A brand is the most essential and the most lucrative asset of every business. While big companies spend fortunes on promoting their name and image, new startups often need to find innovative ways for creating brands on a shoestring budget.
A company’s brand identity is much more than a simple combination of a name, logo, and colors. It also represents the company’s reputation among consumers. Still, every branding process starts with creating visuals and slogans and continues with the promotion of the company’s values.
Fortunately, creating and promoting a brand identity has become much easier in the last couple of years. Marketers can now use digital technologies to increase their brand’s awareness. For example, open-source graphic software allows DIY entrepreneurs to make their own visuals.
In this article, we’ll share several innovative ways for branding your business on a shoestring budget.
Provide top notch customer service
Every marketer knows that customers are a company’s best brand advocates. That’s why customer service is one of the most essential elements of successful branding. On the competitive market, customer service is one of the most effective ways to get ahead of your rivals. A satisfied customer will always take an extra step to promote your business.
Good customer service is expected from everyone in the business. You won’t hear people saying stuff like "I’ve ordered something from XYZ, and it came on time". Customer service can help your brand, only if it’s exceptionally good and if it provides additional value to the customer. So, try to find ways to solve your customers’ problems, while going beyond your regular offer. Do it for free and wait for the amazing benefits of word-to-mouth branding.
The power of free
The power of free has been thoroughly investigated by some of the most famous marketing experts, like Dan Ariely for example. He’s conducted an experiment, which included giving out free and incredibly cheap candy. A large majority of consumers choose lower-quality free candy, over the top-quality, affordable one.
People love to get presents. They will always accept a free promotional item. Still, many consumers don’t put these items into use, so they often just lay around somewhere, without any promotional value. That’s why you need to choose a chic, wearable item that will motivate consumers to show it off to the world on a regular basis. For example, you can try to improve your branding with nice clothing designs or interesting custom wristbands. As with word-to-mouth marketing, this is a very personal and effective way of promoting your products and branding your business. In addition to all the benefits they bring, promotional products and commercial printing have never been more affordable.
Make a viral video
Until a few years ago, there was a clear distinction between commercials crafted by small businesses and those filmed by international corporations and top marketing studios. Today, the border between these two types of videos is much blurrier. Video equipment has never been more affordable, and you have dozens of free and open-source video editing programs, like Lightworks, for synchronizing your recordings. There are hundreds of viral commercials that have been made by small business entrepreneurs or video enthusiasts. Some of them have even used their phone cameras for filming. A viral video can drastically increase your brand recognition. If you make it less promotional, you can also launch it on unconventional social networks and online communities like Reddit, where trends quickly pick up and grow big.
Use crowdfunding campaign for branding purposes
Collecting money for projects is usually the main purpose of crowdfunding, but these campaigns can also do wonders for building a startup brand. A successful crowdfunding campaign should have a fun video, a clear sales pitch and lots of engaging slogans and text. All these elements can also be used separately. This way, you’ll be able to improve both the crowdfunding campaign and the company’s branding operations. Crowdfunding videos are especially useful for startup branding, and if they are engaging enough, they can easily become viral and accumulate thousands of shares on social networks.
Top quality content is essential for effective digital branding. Many startups, especially in the first phases of their development, don’t have enough funds to hire professional content creators. These issues can be solved by assigning employees to share their expertise on the company blog. In no time, you’ll be able to gather lots of engaging content and increase the value of your brand. These types of tasks will also bring together the members of your team and improve workplace communication.
Emma Miller is a Sydney based writer with a degree in marketing. Interested in digital marketing, social media, start-ups and latest trends. She’s a contributor at BizzMark Blog.