When you think about branding your small business what generally comes to mind is online tools that can get your name out there. However, what if you have a physical location, a presence within your local market? You will want to do more than online marketing, although that is a very big part of what you will do. There are tools to help you brand your business that you can use on a local level and some you will use online. If you are looking for foot traffic, try a healthy mix of local and online marketing for optimum results.
What’s In a Name?
Actually, when it comes to a business, everything’s in a name. On a local level you may be able to determine if there are other businesses around that have your name or a name close enough to warrant maybe changing yours up a bit – or at least your slogan. If you can’t change your name, make your slogan a huge part of your advertising. If it is an online endeavour, then you will probably need a tool like Name Check. This is best used when thinking of a name for your company but if it’s too late and you already have a name, check to see what the competition for that name is doing and alter your marketing to make your brand stand apart. Incorporating that slogan will work nicely here.
Local Branding Tools
In all the excitement over online marketing, many local businesses forget that there are local tools they can use to help build brand too. One innovative idea that many small businesses have begun using is really a blast from the past. If you do a lot of local business where invoices or work orders are used as part of your process, custom rubber stamps with your logo incorporated into the design are a sure-fire way to gain recognition.
Use bright ink and on every outbound piece of paper that crosses your desk, use your stamp in a visible location. It could be a logo icon, your company name and the words “Thank You!” etched into the stamp. There was a time when every business used custom rubber stamps to get their name out there and for local businesses, this is something that should be brought back. Remember – everything’s in a name and you want them to remember yours.
Sponsor Charity Drives
Another thing you can do to build brand on a local level is to sponsor charity drives or events. If you are the main sponsor you will get free advertising on many radio and television stations that give a certain amount of air time free to charities trying to raise funds. This time is often a tax write off for their station and in an effort to build community relations they offer free publicity for local fundraising events. Sponsor at least two events in a year and watch how quickly your name gets out there where it counts. That would be with the locals.
So remember, although online marketing is going to get you quick visibility in the search engines, you are also reaching out on a local level. By stamping each piece of correspondence, bill or invoice that comes across your desk you will be getting your name out there. Sometimes you need a perfect blend of the old and the new but when it comes to branding, you need every trick in the book.