Let’s be honest: Brand awareness is kind of a big deal. It’s the reason people fly Delta instead of “Discount Dan’s Awesome Airline,” the reason people ask for a Coke instead of a “cola” and the reason no child alive has ever begged for “Magic Marshmallow Crunches” when there’s a perfectly good box of Lucky Charms on the shelf above.
People do business with the brands they recognize, and Delta, Coca-Cola and Lucky Charms are big brands with big advertising budgets. You are not — but that doesn’t mean you can’t hope to build a better awareness of your own (equally awesome) brand.
You can’t expect to take your small business nationwide without doing some groundwork first. If you try, you’ll end up in the bargain bin alongside a pile of other “generic” offerings that couldn’t cut it in the wild.
Instead, start building your brand awareness from the ground up. Develop a hyperlocal mindset. People are much more willing to give the unknown a try when the unknown is a small local business: It’s the reason Small Business Saturday is such a hit each year.
Once you’ve built a following, word of mouth can carry you to places you never dreamed.
Sway Them With Swag
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: People love free stuff. And if that free stuff is wearable or shareable (read: shirts, hats, lanyards, pens, can cozies, etc.), you have effectively turned the recipient into a walking billboard for your business.
Don’t be afraid to think outside the no-cost box, either. Free samples, consultations or demonstrations allow potential customers to “try before they buy” – and if your product or service is up to snuff, you can close the deal then and there.
Try a Promotional Stunt
When Red Bull wanted to drum up some publicity, they put a man in a rocket and sent him into space, where he promptly jumped out of the rocket and parachuted back to earth. Crazy? Yes. Effective? Also yes. Their (admittedly terrifying) stunt earned them worldwide press.
We’re not suggesting you jump out of a rocket. (Seriously, don’t do this.) However, a little publicity stunt goes a long way, and the free press it generates can have your brand’s name on the tip of everyone’s tongue.
Show Your Logo Some Love
McDonald’s golden arches. Nike’s swoosh. Apple’s apple. While the names resonate, the logos are undeniably memorable – and when you’re trying to build brand awareness, your logo is one of the most important components in your crusade.
Flaunt your logo wherever you go. Wear it proudly on your T-shirt. Get a custom-made decal for your vehicle. Make sure it’s on every piece of correspondence you send out. The more people see it, the more they’ll recognize it – and the more the recognize it, the more they’ll begin to think of your small business as something more than “generic.”
Big or small, every successful business had to build their brand from the ground up. Some have taken it (literally, in the case of Red Bull) to the stratosphere; others are quite content with a healthy local following. Whichever way you choose to go, building a recognizable brand is a big key to small business success!
Do you need some help building your brand awareness? Mischa Communications has plenty of experience in that area. Get in touch today and let us take you from unknown to unbelievable!