Give Them Something to Talk About: Building Your Small Business Brand through Buzz
Many small business owners long for the buzz they need to gain their share of the market, but few know how to generate it. The good news is that it is easier for a small business to get positive buzz, because they are uniquely part of their communities and often have compelling stories to present to the public. Here are a few concrete ways to give your community something to talk about.
- Avoid clichés. Customers hear phrases like ‘helpful’, ‘service’, ‘quality’, and ‘value’ so much that they bring up no emotional reaction. While these can all be potent core values, you will need to reframe them in a way that is unique and memorable. Sell not a product or service—after all, every business offers these—but attitudes, emotions and answers to problems. Think about the massively successful companies that dominate their fields, and you will immediately see that they are selling something extra. Apple is all about design, Nike is about forward movement, and Google is about fun innovation.
- Redesign your aesthetics. Is your logo design worth talking about? If not, it’s time to go back to the drawing board, this time with a logo design specialist. Whether you are looking for an ultra-traditional style or something more modern, a logo design consultant can build a logo that is an inspiring and attractive representation of everything that your brand stands for. A good logo that sets the style for an attractively decorated store and noteworthy displays will give customers a reason to mention you to their friends.
- Be involved. Every branding consultant will tell you that community presence and involvement is a key part of any small business. Being visible as part of a community will win the support of customers that feel for the same support. Better yet, it will get your name in the public eye and create a positive image that your customers will enjoy discussing.
- Hire thoughtfully. Many small business owners hire based on experience or contacts. While these are both important, it is even more imperative to hire employees who are an engaging part of your brand. You can train the right employee to perform almost any task well, but you will never be able to change the personality of an otherwise qualified person who simply doesn’t embody your spirit.
- Brand, brand, brand. Your small business brand should offer customers something to talk about by its very nature. Your brand is not just a logo design (although this is certainly an important aspect), but a mission, a personality, and a promise. The right brand will inspire and educate, giving people a reason to create buzz. If your brand isn’t there yet, meet with a branding consultant to see how it can be refined and improved.
As you can see, creating buzz is not so much about what your business does, but who you are. By following these five steps, you can get people talking in a way that increases your traffic and your sales. Creating buzz is more involved and more powerful than any advertising campaign, so it is worth your money, time, and effort. Don’t be afraid to hire professionals when it comes to this crucial element of small business success.