Having a business is not good enough. A business must transform into a brand to be truly successful. However, a brand can never be build overnight. It is a continuous process that must start as soon as the business is set up. In fact, establishing a business and creating a brand must go hand in hand for a successful business model.
An established brand goes places through referrals and word of mouth. However, when you are starting out, there are no customers and no referrals, so how do you go about creating a brand that will pull customers along with minimal marketing spend at your end?
The answer is simple – start early. Here are few ideas that will help you build up your brand, right from the start:
Communicate the right things
A brand is not run of the mill, it is unique. In order to create a brand, you must differentiate yourself, which means you cannot say what everyone else is saying. You must communicate to potential customers why they should choose you over competition – whether it is features, pricing or ease of use, the audience needs to know what differentiates you from the rest.
… to the right people
Of course, the message will be worthless if communicated to the wrong people. For example, if you want to create a brand in packaged food, your target audience is the working community that is hard pressed for time for cooking. In the stead, if you decide to tell home makers how good your packaged food is, you are wasting your time as they would rather use fresh produce than packaged food because cooking is a regular affair for them.
… on the right forum
Again, you cannot find the right audience on the wrong platform. Do you want to reach out to professionals on LinkedIn or the creative heads on Etsy? Think where your target audience is more likely to hang out virtually. Advertising on every social platform is not a brilliant idea.
… not just online
Social media is your best friend, but that does not mean you can ignore traditional offline marketing. Approach newspapers and magazines to share your story for a wider reach and focus on the problems you aim to solve through your products and what sets you apart from the crowd.
Leverage good content – Creating a brand is not about selling products, it is about creating a user base that is loyal and swears by your brand. How do you achieve this? Simply by creating content that is genuinely helpful for users; the aim of the content should not be to increase sales, but to reach out to the audience and help them understand how you want to improve their lives through your ideas and products.
Customer is king – Every business owner would agree with this one. So treat your customers right and never ignore any feedback, positive or negative, to ensure heightened customer experience. Handle negative comments and criticism gracefully, stay polite on social media and be transparent with your users to create a brand that your customers will love!
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