It goes without saying that big brands are big for a reason: it’s all about marketing. One of the most common mistakes small businesses make is assuming that the most powerful marketing techniques and standards used by big businesses are out of reach, when in fact there’s plenty that the average small to mid-sized business can learn from these name brand juggernauts.
- Start with a community. Instead of setting out to build a brand, your main focus should be to build a community of loyal customers, supporters and users. This can be achieved by a number of means, but the strongest is to appeal to preferences and nostalgia. Mashable recommends building communities around a set time period; reeling in a so-called “90s kid” is easy when you build your brand to appeal to that particular era. Getting passionate people interested in your brand is the best way to get it recognized, not to mention getting access to great word of mouth advertising.
- Tell your story candidly. Don’t try to create a public image, try to create an honest one. Consumers love knowing that the biggest brands started with one person who had a great idea, so don’t be afraid to let them understand your roots. The more down to earth your company feels, the more loyal your consumer base will be. Big brands do this by telling their story through advertising, branding and even interviews and Q&A sessions, you can too!
- Stay relevant. While there’s nothing wrong with appealing to nostalgia, that doesn’t mean your business should be behind the times. com notes that making seasonal revisions to social media bios and making regular blog posts is one technique used by many big name brands to keep their digital image fresh while still maintaining brand recognition.
- Use real-time marketing. This requires a little more of an investment when it comes to time, but it doesn’t cost much at all. The key is to inject your brand into conversations relevant to current events, whether that’s international news, a local sporting event or just a holiday. The timing is integral here; like working with a newly popular internet meme, you have to be sure to join the conversation when it’s still fresh.
- Get a professional. A little-known fact among small businesses is that even a small marketing firm can provide more or less the same service big brands expect of their own massive marketing departments, albeit for significantly lower prices. Instead of setting out to hire a marketer or two to work in-house, look for an inexpensive and highly effective marketing firm. One that specializes in small to mid-sized businesses is ideal.
When it all comes down to it, big brands use the same marketing techniques that small businesses should—just on a larger scale. You won’t become an international sensation overnight, but using these methods gives you the ability to play with the big boys without investing big money. Why not try them out for yourself?
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