Startups and small businesses have little to no reputation.
Nobody knows who you are or what you stand for. One of your immediate concerns is branding.
If you want to start a path to better branding this year, look to big companies for inspiration. You can learn a lot from big brands, and there’s no reason why you can’t do what they do.
These five big company branding strategies are going to enable you to brand your business in the coming 12 months.
Develop Unifying Branding Standards
Why do you recognize brands like Coca-Cola and Google the moment you spot one of their products? It’s because they have the clearest branding standards in the world. They have the same colors, they have the same fonts, and they have the same styles.
Too many startups are experimenting so much that nothing can be reliably attributed to them. You can experiment, but you should always have elements that clearly mark out your brand from the competition. Set these out from the start.
The more often people spot your unique branding standards the more they are going to remember who you are.
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The Buck Stops With Who?
Big companies always have someone with whom the buck stops. They are dedicated with enforcing branding standards and making sure the marketing team doesn’t depart too much from these standards. It doesn’t have to be a specific position. It just has to be someone who’s been given that responsibility.
With most companies, this is the person in charge of the marketing department. It may even be the CEO. Regardless of who it is, the point is that they have the final say on branding standards. Lacking one of these is one of the biggest mistakes companies make.
Embrace the Power of a Story
Storytelling has been something that has featured prominently in marketing for many years. Big companies have moved away from traditional advertising in order to embrace this idea.
Take Nike’s Find Your Greatness campaign as an example of this in action. The video is like a movie. It includes a protagonist and some sort of moral lesson told by a narrator. It’s just like any short film packed into just a minute of content.
With video marketing being so cost-effective for small companies these days, there are no restrictions on you doing the same. It doesn’t have to be a Hollywood quality movie. All it has to do is tell a story while promoting your product.
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Use Big Data
Anyone in touch with the marketing world is well aware of how important big data has become. A whole 48 percent of Americans expect brands to help them specifically find new solutions. But while big brands were the first to adopt big data, the march of technology and a growing need for more targeted audiences has opened up this area of marketing to smaller businesses.
The chances are you already have software that can enable you to gather data, even if it’s only Google Analytics. Think carefully about what you are doing with this data. Figure out what metrics really matter and how they can contribute to the success of your small business.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all this data, but once you manage to work out what it is that matters this process becomes far easier and you can avoid falling behind.
Make Your Community Better
Branding is about bringing people in. It’s about making people feel as if they are part of a community. You want your customers to have relationships with each other just as much as you want them to have relationships with you. This is relatively easy to do because it can be done through the use of social media and a few well-placed hashtags.
Simply post something and get people to tag their friends. You may even want to start a competition where someone can win something free from your company in exchange for sharing their stories online. Things like this encourage interaction and build that community spirit.
This approach to building communities creates brand exposure and increases awareness. It helps you to reach people you never thought you could reach before.
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Last Word: Today is the Day to Start Branding
Small businesses are practically the same as big businesses. The people you are both marketing to are exactly the same, and that means they respond to the same things. You don’t have to do anything radically different. The only real difference is that they have a bigger budget and a head start on you.
But don’t let this deter you. It’s still possible to catch them by using the above five key principles of branding your company.