Having a brand is an intrinsic part of doing business. It’s even gotten so far as people talking about branding themselves – no, not with a hot iron – and how to market oneself in such a way as to create a personal brand. It’s an interesting idea, the brand, that is much more than simply a logo. Recently, GRAYBOX’s Alicia Nagel, Senior Marketing Strategist, gave a presentation about branding. “Who Gives a Brand?” looks into advertising and how marketers can help clients create a memorable image for their customers.
Small business is almost synonymous with a very limited budget, especially when it comes to marketing and advertising. Take a landscape service, for instance: if you are landscaping for 8-12 hours per day, at what point do you have time to worry about developing a marketing campaign or creating a logo or sending emails? Chances are, you have gotten a magnet or a truck painted with your name and number and that is the extent of your advertising. Now, a successful landscape service might have the budget to pay a marketing team and a web developer, but more than likely it’s all bootstrapped.
So how do you develop your brand in your spare time – what little spare time there is? Alicia suggests that knowing your customers is vitally important in learning how to create your brand. A personal landscape service is automatically able to weed out – pun intended – a large section of the population because those people don’t own a house, or a house with a yard, or simply don’t have a yard that they want landscaped. So you are looking at folks who have the overhead to pay someone to build their idyllic yard.
Creating a message for your target customers, one that resonates with them, one that hits on a desire that they have: to have a manicured lawn, or a new water feature installed, etc., is intrinsic to growing your customer base. Even something as simple as having a portfolio on your website can be as good as a word of mouth referral. Allowing customers to comment on your portfolio is free content creation and helps drive an opinion that can help sway a potential customer.
Developing a message, or mantra, that either defines your small business or helps your small business define itself is an important part of being able to reach out and expand your customer base. It will help you focus your time and energy on more viable customers while helping you to not fret over the customers outside your range who you are not getting. If you are a landscape service that specializes in perfect yards within gated communities, then you can focus your energy and effort there instead of worrying about looking for work in a business park, or an apartment complex, or even a suburban home that only wants sporadic service.
If you are looking for help developing your brand or marketing strategy, our team of marketing professionals is here to help! Need a website to help you find out who your customers are? Contact us!