Have you been just handed the reins for your family’s hardware business? Are you thinking of how to grow your small landscaping enterprise? Do you want to promote your home cleaning business but do not know how?
Cast your worries aside. With the help of a reputable marketing consultancy firm, you’ll be well on your way to achieving both your branding and business goals in no time.
Small Size, Big Rewards
Being a small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) is not reason enough to dial down your branding efforts. In fact, you can actually take full advantage of your size to maximize communication and marketing opportunities that will boost your brand and business.
A lot of local businesses nowadays are not even looking at how big or small they are compared to bigger companies. Modern technology has made it possible for a business to bridge gaps or even fill chasms in the commercial setting. Digital branding and marketing tools have also made it possible to level the playing field between small players and the Goliaths of commerce.
The key to victory lies in the strategic and insightful melding of branding and profit-making tactics. With the prolific experience and expertise of branding and marketing specialists, your business can reap the rewards of clever planning and seamless execution.
By helping you to understand who you are, the competitive landscape and the environment that surrounds you, and the point of differentiation that sets your business apart, you can leverage your strengths to propel you to the peaks of success.
This is why no matter where you are in terms of size or scale, as long as you have proven and research-based stratagems to back you up, then you can confidently stride out and conquer the milieu that you’ve chosen.
Whether you are a quaint bridal shop, a relatively young car dealership, or an authentic sushi restaurant, no mountain is high enough for you to scale when you are armed with a strategy-directed branding and business plan.
If you want to know how to market your local brand successfully, here are some tips that can let you start on the right foot:
1. Know Thy Customer
It does not matter if you have been living in that town for generations or if you have just moved in. Knowing your customer does not just mean that you know each and every neighbor you have by name.
More than just knowing basic information such as their names or addresses, you need to dive deep down into who your clients are, what makes them tick as consumers, and how you can draw them in to patronize your brand.
Aside from the demographics from where you can base useful statistics, you should also look into the psychographics of your market. This more qualitative method of gathering information leads you to a better understanding of their aspirations, attitudes, and activities, among other psychological factors, that drive them to support a brand or business.
By identifying your target customers’ pain points, you can create a bespoke remedy that will resolve their needs or requirements.
2. Identify your Point of Differentiation
SMEs sometimes fall into the trap of thinking that since they are small (compared to industry behemoths), they cannot compete head-to-head with big companies. However, if you have identified your point of differentiation from the sea of competitors, you can still rise above the rest.
When designing your business plan, a wise marketing or branding specialist will encourage and help you discern how you differ from other vendors. A deeper understanding of who you are can drive you to uncover your strengths and how you can set yourself apart from your competitors.
Use this point of differentiation to offer tailor-made solutions to your target market’s requirements. Harness its power, use it to magnify your presence, and hone it to become a beacon that will lead your intended audience to you.
3. Elevate the Customer Experience
Armed with a clear and defined strategy, you can then go and create branding experiences that will satisfy and delight your customers. Knowing who they are and how they think or feel will help you come up with activities that will promote your brand.
When you know how to tickle their fancy, then your customers are more compelled to say good things about you. Positive word-of-mouth is a powerful advertising and marketing tool that will help spread the news about your business. Investing in customer activities that have substance and are relevant to your market can also help you generate leads.
Mastering the unboxing experience is another way to elevate a customer’s impression of your brand. The importance of product packaging goes beyond holding the product. The growth of social media has made packaging more influential on customers’ experiences with their purchase. Consider investing in branded product packaging to give your customers a memorable unboxing experience and to build a positive impression of your brand.
4. Work That Network
Whether you are in a tightly knit community or not, you should take advantage of networking opportunities. These situations not only help you spread the word about your business but are also a gateway to possible business partnerships or branding tie-ups.
Increase your visibility in the local sphere by taking part in community activities. It’s your town’s founding anniversary? Why not volunteer to do the decorations for the venue if you’re an event stylist? There’s a fundraising event to build a senior citizen’s health center? If you’re a gym equipment distributor, why not donate a few pieces of gym equipment or conduct free physical fitness classes?
Being a member of your local business club can also be advantageous for you. You can meet possible business partners with whom you can combine your offers or services to address your shared market needs. You can also approach establishments for a tie-up relevant to your market. For example, if you’re a supplier of locally grown organic hair products, you can forge a partnership with your neighborhood’s leading salon.
5. Create an Online Presence
Lastly, take full advantage of online technology. You do not have to spend an arm and a leg to put up a creative and compelling website, nor do you have to spend most of your advertising budget in creating an interactive social media account.
There are 4.54 billion people using the Internet nowadays, with 3.80 billion hooked on social media. With these numbers in mind, you would want to get your fair share of online visibility by making sure you are within your target market’s electronic sphere.
Go Local, Go Smart
Even when you are defined by local boundaries, your branding efforts should not.
Heed the advice of your marketing consultant and seek avenues where you can leverage your brand. By coming up with a sound branding and business plan, you can get closer to your market, differentiate yourself from your competitors, and conquer the field with experiential activities that generate brand loyalty and customer retention.
Hasan Fadlallah is a Serial Entrepreneur – Founder & CEO of Brand Lounge, the region’s leading and award-winning branding consultancy, whose role is to help organizations align their business behind an idea that will deliver success time and again. Equipped with over 20 years of professional consulting experience, today he advises businesses throughout the Gulf and Africa on brand development and in 2014 was recognized by the World Brand Congress who awarded him the prestigious Brand Leadership award in Brand Excellence.