Launching a local business or a startup is undoubtedly one of the greatest challenges and exciting projects of your life. Nonetheless, the competition has never been as fierce as it is today - for brick-and-mortar businesses and online companies alike. Naturally, there are several unique selling points that you could incorporate in your business model or offer to secure a slice of the market.
But, no matter how your product is different from your competitors' offers, branding is still a vital aspect to consider. In fact, studies have shown that over 72% of consumers will pick brands that align with their values - and what other way is there to touch your audience's heart if not with branding and marketing?
Here are a few simple tips to win over the market share you deserve and secure your customers' loyalty.
Define Your Business Values
As we have seen, an increasing number of consumers prefer to use the services and products offered by businesses that align with their personal values. And, as the competition becomes fiercer and issues related to climate and social justice become more prominent, it does not come as a surprise that buyers have adopted these criteria.
Whether you are creating a brand that is sustainable, committed to fighting inequality in the workplace or only using local resources, make sure you communicate what your business is all about!
Agree on Your Business's Mission and Vision
During your business's first steps, it is easy to get lost in the myriad of tasks and projects that are part of this adventure. You will need to be clear on your marketing strategy, refine your product offer, and keep up with finances, HR, and accounts. However, in all this, it is vital not to lose sight of the reason why your business has come to life! Be clear on your vision and mission statements, and make sure they are visible to everyone around the clock!
Craft a Customer Persona
Crafting a buyer persona can go a long way - especially if you don't know how to market your product or what your audience is expecting from you. A buyer persona should reflect the ideal customer you wish to welcome into your business - but don't let your bias or desires blind you! A customer persona should come with all the characteristics, traits, and flows that a real customer will have. And don't forget, the more details you include, the clearer the final picture will be!
Share Your Story
Businesses have started swapping physical stores for eCommerce sites and online portals - and understandably! Completing transactions online allow business owners to reduce overhead costs, outsource, and create a business that is easily scalable. However, consumers are always looking to find the human touch behind the brand. Sharing your story and the motivations behind your efforts can help you stand out and create long-lasting, genuine relationships.
Have a Smart Online Presence
Having a solid and established online presence has never been so important for all businesses, from local stores to eCommerce ventures. However, everyone has at least a website - how will your business stand out? Ensure to invest in important tools that can increase the visibility of your business online, including SEO, digital marketing, and networking.
Understand Color Psychology
When crafting your business's brand, the color and combinations you pick for the logo and marketing can make a difference. You are likely to be using these patterns for years to come - make sure you pick tones and combinations wisely! And, while your personal preferences are important, it is also worth looking into what a specific color might mean for your audience.
Invest in High-Quality Offline Marketing
Most businesses today rely on digital tools - or they are undergoing their digital transformation. However, it is important not to underestimate the power of offline, physical marketing. Of course, this might not be the best solution for all businesses - but it can certainly work if you wish your business to become a beacon in your community.
However, since offline marketing has been used for centuries, it is vital that you employ the latest strategies. Starting from high-quality prints and designs is vital - click here to know more about how to make your offline marketing stand out.
Don't Underestimate the Power of Digital Marketing.
As we have seen, offline marketing is important - but it can be much more effective when it is coupled with digital marketing. After all, it is much easier for your audience to follow up on something they have seen using their smartphones or laptops - make sure your online presence is as established as it needs to be. And, even more importantly, make sure to show continuity between your online and offline marketing efforts.
From your SEO strategy, which utilizes tools for SEO reporting, to ads campaigns, social media marketing, and influencer marketing, make sure that your brand voice and values are in line with the rest of your efforts.
Invest in a Professional Logo
When launching your new business, it can be tempting to cut corners or use a "do-it-yourself" approach. And, if you are an entrepreneur, the chances are that you wear many hats during the day - and you wear them well!
Nonetheless, there are some aspects of your business that require professional attention. Your logo, being the one aspect that your audience will see and remember, needs to be crafted by experienced designers. This will not only help your logo stand out from the rest, but it can also ensure that your brand will remain relevant, recognizable, and current for years to come.
Decide on Your Brand Voice (and Keep It Consistent)
Establishing and maintaining communication channels with your audience is vital to create long-lasting, valuable relationships. Thus, your communication strategy should be an important part of your marketing campaign and encompass multiple channels.
When communicating with your audience through these channels, make sure to keep the brand voice and message consistent. Whether you have opted for a more serious, humorous, or funny voice tone, stick with it!
Create a Valuable Network Within the Community
No business can thrive - or just survive! - on its own. You can start crafting your network even before the launch, but make sure you continue to grow it throughout your business's life. Important parts of your network should include customers, local businesses, charities, organizations, and governmental bodies.
You can partner with them to improve the life of the local community or donate to important causes. Alternatively, you can encourage corporations or bring to life events by partnering with each other - so both of your customers and their audience can benefit from the initiatives!
Become a Sustainability Champion
There is a lot that your business can do to reduce its impact on the environment and improve the local natural area. Whether that means sourcing only local produce, relying on nearby resources, or reducing waste, there are ways to improve your business's sustainability that can also benefit your operations.
Once you have decided on your sustainability strategy, make sure to keep your audience informed on your efforts. You can do so by publishing regular reports that show the results achieved or investing in cause marketing to make public your cooperation with charitable or non-profit organizations.
Work Towards Employee Wellbeing
As we have seen, the competition for businesses is only getting fiercer - and not only to secure a share of the market. In fact, businesses are also competing to secure the best talents. And, if you have been able to secure the right employees for the project, you should ensure to keep them within your company.
However, this has become increasingly challenging, especially as today's businesses are not only offering high salaries but they are also designing packages that include perks and benefits. After all, it is all about helping your talents create and maintain the right life balance so that they can be happy outside of the office and motivated when at work!
Improve Motivation With Internal Communication
It is easy for employees to feel like they are not part of the company's mission. However, it is vital for a business that every stakeholder is aligned with their values. At the same time, a business's communication efforts always tend to be directed externally towards the audience. While external communication is undeniably vital, it is also important for the business to communicate with its employees and ensure everyone is on board with the mission and vision. Communicating with your employees, introducing a reward program, and ensuring that there are always more chances for further training and self-improvement are essential.
Don't forget to ask them directly what they would like to improve and whether there is a particular role they would like to cover within the business.
Become a Thought Leader
For new businesses, it can be challenging to create a brand that is recognizable, trustworthy, and authoritative. One of the best ways to create the right character for your brand is to become a thought leader. Thought leaders are experts in their particular field, and they become a mentor for the audience and other businesses in the sector. Your business can become a thought leader by publishing guides and how-to articles, hosting webinars, and making available training courses. Naturally, internal training is vital to be always up to date with the latest technologies.