Companies looking to build their brands may want to throw traditional tactics out the window and instead go off the beaten path when building their brands.
"When most people think of branding, they typically think of logos, taglines, value propositions, advertising slogans and other common branding tools," said Jeremy Durant, a principal at small business marketing firm Bop Design. "But there's a lot of different ways to build a brand, some of which can be especially helpful with new and emerging businesses. Never try to imitate another brand. Instead, get creative about your own brand and build your brand communications around what will hit home with your customers or clients."
To help businesses identify unique ways in which to build their brand, Durant offers the following tips.
- Interior design: The way a place of business looks on the inside sends a powerful message about the owner's commitment to the business. Investing in interior design shows that the owner is serious about the business and plans to be around awhile. By itself, interior design probably won't cause a prospect to do business with the company, but it can definitely swing the decision in the right direction.
- Personal branding: As head of the business, the owner is the company's leading brand ambassador — which means everything the owner thinks, does and says affects the company's brand. The way owners dress, their posture and the way they speak all play a role in shaping customers' perceptions about the value of doing business with the company. There are many ways to develop a personal brand. The key is to make sure it aligns with the company's brand.
- Parties and social events: Even when they're off the clock, business owners are still working: At nonwork parties and social events, they're still representing their companies. Parties allow business owners to meet new people, reconnect with those they already know, and identify people who could become clients, strategic partners or referral sources. Hosting a party or event doubles the opportunity, as it obligates the owner to interact with all the guests.
- A car: Think Geekmobile — those little Volkswagens emblazoned with the Geek Squad logo. Then, there's the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile, or those Truly Nolen pest-control cars with the mouse ears on top and tail on the back. Most businesses won't lend themselves to such a campy look or humorous approach, but with a little ingenuity, the owner's car can help to build the brand.
- YouTube videos:Creating personalized YouTube videos offers an inexpensive and very effective way to build a brand. Videos can include everything from verbal white papers to customer testimonials, industry thought leadership, and more. Today's viewers expect videos with high production quality, so don't post anything that looks sloppy, cheap or homemade.