Whether you are a start up or an established SME, chances are you don’t have the same ridiculously large budget that big corporations have to throw at branding to try and make a success of it. And the truth is, you don’t even need it! There are plenty of ways to do branding on a budget, and save that money for spending where it’s really needed in order to give your business a boost.
1. Think Like The Customer, Not The Entrepreneur
We often forget that in actual fact you and your customers share a great deal in common. We are all customers, we all buy products and services based on how we perceive them. Advertisements, marketing, social media and packaging all subconsciously sway us when it comes to choosing which brand to purchase from, no matter how much we deny it.
So try to step away from your entrepreneurial shoes for a second and walk in the customer’s shoes. What were your last 10 purchases? What brands were they from and why did you choose them over other brands? And are there particular brands you feel loyalty to and would always choose over another in certain product areas? Why is that? Answering these questions will give you an insight into how the customer’s mind processes branding.
2. Be a Host with The Most
Events are a great way to get people to engage with your brand the old fashioned way. But you may be thinking ‘hang on a minute, I thought this was BUDGET branding!’. Fear not, events don’t have to cost the earth if you get creative! If you have a fixed location such as a shop where you showcase your products and/or services, invite people here, or if you are an online business then make alliances with local businesses who could share the event (make sure they have a common target market) with you in return for a venue. Whether it be your mailing list, or a community on social media, arrange a gathering, spend a little on food and drink for the guests, and when you have them all in your territory you can network, promote your products, build relationships, etc.
It’s easier to sell to people and build relationships when you are all in a fun, relaxed environment. People like to interact, and although social media does facilitate this, sometimes good old fashioned face to face rather than Facebook to Facebook can work wonders.
3. Social Media is Free, Make The Most of It!
Although point number 2 does say old fashioned communication can be good once in a while, 24/7 communication as our fast paced digital-centric society has come to rely upon is equally as important to utilise. And what better way to keep the digital communication flowing than with a free tool such as social media? Yes, you can pay to promote yourself on social media just as you can pay to get to the top of Google with Adwords, but with some good old fashioned time and effort put in, paid promotion isn’t a necessity. For more info on how to make the most of it, check out our post on the value of social media
4. Make The Most of Your ‘Prime Real Estate’, On and Offline
By ‘prime real estate’ we are talking anything you own and have complete control over. This can include your website, social media channels, email signature, even your phone’s voicemail can be optimised for branding.
Keep these areas updated regularly, even with just a few minor adjustments every so often. Social media as you know needs to be updated much more regularly with engaging content, but an email signature or voicemail can be adjusted once in a while so that people who regularly see or hear these messages are given something new to engage them. A friendly face or vibrant company logo on an email signature and website, and a warm and sincere tone on a voicemail message will go a long way towards building your brand’s likeable personality.
5. Content Can Capture Hearts and Minds
Content is not only king when it comes to the SEO benefits it now provides, but it can also capture the hearts and minds of your audience, building loyalty and relationships and creating a personality for your brand. As little as one post a week on a company blog (which can be made for free if you don’t already have one) can help to create a likeable perception of you and your brand.
Many CEOs like to add a personal touch by posting opinion and advice posts as themselves, as it shows the human side to the brand. Other blogs even involve various team members who post about specific areas relating to the brand, which again creates a likeable human side. Or you can opt to create a personality for the brand in its own right, with an agreed set of objectives and guidelines to work with based on what your customers engage with.
There are plenty more original and low cost ways to get creative with branding for your company, and we can help with this! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0161 883 0843 to chat about how we can provide branding solutions tailored to any budget.