You may think that the most valuable thing about your company is something material but that is as far from the truth as it can be. People can’t relate to your buildings, machines and processes but they can relate to a brand. This is a proven strategy, as people famously love buying from companies that have tried-and-tested products and brands that appeal to their emotions. Even research conducted by Nielsen confirms this, as 59% of people prefer to buy from brands they are already familiar with.
You really can’t put a price on trust.
However, even though this is a viable and successful strategy, most small businesses are reluctant to try it. This is the result of them believing that brands are only from big companies and not for them. But this is definitely not true. Small businesses can build strong and successful brands simply by utilizing their own story and differentiating themselves on the market and in their own niche.
Here are some tips on building a successful brand if you have a small business.
1. Build an original brand story
You may feel like this is the hardest part of creating a brand. How to create a story that will engage people and make them relate to your brand? The answer: you already have that story.
Remember how you started, what your previous job was, how that affected you, what were your biggest struggles, triumphs, how you met your team, what was your mission at the outset etc. All of these things are a big part of your history. According to study, people love hearing about authentic, true stories about success, especially from small businesses.
This will help them realize that there is a human behind an idea and a life behind the words.
2. Help your audience connect with you
People love buying from brands that they already know and love. But, notice the key words – knowing and loving. Study confirms that these are emotions that people feel and that make them trust the brands they are buying from.
In each element of your brand, try to evoke emotions. Make them feel – sadness, love, nostalgia, happiness, anything. People will hardly remember your content and what you did but they will always remember how you made them feel. Coca-Cola, for example, utilizes this masterfully in their advertisements – they show family, love, friends bonding over their product and that feeling is irreplaceable and the reason people keep coming back to this drink.
Andy Marrion, a Marketing Director at Paper Fellows, explains, ‘Let your audience relate to you. Don’t be closed off, let them into your story and your brand. They will love reading, seeing or hearing something that can make them feel and trust you. In this age of technological advancements, feelings are the only thing that is hard to plagiarize and fake. ‘
3. Always create value
Don’t try to trick your audience in any way. They can smell fake things from a mile away and that can ruin your brand and your reputation for good. No matter what you sell, what you share and say, always make sure that it’s valuable and useful to your audience, study confirms.
You should be careful with written content as well, since plagiarism is frowned upon in every situation. Use online tools to scan everything you post or send out like Copyscape or Academized. The same kind of scan should be done for every piece of information, image or video. Make sure you have the permissions to use that or create your own – this solution is even better.
4. Know your audience
Before you start building your brand, have a deep understanding of your audience. How you will go about building your story, manage your sales funnels and do everything else related to your brand largely depends on this.
Stefanie Milton, a Marketing Advisor from Big Assignments, explains, ‘Understanding your target audience is a good start to any brand strategy. Do some research on who would be most interested in your products, check out your competitors and scan social media to find all the necessary information you need.’
5. Make use of social proof
Best way to make people trust you more is to present them with proofs that your products and services have been good enough for other people. You should pay special attention to reviews, mentions, newspaper articles etc. According to study, testimonials provide 89% of effectiveness. Display them prominently wherever you can.
For example, UK Writings is a strong brand that built their entire story out of reviews that people left for their service. People loved seeing that they are trustworthy and that they offered a valuable product and joined and related to this brand.
6. Create backup plans
Building a brand isn’t exact science. There is always room for mistakes and fails but that’s exactly why you should have a few backup plans. They don’t have to be that different from the original plan, but they do have to have some crucial differences that will make your brand strategy more successful than before.
There are lots of examples of small brands when their original brand strategy didn’t work out as they planned, but after some tweaks done to a backup plan, they launched a brand that was extremely successful and they remain popular and beloved to this day.
7. Display consistency
Being consistent is one of the keys to gaining trust. If you display the same message through all of your funnels of marketing and sales you’ll have a much better chance of attracting more people to your brand and making them trust you more.
It’s not a good idea for people to see an information in one place and a completely different one in another. Consistency matters, even if at first it doesn’t seem so.
Building a brand is not easy, especially for small businesses. It takes a lot of hard work and creativity. But it’s that much more personal and relatable to your audience. There is no one to support you and you did it all on your own. While it may be hard, it’s also fun and you get to pour your creativity into something you love and something that people will love and appreciate.
This post is from Brenda Berg. Brenda is a professional with over 15 years of experience in business management, marketing and entrepreneurship. Consultant and tutor for college students and entrepreneurs at Oxessays. She believes that constant learning is the only way to success. You can visit her personal blog at Letsgoandlearn.com