Branding Your Business with Panache
The best brands in business are recognizable, household names. This kind of popularity isn’t grown overnight, and it requires strategic growth based on the resources your business has on hand. Brands like Apple, a company that began life in a garage, become cultural symbols through smart product placement and marketing materials. Steve Jobs was infamous for letting the product do the talking, but succinct copy and an eye on your influencers certainly doesn’t hurt.
Proactively developing your brand will keep you at the forefront of your industry, and here are some smart tips to brand yourself without breaking the bank.
Start by grabbing your name on the main social networks: Twitter, Facebook and Google +. Then work your way through the lesser-known networks, like Tumblr and Pinterest. The idea is to claim your brand in every potential place you may have a voice. Owning these account also lets you see when comments are made about you, and helps you get in touch with those users quickly.
If you decide not to claim your brand, you leave yourself open to attack from competitors and customers, who may be unhappy with your services. Your domain should not be the only place where you conduct business, and owning social real estate helps control your messaging.
Email isn’t dead, but it has changed quite a bit since its heyday. For starters, engagement is much more important, so anyone with a list should be trying to increase clicks with an excellent subject line. Once the user is viewing your email, branding is what keeps the messaging cohesive. Leveraging your trusted brand name in email correspondence grants credence to the sales pitch and reminds customers of who you are. It also helps to name your email address with something related to your company.
Many businesses like “info@organization” but you can use a person’s name to try and personalize correspondence a little bit more. That kind of messaging isn’t useful for a bank, but it can help a mom and pop shop relate to an expanding customer base.
Companies that do any kind of drop shipping should look into custom product packaging on boxes shipped. This gives the savvy marketer an additional opportunity to get the brand name some exposure. Art of Tea, based in Southern California, boxes each of their packages with a hand packed pouch of tea, instructions on steeping times for each tea they make and a box with their elegant logo. This extra bit of effort goes a long way, and sets a standard of excellence for your brand.
A simple “thank you for caling…” is a good start, but some companies will actually develop special correspondence. For instance: park cast members at Disneyland won’t point you to things, they gesture. Apple Geniuses will never tell you there is a problem with your machine, they will talk about the steps they plan to take to fix it. What you communicate to clients over the phone, sets a protocol for your business.
Guest posting and speaking at events can be an excellent tool for branding your personnel. If you are an executive looking for additional face time with important decision makers, conferences can help build your reputation as an expert. Blogging for others and sharing your ideas also helps your marketing efforts. You will reach new audience members through other people’s blogs, and you get some feedback on the concepts you apply to your daily life. Don’t forget to request a reciprocal link! Even a link in the bio is better for your site’s link profile than nothing.