Three Big Brand Building Ideas for Your Business
Branding is on the lips of almost every businessperson, politician, and organization these days. No, I’m not talking about the same type of branding they use on livestock, (although sometimes the process can be just as painstaking), I’m talking about building your identity.
For a business, this means your services or products. You want people to hear your name, see your logo, recognize your slogan, and understand exactly who you are and what you can do. More than that, you want people to think about a topic or product and immediately think of your company. Think about soda pop. Did Coca Cola or Pepsi come to mind? That’s because they spend millions and millions each year building their brand.
For a business, building your brand should be more than paying for fancy logos and advertising in the local newspaper. Often what you need to really get ahead of your competition is a few big branding ideas. Here are three big ways to build your brand that go beyond logos and marketing strategies.
1. Don’t just have a slogan, live your slogan
For some organizations, a slogan or tag line is just something catchy that people hear and think it sounds neat. You know what would be really neat? If your business actually lived up to what your slogan says. For CIK Marketing, our slogan is “Big Ideas for your Small Business”. Sure we do want you to have a cool logo and we want people to see your business advertised in traditional formats, and we can help you with that, but we also go beyond that. Our Big Ideas look to expose your company to a new market of people, in a new way. When you ask, “what next?” it’s our job to have the answer. If you’re a financial company and your slogan is “Live your wildest dreams,” that means nothing to me. Last night I dreamed about my dog roller skating. Why not make it clear what you will do for me, “Growing your investments for a secure tomorrow.” Got it. I invest with you, you make me money, my financial future is secure… no roller skating dogs involved.
2. You’ve got to give a little, to get a lot
Almost all businesses advertise. Most are getting online with a spiffy website. So how does your business stand out? How do you make your brand more recognizable? Start giving. Sure, an advertisement in the local newspaper may be effective, but having articles in the local newspaper about the contributions your business has made to the community will get you even further. Donate your time and donate your service, heck, donate your money to make your community a better place. Send out a press release if necessary. In recent months, we’ve donated to the OSPCA (animal shelter), United Way, a local minor lacrosse organization, and built a website pro bono for the “It Gets Even Better CK” project. We didn’t do it for the brand building, sure that’s a nice benefit, we did it to feel good, and help our community. Because when your community succeeds, your business will succeed, especially if you are a part of that success process.
3. Don’t forget your manners
Whether it’s customer service, customer loyalty programs, or customer complaints, don’t forget your manners. If your company makes a mistake, say you’re sorry. If you have loyal customers, say thank you. Current clients and customers are your best brand advocates. If you make them mad, your brand will look bad. If you make and keep them happy, even in an unpleasant situation, they’ll keep coming back, and more importantly, they’ll tell their friends about you as well. Customer service is a key….so don’t forget your manners.
What are you big brand building ideas? Share your thoughts below.