As a small business owner, one of the most difficult things to achieve is brand recognition. Persuading people to buy from your company is much easier if people know who you are. Earning brand recognition is the first step towards building trust.
One of the easiest ways to build brand recognition is to get a good logo and slogan, and make use of it in all of your literature, promotional gifts, and advertising. Take a look at the following branding techniques, and consider which of these could work for your business.
Billboard advertising: If your brand operates on a local level, consider investing in a few billboard advertisements in high traffic areas.
Sporting Sponsorship: Sponsoring local sporting teams is a nice way to earn goodwill and build brand recognition.
Trade shows: Visiting trade shows offers a lot of networking opportunities, and can be good for brand recognition in the long term too. You will be able to print “as seen at..” on your promotional literature. In addition, handing out promotional gifts such as printed mugs at the event will ensure that your logo is in view of people that are interested in your product or service in the long term.
Mailing lists: Running an email list is a low cost, effective way to reach prospective customers. Those customers may not respond to the first or second email, but as long as they stay subscribed, you’re building up a relationship with them, and that’s valuable.
Branded web browsers and toolbars: Partner with an advertising company to offer a branded browser or toolbar to give away to your customers. You will benefit by earning a small amount per search or installation of the toolbar, and you will have your logo in front of your customers on a daily basis. Your customers will benefit from the extra features and utilities that come with the toolbar.
T-Shirts and Other Promotional Gifts: Give away printed mugs, t-shirts, and sports bottles as thank-you gifts to your regular customers. Even token gifts will be appreciated, and if they get used, then they will serve as free advertising for you.
Radio Ads: You can buy radio advertising quite cheaply, compared to most other advertising, and it can be an effective way to reach your target audience – especially if you can come up with a catchy slogan.
Competitions: Running competitions can get you a lot of traffic to your website, and can be good for building recognition. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that competition entrants automatically equate to potential customers, though. There’s an entire sub-culture of serial competition entrants that enter competitions even if they aren’t interested in the product or prize.
Social Networking: Establishing yourself as a subject matter expert on social networks can build trust, and develop your reputation in a far more effective way than any paid advertising or promotional gift.
Charity Work: Instead of spending all of your money on printed mugs and billboard advertisements, put some aside for charitable donations. This will earn you goodwill, and benefit many people through the charity too.