Why and how of brand building for small businesses

Small business owners tend to be a one man or woman show and the focus is on making the business sustainable and profitable. For a small business owner or first time entrepreneur brand building can help them in reaching to greater audience and acquiring customers. It could seem like a daunting task so let’s look at brand building at macro level. This is first in series of online brand building.

What drives you? Share your vision. Let your customer’s know why you decided to start a business, is entrepreneurship your calling or a social cause or a new product idea that you feel passionately about.

What’s unique about your product? There are tonnes or product/services available at customers fingers tip as marketplaces makes it easy for customers to acquire products and get them delivered on their doorstep when they want. Know how your product is better than the similar products available in the market, is your product/service competitively priced, can you offer next day or specific time slot delivery. Always remember know your product before you show your product 😉

Make social media your friend – In today’s day and age, we tend to think of the world as a global village and you can reach people far and wide. Before you create a social media brand page

  • Know your target audience (age, demographics, personas who are likely to engage with your page etc).
  • Create a content map – Keep It Simple. Share why your product is unique, share your journey as an entrepreneur, humour goes a long way so share some funny memes, behind the scenes videos/pictures etc.
  • Engagement – Connect with customers, local community and other entrepreneurs even with competition to understand what is working for their audience.
  • Test, Measure, Evaluate – Test your content on your site, A/B test for email campaigns, understand your data (which content worked for you – identify posts with higher engagement and lower engagement and find ways to create content with higher engagement), evaluate your content to identify patterns in time/day when you see higher engagement, conversions, profile visits, subscribers, and followers.

Don’t be afraid – It’s not easy to put yourself out there but Brands and Businesses are made of people so let that charm and personality show through your content. If you are small business owner or marketeer please feel free to leave your feedback or questions in comments.

Changing World of Retail

The retail industry is going through unprecedented change. New technology is at the forefront of this change, brands and retailers and changing their business models to beat competition and keep up with evolving as is customer’s shopping behaviour.

Consumer behaviour is driven by price and convenience but it’s slowly moving away from instant gratification to unique finds and experiences. Why I say that is because of the high number of high street casualties we have seen recently. The consumer would continue to expect products to live to their online alter egos with free or low-cost delivery and proactive customer support.

As the customer journeys grows on to become more complex the desire to have a seamless shopping experience will become paramount. The days of questioning the significance of social media’s impact on brand building and overall sales is over. Brands will have to develop strategies to marry offline retail shopping with online *be the first* to share culture.

The commitment to low carbon footprint and environmental initiatives means more and more brands (H&M and Marks & Spencer) will have to consider recycling and reinventing products.

Mobile as a customer touchpoint is now intrinsic to any shopping journey whether it means buying products from brands Instagram account, liking a friend’s dress on Instagram and then placing an order or getting notifications of the order being delivered. Mobile shopping is growing and in near future will require planning when it comes to incorporating in brands marketing strategies. The battle between Android and Apple products will deepen further as global brands will see higher adoption rates for Android phones and acceptance of Android payment apps in emerging markets.

If you are working on a marketing plan or a new website don’t ignore mobile! Mobile can not only help you drive more traffic but also improve your conversions.

Please share in comments your experience of developing a mobile first strategy and how it impacted your conversions?

Picture Source: (c) theretailfactory