SMB Branding Strategy
Developing a small or medium business branding strategy is essential for success. Any business, big or small, needs to work on this process as a top priority. Authentic products that live up to their claims are now the main key to winning customers in today’s crowded marketplace. The main reason for this type of marketing evolution is that consumers now take customer reviews much more seriously than TV, radio or newspaper advertising.
Consumers are bombarded with tons of marketing messages every day and have learned to tune out most of them, at least on a conscious level. People only have so much time in a given day to concentrate on what they need to buy to resolve issues in their lives. Your brand needs to provide specific solutions to consumer problems that you have researched and understand. Developing a product that mirrors other popular but ineffective products that leave customers unsatisfied is the wrong path. Your goal should be more than just making quick profits.
You should develop a brand that overshadows competitors by resolving problems that they can’t. The way to win the attention and trust of consumers is read their reviews online of similar products and study their complaints. Figure out what would make them happy and deliver it through your products. Stay within your means of production and take note of what’s special about your solution. In other words, create strategies by thinking beyond what’s already available on the market.
Once you have developed a product that satisfies customers by outperforming competitors, you need to plan a strategy on how to communicate the product’s benefits to your market. Avoid hyperbole that makes the product seem bigger than life, which was part of last century’s mass marketing philosophy just to sell units. In the internet age consumers are much smarter researchers and it takes more effort to win their trust. You can earn much more credibility by delivering what you promise instead of making big promises that trick people.
Your products will likely get positive praise if they exceed customer expectations, which gives people positive energy and confidence in taking credit for help others find effective solutions. If your products only meet or fall short of expectations, there’s a good chance the reviews will be more lackluster at best and have no effect at stimulating a chain reaction of positive reviews. Staying ahead of the curve should be your focus.
Communicating the Brand
A small business branding strategy will likely not involve expensive advertising, which is a gamble even for big businesses. Instead, you should pay attention to inbound marketing, which involves techniques associated with web content development designed to attract search engines and users. It also involves engaging with customers and potential customers online through blogs, social media, email, newsletters. The era of hard selling is ending and is being replaced by a series of informative resources that culminate into a sales funnel that points toward online product pages.
Throughout the inbound marketing process you should take a subtle approach that avoids sales talk. It’s better to initiate products with a wealth of information that begins with social media and blogs, in which you will have the opportunity of exchanging valuable information with curious people. Then you can direct them to further resources, such as your website, blogs and newsletters. From there you can provide direct links to your product pages where they can make purchases after you have led them toward making informed decisions. Any additional advertising you do in your small business branding strategy should give reasons for customers to visit your website.
Ian Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America. OTR Web is a Value Added Partner with HubSpot.
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