artistic talent available in your company, outsourcing might be your best bet. For example, small businesses situated in Australia might want to contact a company specializing in logo design in Sydney to better implement their branding strategy.

Have Other Speak In Your Stead

Promoting your brand directly is only one part of your overall branding strategy. It is equally important for your brand to develop a life of its own, i.e. to acquire the ability to propagate without your assistance. The usual vector of brand transmission are consumers, brand advocates, and influencers. These are the people that share their experiences with a brand by posting reviews, talking to people, sharing branded content on social media, or using branded products and services in their line of business. While you can't directly influence how people will talk about your brand, what you can do is to give them some form of incentive for doing so. Social media shares might grant people discounts, reviews might make the reviewer in question eligible for early product previews, etc. The goal here is to attract a critical mass of followers to supplement your branding efforts with additional numbers.

Branding is something no company can afford to neglect in the age of the global market. Without a memorable brand to set it apart, companies face an uphill battle for consumer attention. Fortunately, creating a memorable brand is more of a matter of skill and effort than of investment, which means even small business stand a fairly good chance at succeeding.


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