Hello SOTGC community,
In this day and age of Facebook and KickStarter, it isn’t nearly enough to start a business with a great product; in order to stand out from the pack your brand must have a distinct personality. It requires understanding your own unique qualities and skills you have to offer as well as knowing how to put them to use.
One of the most important aspects of your small business branding is having a beautifully designed, user-friendly e-commerce website to be able to keep up with demand and to leverage brand awareness. This website should include high-resolution images, company bio(s), and contact information including social media feeds so that all of your new fans can keep in touch! The website should make it easy for audiences to pinpoint exactly what the business is about and why they should get excited about it. Think of the website like an online dating profile- you want to show enough to get people excited and make them want more.
Another important step is clearly mapping out your brand’s PR goals. As PR Professionals, we can tell you that there is nothing more confusing than a potential client with no clear ideas on how she/he wants to portray their brand. A good PR firm will have the ability to represent your business across a variety of media platforms to best support your business ventures. However, in order for this marriage to take place the brand must have a clear identity. Knowing what you are looking to gain from PR is key for sales and growth as a brand.
After your brand has been introduced, seek out feedback. Whether it be from the media world or consumers, your brand should get people talking. Your PR contact should have deeply rooted relationships in place with media contacts and therefore are able to obtain uninhibited feedback about the brand. Even if some comments can be negative, the evaluations are invaluable since it comes directly from the people who shape the trends and relay them to the public. To show our appreciation for the feedback and future editorial credits, we always show our appreciation with a card, some treats or a product gift! A small gesture can go a long way.
Once your brand has made its way to the public eye, you will have to keep up with demand. It’s important to have the right product at the right time. Stay on top of timing and editorial calendars and be prepared for last minute requests not only from customers, but also your PR team. Being able to provide your PR team with what they need as soon as possible allows the relationship with editors to grow because of going that extra mile.
Of course there are many challenges when branding a small business, however if you consider these critical steps it will help distinguish your brand from others in a unique and positive way. Convey an easy to read message that will keep your audience captivated and help your team members help you!