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Wednesday, December 5, 2018

How to Grow Your Brand While on a Budget

As a business owner, branding is something I often think about. What I want to brand, how I want to brand, etc. (I actually have quite a few different brands!) Branding is difficult and often people think it's really pricey, but there are ways to do it without investing too much capital. Here's some ideas from a reader on how to do that.



Too often, burgeoning businesses underestimate the power of branding. Creating a recognizable identity for your company is a crucial step when it comes to improving your bottom line, helping you to attract and retain loyal customers.

Best of all, branding isn’t necessarily as cost prohibitive as you might think. These days, even small businesses and startups can take the following steps to grow their brand even on a shoestring budget.


Know Your Customer

You don’t want to waste time, energy, and resources by reaching out to the wrong target demographic when building your brand. It’s crucial that small business owners know exactly what type of person they’re catering to, whether it be a handbag store reaching out to young women, or a care service geared towards seniors.

The needs and desires of your customer base should dictate how you choose to shape your company’s image.

To figure out your target demographic, you need to know the age, gender, and personal interests of your clientele. While these details may be obvious for certain niche companies, often, learning more about your customer is a little bit more complicated.

The best way to get to know your target audience is by analyzing your current customer base. You should look at who’s buying your product, what they’re purchasing, and how often to get a better feel for what type of shopper is attracted to your business.

Create a Company Website

Building a recognizable brand is difficult without a strong online presence. All companies, regardless of size, should have a website where customers can go to learn more or purchase products.

It's also a good idea to create a mobile-friendly version of your site to help set yourself apart from the competition, as only 79% of small businesses currently have a responsive display.

You don’t necessarily need to be a computer whiz to create a decent website. There are many affordable services such as Hook Agency - Minneapolis Web Design that help small business owners and startups to create a branded site.
Use Social Media
These days, it’s rare to encounter a customer without a social media account. In fact, it’s estimated that there are currently 2.34 billion social media users worldwide, a number that’s predicted to jump to 2.95 billion by 2020.

One of the best ways to connect with both new and loyal clients en masse is by advertising or reaching out through social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Just make sure that all of your company accounts are active, and that customer questions or comments don’t go ignored.

You can also gain new customers with the help of social media influencers. These individuals can have thousands to millions of followers, and will often make posts advertising products or services that they endorse. Sending samples to social media influencers is an effective and relatively inexpensive way to gain exposure for your company.

Practice Good Customer Service

Good customer service is the key to creating a brand that people trust. Both new and old customers should have confidence that they’re ordering a quality product or service. If you deliver goods to customers, you also need to make sure that you have a reliable courier. No customer wants to receive an item late, or worse, damaged.

You should try to ensure that all deliveries are properly packaged being sent out in a timely manner. It’s also a good idea to provide tracking information, both for your customer’s convenience and for your own peace of mind.

While you don't necessarily need to hire a customer service department, it's critical that you make your company easily accessible to your clients. You should have a way that they can reach you quickly for comments, concerns, and complaints.

If you receive a customer complaint, you should always take it seriously. First, you should try to correct the situation with your customer before coming up with a plan to make sure that the same mistake doesn't happen again. When customers know that their voices are heard, they're more likely to have a positive overall experience.

Building a brand is crucial to the success of a growing business. It gives a company an identity, a voice that customers recognize. And, with the resources available to small business owners and entrepreneurs, branding isn’t necessarily cost prohibitive. If you’re trying to grow your own company, you can create loyal, lifetime customers by building a brand that people can trust.

See my disclaimer.

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