Think branding can only be done by big boys with an unlimited budget?
You and I can play the game as well as the multi-national corporations, and steal some points from them too. Often, multi-national corporations are bogged down by bureaucracy and hierarchy, whereas you and I can move speedily and change faster. Here are some ideas to make your business brand stand out, with an arsenal of tools that you are already using.
1. Business card
Think of your business card as your own walking mini billboard. It is not there just to look fancy, but to convey relevant information about your business. If you can, include your positioning statement; ie a one-liner on what your brand is all about and how are you the right brand for your customers. This 90mm x 54mm piece of retail is all yours, so use it well to make the right first impression. 2. Website
In this day and age, your customers check you out online before they come to you. By the time you hear from them, they would already have an impression of you based on what you have (and have not) on the Internet. So make sure you have a decent website which says all about you, what you do and how to reach you. Again, it doesn’t have to be fancy; purpose comes first. Your website can always be improved as your business grows, so don’t sweat the small stuff (women are sticklers for getting the small stuff done right) and get it out there first! 3. Emails
You have spent time and effort into thinking about, defining and developing your brand identity. You’ve agonized over the colors, font types and position of your logo. It’s a shame, then, to send emails that does not reflect your brand. Consider that you send emails to your customers, suppliers, partners, friends and potentials daily. Make sure you use a good and relevant subject header and include your company name, logo and pertinent details at the end. A good tip is to include a one-liner about an ongoing promotion or activity, and include a link of that to your website. Give your activity some ‘legs’ by using your emails. Just don’t overuse it and turn your email into a sales pitch rather than an information piece. 4. Get out there!
The best brand for your small business is yourself. Most times, people identify your business with you, so what you say and how you look gives people an impression of your brand. Have a 60-second statement about your business ready at all times and a longer 10-minute explanation for interested potentials. And then just mingle! Go to your neighbourhood events, attend Christmas, Chinese New Year, Hari Raya and Deepavali do’s (we’re 1Malaysia after all) and make the best first impression for your brand.