I went to a fantastic seminar this morning with some great speakers talking about marketing and websites. The words ‘marketing strategy’ often strike fear into a small business owner. It means big agency, big fees. Right?
Wrong. Marketing starts with you and getting to the bottom of what really makes your business tick. The foundations of marketing are built on a great brand. Get your brand right and the rest will follow.
A great brand means:
- Less time needed to make a sale
- Customer purchases are more certain
- A willingness to pay a premium price
- Customers are less sensitive to price increases
- Your existing customers are less inclined to try out a competitor’s product/service
- Journalists/bloggers/influencers are more confident in writing about you
- The ‘golden nugget’ – a personal recommendation from a customer to their friends and family
So how do you ‘get’ a great brand?
Think about what makes the heart of your business beat. Write down the first five words that come to mind. Forget long-winded mission statements, forget what other people tell you it should be. What values really lie at the heart of your business?
Then focus on the following points with your five words in mind –
- Clarity: is it clear what you do, what you’re selling, who you audience is? Forget industry jargon, speak your customer’s language. Are the visual elements of your brand clear eg your logo, advertising, website etc?
- Consistency: Your customer should have the same experience however they come in contact with you. Is the message on your website the same story your sales people are telling? Does walking into your shop feel the same as browsing your website? If you took your logo away, would your customers still know it’s you?
- Visibility: Are the visual elements of your brand (logo, adverts, signage etc) congruent with what you stand for? A face-to-face meeting is rarely the first time someone comes into contact with your brand so all of your communication tools have to be in order. Invest in great design.
- Continuity: Whether your business has been around for 2 years or 200 years, the customer wants to know that you’re experienced in your field, that you are a trusted business with a good track record. Testimonials are a great way of demonstrating this.
Finally, don’t underestimate the power of the web. By 2015 more people will be accessing the internet on a mobile device (phone, ipad etc) than on a desktop computer. If you’re not on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook you should be. Because your customers are and your competitors are.
Book a free PR & Social Media Brainstorm with me today, call me on 01732 220 120