As a follow-on to our previous blog about the crucial link between a strong brand and higher profits, set out below are seven ways even smaller companies can build their brands in their local markets:
1. Get Social
One of the best ways to build your company's brand is to get social. In today's day and age, social media is one of the most powerful tools that businesses have at their disposal. By creating a strong presence on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, you can reach a large audience of potential customers and create a positive association with your brand.
2. Create Sponsorships
Another great way to build your company's brand is through sponsorship. When you sponsor an event or team, your company's name and logo will be seen by many people. This visibility can help to increase brand awareness and create positive associations with your company. I have lived all over the country, and everywhere I go, the local Blue Cross Blue Shield sponsors a 10K event that it supports along with local employers. These are excellent brand-building events for the Blues, which help cement their relationships with local employers who make up their target market.
3. Develop 'Ninja' Advertising Campaigns
Advertising is another great way to build your company's brand. By placing ads in strategic outdoor locations or running targeted campaigns, you can reach many potential customers and create a positive association with your brand. The smaller your budget is, the more critical it is to be creative with your advertising. A local law firm I know is specialized in defense cases. It is considering buying advertising from home game announcers to use their name every time there is a penalty, just as the local car dealers pay to have their names mentioned with each touchdown!
4. Leverage Public Relations With Local Media Outlets
Public relations is another excellent way to build your company's brand. Getting involved in community events or working with local media outlets to announce new products, services, or charity initiatives can generate positive publicity for your company and create a positive association with your brand.
5. Accelerate Positive Word of Mouth Digitally
Word of mouth is one of the best ways to build your company's brand. When customers have a positive experience with your company, they will likely tell their friends and family about it. Creating opportunities for referencing by surveying, then asking for positive reviews to be posted on Google or Facebook can help digitize word of mouth and drive brand awareness. Word-of-mouth creates positive associations with your brand.
6. Request a Local Celebrity Endorsement
Not all celebrities are in Hollywood. For example, do you live in a city or state that loves its college sports? NIL (Name, Image, Likeness) creates numerous opportunities for "celebrity endorsements" from college athletes. Often merchants can cut deals using barter arrangements like burgers for life or free wash-dry-fold services for athletes in exchange for commercial endorsements.
7. Go Above and Beyond
Your company can go above and beyond in a variety of ways. You can anticipate your customer's needs and do something you know they will appreciate without being asked. You can exceed expectations by over-delivering, for example, finishing work before it is due. Being extremely responsive – always picking up their phone calls or staying open late to help a long-time customer can also create appreciation and build your brand with them. Finally, following up with customers to find out how satisfied they are with your work can build trust in your brand and alert you to problems.