If you've been feeling like your brand is slipping under the radar lately -- that no one really knows your name or the name of your business -- it's time to change that. It's time for the phone to start ringing, for the inbox to start buzzing. It's time to make sure that all the right people know who you are.
I've been hearing from a lot of our readers that they're feeling challenged whilst working to build brand awareness in their industries. And so, I dug up this previously published post, to offer a few reminders about creating visibility for your business.
And here's the original [still relevant] article, from September, 2015:
You’re a start-up; an SME (Small to Medium Enterprise). Your place in the world—in the market—will not be that of Coca-Cola or Apple proportions; however, you do intend to make a mark in your market. What types of brand building and positioning actions will put your brand on the map? What can you do to take your brand from unknown to household name?
There so much to do. Hire a designer for your logo and brand image, design a website, build up inventory, acquire licensing, hire employees…and if no one knows your SME exists, all of that will be for naught.
The Best Brand Building and Positioning for your Start-Up
So how can you put your start-up on the map? How can you garner the type of attention that will result in branding success? The branding and marketing experts at How to Build a Brand recommend the following brand building and positioning actions:
- Launch a Social Media Campaign. We can’t think of a present-day marketing situation in which a social media presence is not necessary. Even if you plan on selling nothing online, your social media presence will greatly contribute to brand awareness and sales offline. Social media is a great way to express your brand’s flavour, to tell its story, to add a human element, and to build your own personal brand. Social media can also be a valuable marketing tool—we suggest checking out their advertising options and experiment in your own market.
- Secure Spots at Trade Shows. Market trade shows are hotbeds for your ideal clients. Plan far ahead and book a time to speak at trade shows, in addition to setting up a booth where people can stop and ask questions about what they heard. Come equipped with plenty of branded literature (brochures, pamphlets, books, business cards) so that your brand will leave in the right hands. Be sure to collect business cards from ideal clients, too—and when you arrive back at the office, connect with all of them via email and social media.
- Write and Send out Press Releases. Think radio, podcasts, television, magazines, and newspapers…and prioritise them in accordance with your target audience’s news-getting preferences. Write your press releases in an inverted pyramid style, use only the most intriguing brand information (breaking news), tailor each one to the news outlet you’re sending it to, and provide plenty of contact information so that interested news outlets can easily get in touch with you.
- Offer Free Advice. Become part of forums and social media groups that talk about issues important to your industry. Answer questions when you can. Keep an eye out for people who are struggling and help them. Prove (don’t just tell) that a visit to your website or social media pages will be worthwhile for your ideal clients.
- Become a Sponsor. If you closely study the preferences and movements of target audience, you will begin to get a feel for what they like to do…and where they’re hanging out both in their professional time and their free time. Become an advertising sponsor for an event where you know they’ll be, or for a station you know they’re listening to. This will introduce your brand to your ideal clients and solidify its presence in their minds every time it’s repeated (or re-seen).
- Educate by Hosting and Event. Every consumer desires to be educated…and to then make their own buying decisions based on that education. Because you know this to be true, it makes sense to teach people not only about your brand, but about your industry and how they can improve their own lives. Hosting seminars, webinars, workshops, classes, etc. can accomplish this.
- Run a Contest. People love to get involved and to be competitive. Plus, when they’re invited to do so, they become more invested in your brand because they feel that they’re a part of it. Opening a contest through social media is a great way to get lots of Likes and Shares, too.
Ready to learn more about how your start-up can use these brand building and positioning activities (and more) to increase brand awareness? Then you’re ready for our B.R.A.N.D. Building Bootcamp, our full-day, fully immersive brand-building event. Click here to learn more and to reserve your spot.