Making your brand present in the mind of the consumer is basic business. But consumers are always evolving, and so should your marketing tactics. Here are some commonly ignored ways to maximize your branding.
In Your Store
The absolute most important place to brand is your place of business. This may seem elementary, but many miss opportunities to display their logo on their own home turf. Use your floors with branded runners, your walls with custom wallpaper, and your ceiling with fun lighting fixtures. Put your logo on all receipts, paperwork, and packaging. Every inch counts.
The usual free merchandise should be handed out at every opportunity: mugs, t-shirts, totes, and bumper stickers are a great place to start. But don’t stop there. Be creative. If you have a specialty, your swag should speak to it. For example, if you run a plumbing business, try distributing plungers printed with “Need this? Give us a call.” This leads to my next point: putting just your logo on everything is somewhat stale. Let your brand personality shine through with catchphrases and jokes.
Employees as Brand Advocates
Many companies miss an obvious branding option: people. Your employees should be your ambassadors and advocate your company as genuinely as possible. The easiest way to encourage this, besides training seminars, is to treat them well and give them positive things about your company mission that they’ll want to promote on their own.
Whether you have a chain or a single location, the community in which you work and market is a treasure trove of branding resources. Pay attention to local festivities and engage your consumers there. Setting up well-designed booths at concerts, fairs, farmers markets, and charity events is a great way to put yourself where your customers go. Hire a local artist to design contribute to your logos and designs; maybe even a mural in your office. Making a presence in your community can make the difference between inspiring brand loyalty and fading into corporate obscurity.
Partnering with a Local Company
Speaking of local, find like minded companies in-line with your philosophy and consumer base and see if they want to join forces. You could save money on marketing, but more importantly you could start making a presence for yourself with their clients that you hadn’t previously reached. Whether it’s finding witty ways to co-publicize logos on a t-shirt or cooperating at a promotional booth (say you hand out notepads, they hand out pens), it could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Perhaps the most waste in branding comes from narrow marketing. While it’s imperative to know who and where your customers are, you also benefit from keeping in mind who and where your customers could be. Marketing paintball equipment just to males between 15 and 35, you’re casting too narrowly. Why not aim some advertising at women for girl power and companies for team-building exercises? Don’t shackle yourself to one demographic- you might be missing out.