When you first think of a business you don’t imagine a flow of customers without a large advertising campaign. If you’ve been following stories of iconic brands, you know they have hired ad agencies for bright TV, printed, and billboard advertising.
In 2014 businesses spent nearly $545 billion on advertising in the U.S. and that number is expected to increase by $100 billion by 2018, according to eMarketer.
But still, there are such start-ups and businesses as GoPro, Costco, Amazon and Airb&b that were started without big budgets and opted out of the traditional advertising game. Now they catch a huge market share.
Despite the size of these brands, they have built their loyal customer flow by simple marketing tactics and creative solutions using only their brand.
So, how does a small business or an average start-up go about building a brand like GoPro or Amazon?
Whatever you do or sell, your entire business and all your actions should be strongly aligned with the brand. From the first idea to the manufacturing process, customer support, and delivery every aspect of the company should not only understand the brand and what sets it apart from the rest, but they should also consider themselves a vital part in reinforcing that idea. We know Google as Google because everything about the company is aligned behind the idea of technological innovation. Also because the branding appears in many unexpected places and will never be confused with something different.
When you start a business, first of all think about your branding, which will sow an idea in your customers’ minds that nobody else can hold except your brand. Your brand needs to be recognizable. It talks to customers instead of you. In this case, the best way to make a recognizable name is to surround your customers with your identity.
If you own a store, it’s necessary to make it branded from the storefront to the walls inside, like the Apple Store does, by using simple decals on the windows and walls.
Show people who you are and what you are about. This kind of branding costs you less than a good advertising campaign and brings your business to a higher level, like big and successful brands.
Have you ever seen delivery cars of successful brands? The main thing with these cars is branding—you watch the advertising of the company each time you see its delivery cars and don’t even realize it. What can be better than a moving advertising medium that can appear in any of your potential customers’ locations? And you still don’t need to pay for a quantity of locations in the city to set your billboards.
How branding can bring you customers from social media.
One of the main rules: Put the consumers first. Learn to talk their language.
All the successful brands now live in social media, because it’s the best way to reach your audience. Trust people, the power of word-of-mouth, to do the advertising for your business. When your business goes online, you should remember branding as well.
Brand your social media page as well as your store, office or car. Make it easy for your customers to find you and to know you better.
Branding will help you to connect your offline business with online, to make it fun and to get customer traffic, like Tiktail company does. They wrapped their van brightly and organized an offline activity in New York City, with contests for their customers.
“The key is to recognize that in terms of brand equity, all that really matters is that the customer develops a positive image,” says Kevin Keller, professor of marketing at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business. “Experience or word of mouth is probably the best way to do that.”
The more people can relate to the brand as a distinctive, trustworthy individual, the more approachable it will become, and will develop.
Do this and you’ll get a winning strategy—even without expensive advertising. Just focus on making high-quality products, trust people and the power of word-of-mouth to do the rest. And of course trust professionals to work on your branding.