Small business owners must constantly innovate branding and marketing techniques to engage with new consumers. In this article, the 320 Digital team walks through small business branding methodology and gives you practical, effective branding ideas that will work for your business and your budget.
The Purpose of Marketing For Small Businesses
As a small business owner, you know that marketing is an important and necessary factor in your success. Your small business goals shape your marketing strategy. And in marketing, conversions aren’t always the goal.
An effective marketing strategy defines and solidifies your brand: a crucial component of small business success. Branding empowers you to shape customer perception of your business while engaging and connecting with your target audience.
Unique Small Branding Ideas that Work
The branding experts at 320 Digital have compiled a list of must-know branding ideas for your small business. Branding doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, effective branding can be free.
Below we’ve listed out 16 practical, inexpensive, and –– most importantly –– effective branding tips and ideas that will get you noticed and help you engage consumers.
Invest in Quality Products
Quality promotional products communicate the value of your brand to the people receiving the items. When you hand someone a product with your name on it, you want the recipient to associate your small business with quality. Invest in the good stuff; it’ll increase the longevity of your brand.
Print out large banners, then hang them on overpasses. You’ll earn the same attention as a pricey billboard. In fact, an overpass banner will likely garner even more attention. Hang with caution.
Put Your Brand on Local Products
You’re not the only small business in your community. Partner with fellow small businesses that produce products and inquire about adding your logo to their items.
For example, partner with a coffee shop. Pay for their disposable cups, and have your logo printed on them. They’re incentivized to partner with you because you cut business expenses, and you get to market your business to an entirely new group of people.
Don’t Hand Out “Throw Away” Products
If you’re going to invest your resources in branded products, don’t waste money purchasing products that will go directly into the trash. Give away promotional products that people will want to keep.
And trust us: don’t give away pens.
Your promotional products must match the demographic of your target audience. And your branding must reach people relevant to your business.
For example, golf towels with your branding are perfect for golfers. They can –– and will –– use this product, and towels are an ideal way to advertise to other golfers.
But some products, no matter their quality, simply aren’t relevant to your target demographic. Knowing your audience means knowing what they both like and want.
Even Small Signs Are Read
You don’t have to rent out a billboard to get noticed. Small signage is effective.
Consider sponsoring a WiFi network in a coffee shop or other space, then ask to include your business logo on the WiFi signage. Everyone who utilizes that WiFi will see your branding –– and they’ll know you made the WiFi possible.
Chalk art is an eye-catching, nonpermanent method of branding and marketing that costs next to nothing. Get creative with a bucket of chalk in your downtown square, a busy park, or other places where a lot of people will see your work.
Chalk art always engages because it’s out of the ordinary. Whether you commission or create a huge piece of art or draw a simple recreation of your logo, folks will notice, and you’ll have increased brand awareness.
Attend conferences –– but not those specific to your industry, where you’ll likely get lost in the crowd. By going to conferences that target your client base, you position yourself as the first point of contact for individuals and businesses who need your services or products.
In short, go where your clients go.
Craft an exclusive feel to your brand by creating a members’ club where people can try your products.
The process is simple: People sign up for your exclusive club. Give them free products that they want and will use, and ask them to leave a review. This model incentivizes consumers to leave positive reviews of your products and your brand. And as we know, customer reviews are one of the most important factors in customer purchase decisions.
Offer Memberships or Loyalty Programs
Memberships keep people coming to you for goods or services. In fact, prepaid memberships increase the average order value of shoppers by 39 percent, and a first-time buyer who joins a loyalty program will spend 40 percent more than a customer who doesn’t.
Have Fun and Get on TV
This one might sound crazy, but what do you have to lose? Utilize televised sporting events to get your small business out there with a giant head printout. Go to games, matches, or meets and put your website, social handles, or logos on a giant head. You’ll get noticed by people in the stands and, potentially, people around the world.
Print Branded Coasters
Print your logo and information on coasters, then leave them behind at restaurants, bars, and other places where people dine and drink.
Find Yourself on the Green
You don’t have to golf to find success on the course. Hand out branded products to golfers as they hole out – make sure it’s a project that has longevity, like golf towels or brushes.
Stand Outside Conferences
Similarly, you needn’t actually attend conferences to increase your brand awareness at conferences. If you don’t have the resources to attend a conference, stand outside and hand out free stuff. No one will know you’re not part of the conference, and you can guarantee that you’re engaging with nearly every attendee.
Sponsorships that Provide ROI
Small businesses often participate in sponsorship opportunities to promote themselves. These partnerships must be relevant to the company and the product or service they provide.
If your business’s demographic is related to sports, sponsor tournaments. Your contributions get your brand noticed, and you can network with potential new clients.
Free Professional Photography (A Marketing Tactic for Photographers)
Wear a tee-shirt printed with “I’ll take your photo for free” on the front and back, and hang out at malls, zoos, or other places where people spend time. After you take the photo, give each subject your email business card (with a unique, catchy tagline on it) and offer to send them the image for free. Also offer to post their photo on your website or social media channels.
Small business branding isn’t a cookie-cutter operation. Think outside the box to promote your brand with our unique small business branding ideas. And when you’re ready to take your branding and marketing to the next level, our team is here to help you win.
Contact 320 Digital today to talk with one of our branding and marketing experts to learn how we can help you succeed.