Branding for Local Businesses – What Really Matters?
Tuesday, 21st of November 2017
Tuesday, 21st of November 2017
Starting a business is difficult, no matter the size. There’s costs, business plans, hiring, finding suppliers, and a million other issues to manage before even opening your doors. For international businesses, engaging a major marketing company to help with their branding and logo is normally considered a must. Million-dollar advertising campaigns, promotional materials, and more are necessary, and budget in these cases isn’t a concern. For locally owned businesses, however, those steps seem more like an episode of Mad Men than reality.
Even so, local companies need to get the word out and promote themselves with a catchy brand. How can they compete with these major spenders? The reality is that dollar for dollar, they simply can’t, and really, they shouldn’t. Instead, there are critical areas where local businesses can stand out and make themselves indispensable as brands in their communities. While there are aspects of branding that are nice, here are some of the most important things to keep in mind when creating your local business brand.
“Your branding should always
communicate exactly who you are and
and what you’re about. ”
Unlike global multinational corporations, your company does not have the luxury of testing your brand in different markets. Instead, you should always make sure that your branding efforts are targeted to the right audience—your community. If your business is relevant to the people that live where you work, they’re more likely to keep coming back.
More importantly, a relevant brand will help you engage with your community better. Try to tailor your advertising, marketing, and promotional strategies to your town or city’s need. Find the audiences that are buying your products and services, and keep an eye on their interests, habits, and preferences. Find ways to make your brand a “local flavor”—a must-see stop for anyone walking through your city.
Your brand is vital to your company’s success. However, getting your brand noticed is just as important as developing a unique and creative logo. If you’re not looking to spend thousands buying advertising space and building expensive marketing campaigns, you should use every asset at your disposal. Employees are often overlooked when it comes to branding, but they are vital when it comes to forging a powerful connection with your community.
This connection can be attributed to two major factors. The first aspect is that your staff is also likely a part of the community you work in. If they believe in what you’re selling and are active in promoting your brand, others in your town, city, or community are more likely to comprehend and appreciate your mission. Second, if customers see that your staff believes what they’re saying, they’re more likely trust your company and its offerings.
Create training programs that emphasize your brand, and make sure your employees understand your company’s mission, value proposition, and branding efforts to encourage better community connections.
Being featured on CNN is a huge break for anyone, but people in Miami are unlikely to jump on a flight to your store in Newark. National exposure is always a positive, but your marketing dollars and resources should be aimed locally. Find the most popular magazines and newspapers in your area and find out how to get featured organically or via paid advertising space. No matter your specific target audience, it’s most likely they’re located within 20 kilometers of your store or office. Local customers want to see that you’re engaged in your community, and being featured in publications, local news outlets, and billboards is a great way to increase brand awareness and recognition locally.
Most importantly, your brand shouldn’t be so complicated that it requires an explanation. No matter where you are, your branding should always communicate exactly who you are and what you’re about. Your company’s brand is most customers’ first impression, so make sure to keep it clear, concise, easy to understand, and impactful. Using tools such as Tailor Brands’ Logo Maker can give you a leg up with thousands of design assets and unique logos that are made to fit your specifications. Most of all, always remember the K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Strategy, to craft a branding plan that will get you visibility and convert prospective customers into loyal followers.
No matter how big or small your local business, the right branding can take you from unknown status to a local staple. Make sure to spend time crafting a brand that really represents your company’s core values.