I’ve never met a marketing person or business owner who said they had a big enough marketing budget to do all the things they wanted to do and for some small businesses and start-ups the reality is that funds are limited. So here are my 15 tips for how to build a brand on a budget. They work just as well for big brands and small brands, companies, services or products.
Tip #1: Have an active programme of meeting your customers face to face for a cost effective way to develop an intimate understanding of your customer or consumer needs
2. Brand Benefits
Tip#2: The reality is that people don’t care that much about your brand. They care about themselves. Keep asking from the customer perspective - what’s in it for me?
Tip#3: Put yourself in your customers shoes and consider “why should they believe us?” and pin down the few things that build trust, drive expertise or give them permission to believe what you are saying?
4. A Sense of Purpose
Tip#4: Find out what were the business founders beliefs that drove them to start it up in the first place often these provide strong clues for how to identify the brand purpose or the “why” behind the brand? For more established brands sometimes these driving beliefs become lost along the way so a trip to the company archive may be in order!
5. Brand Personality
Tip#5: When thinking about your brand personality ask the question: Would you or your customers like to spend a four hour train journey with that person? If the answer is no think again.
Tip #6: What are the few things that will help your customers or consumers to recognise you? Sure you’ve got a logo, and if you’ve done it right it stands out and embodies the brand. Okay but what else? Think all five senses not just visual.
7. Market Segments
Tip#7: Try mapping out the main axes of the market in which you compete. Which two axes are best at explaining most of the variation in the marketplace? Work out where you and your key competitors sit on those axes. Where is there space?
8. Differentiation & relevance
Tip#8. How is what you are offering different to the main competitors and in three years time when your brand building activities have come to fruition what will be the thing that you want to be known for? Make sure you are clear on how that is relevant to the things that are important to your customers.
Tip #9. Build a better mouse-trap and the world will beat a path to your door. Nope. Sorry. How will your potential customers get to know about you, and for the programme you are envisaging what proportion of your target will have heard about you when you are finished? Social media is very good for some things but often more traditional media works better for building awareness.
Tip#10: Think about the last time you shared or liked something about a brand – what made you do it? Satisfy yourself that what you are doing with your brand has the potential to reach that standard.
11. Content Marketing
Tip#11: How would your customers search for your business and what is the language that they would they use? Note that this may be different from the way you think and talk about your business.
12. Influencers & relationships
Tip#12: Try mapping out the customer journey right through from consideration to purchase – where do they go for advice and who’s opinion carries the most weight? Prioritise.
Tip#13. How will your product reach your customers and where will they find it? Work out how best to tailor your offering to what works best through that channel by balancing off the expectations of the channel owner and the customer.
14. Marketing capability
Tip#14: Is this brand building plan something that my team have the capacity and capability to execute and deliver? If not consider how else to access those capabilities – through outside resource and partners, or perhaps training or coaching to build the skills and confidence of the team.
15. Keep it simple.
Tip #15. Can you write it all down on a sheet of A4? Or alternatively what’s you elevator pitch – how would you verbalise your brand proposition in a nutshell? Now say it out loud, how does it sound? Does it sound like you believe in it or are you tentative? If not review and refine. The best brand building plans are iterative; so don’t be surprised or disappointed if you don’t get a hole in one!
If you'd like to download a free 18page eBook Brand Building on a Budget then please click here. Want to know more about brand building or to discuss your tricky brand building challenge then please get in touch.