Being the Brand: Five Ways for Business Owners to Singlehandedly Build Their Company Image
Do you think branding is too expensive for a small business such as yours? Many companies mistakenly think this way and suffer as a result, but branding your company can be as easy and inexpensive as making a few personal choices. Here are five easy things you can do to be not just the owner of your small business, but the face of it as well just like the Five Ways to Brand Your Website.
Meet your customers. One reason that people shop at small businesses is that they enjoy interacting with the owners. If you are always stuck at a desk in the back, your company will lose this edge and thus lose part of your customer base. Not only will interacting with your customers allow you to be an integral part of the brand, it will allow you to personally get feedback on your products and services, allowing you the valuable advantage of seeing the world from your customer’s eyes.
Be visible in the community. In order to get to know you, people need to be able to see you occasionally. Getting out in the community, whether it is at church or at local festivals, will bring attention to both you and your brand. Go out regularly in your community and introduce yourself as “…owner of (your business)”. This will get your name out there and provide free advertising.
Look the part. Does your small business have a fun, friendly image with non-traditional marketing? Then it’s important that you and your car keep up appearances by being a little more colorful and fun than most people. Conversely, if your image is more that of an urban sophisticate, you cannot even step out to lunch without looking the part. Your car, your home, and your personal appearance in public must ‘go with’ your small business brand, or people will sense that your brand is fake.
Add a personal touch. One of the key differences between a large, impersonal business and a boutique brand is the little touches that a boutique gives every single order. Whether you personally sign every letter or close your envelopes with a sticker bearing your logo, make sure your small business is a boutique in every sense of the word and not just copying the impersonal experience that bog box stores offer.
Become an expert. Some business owners tape small news segments as experts on their business’s subject; others give time to local charities in exchange for a public thank you. Whether you talk about your business from a company blog or offer your consulting services to trade magazines, it’s important that you as the owner of your company be seen as an industry expert. This will get your name out in a very positive, very public way, and, if you follow the above four steps, build your brand in ways that nothing else can.
As you can see, there are ways of building a brand and building your reputation as owner without spending a lot of money if you understand the 5 Essential Components of a Small Business Brand. Because the owner of a small business is seen as synonymous with the business itself, it is crucial that you and your branding be congruent and complementary even during business emergencies. Being your brand takes only a little effort, but it pays off both in profit and in public goodwill.