Marketing Tips for small business - Volume 1

Branding and positioning your business

  1. Be clear on what your business stands for and what your brand promise is to your customers. Knowing this will help you put out consistent messages to attract the right customers while also hiring the right staff and help develop new products and services that are aligned with your brand promise.
  2. A great corporate identity should communicate the purpose of your business and represent your brand values. It should engage with your target market, be simple and memorable. 
  3. ‘The golden thread’ - Make your website, photos, brochures, catalogues, flyers, business cards, below the line marketing tools, branded clothing and social media which must all have the same look and feel.
  4. Your business name must or should describe your business and reflect your brand personality. If you are starting a new business, first consider what your future products and services will evolve to, so that your business name can reflect your business as a whole, well into the future. If it is not possible, consider choosing a tag line which will reflect your business proposition.
  5. Don’t launch new brand names every time you come up with a new product or service. The more brands you have, the harder you need to work to create awareness of each one. Usually means more marketing spend per brand owned. Consolidate, having a brand that tells your story, or a main brand and sub-brands that relate to the main brand, which will make sure that you build awareness more easily while keeping marketing costs down. If you already got a main brand and sub-brands consider working with a marketing expert to help unify your brands and who will pay attention to your brand hierarchy.
  6. Packaging is an important element of the marketing mix, it not only packages and protects your product but can attract and persuade customers to purchase your product or service. Is your packaging visually striking through design, colour, shape? Does it communicate your brand’s ideals and pass on worthy knowledge to the end user, in order to make an informed purchase? If not it’s time to revamp your packaging. 
  7. End users love a good story, if you have a family owned business consider crafting stories around your history and heritage, or around why you started your business and then tell the story through your website, social pages, blogs and packaging. Let your story and personality shine through, it is what differentiates you from your competitors.
  8. Use templates to create brand standards for your marketing material. Apply the same colour, theme, logo placement and look throughout, making it consistent. Every business can start their own corporate identity manual.
  9. If you are a start-up company, work on your appearance and market yourself, if you feel down then you are probably creating that impression with your business. 
  10. Use product benefits and emotional language to engage with your target market. Dress it up and sell not just a product, but the experience that appeals to your target market.
  11. Being small and thinking big - An important skill of any start-up business is to be able to look bigger than you actual are, the easiest way it to have good polished marketing material which looks professional, so although you are small you are thinking big.
  12. How you treat staff is just as important as how you treat customers, if you want to find out what your customers think of your business, just ask or survey your staff. Your staff are one of the most important marketing tools, look after your staff and they will look after your business. Make sure your staff convey your brand messages to your customers.