I’ll have the BLT please… with extra customers.
If you’re in the business of running a small business, you’re probably constantly thinking about how you can do things better. Improve strategy, improve execution, improve retention, improve systems or process, improve sales and customer service.
Most likely, improving your brand is not high up on the priority list. Especially if you’re working on a tight budget. And most definitely if you hardly consider any return on investing in what is often thought of as just a pretty little image boasting your company’s name in a nice font and colour.
Sure, you’ve heard that brand matters. That’s why you have a logo. Right? But you’re likely betting on pricing and service faring better in the race to gain and keep customers than your logo.
The truth is, your brand, and your customers’ perception of that brand, is way more than just your logo. And worth a lot more in weight against your other USPs these days, when it comes to gaining and retaining customers.
One only has to think of some the greatest brands out there, Coca-Cola, Apple, Google, to make the very valid point that brand matters. A brand like Apple has become so strong, it can run an entire ad campaign without ever having to put its name to it.
“But those are massive companies,” you find yourself thinking. “I’m a small business.”
Big or small, business is business. And the link between a successful business and strong branding is undeniable. Essentially, your brand IS your business. It represents the personality and values of your brand. It defines you. And it’s the first (and sometimes last) impression your customers will experience of your business.
Ordering the BLT of marketing
Gaining and retaining trust and loyalty with existing and future customers lies at the heart of every business, big or small. Well, your brand is so closely connected to loyalty and trust, it’s like the bacon in everyone’s favourite Bacon Lettuce & Tomato (BLT) sandwich. It all starts with the bacon… or brand.
Much like the BLT sandwich, the BLT of marketing is built around the brand: Brand, Loyalty and Trust.
A great brand is one that makes an emotional connection with its customers, who become more like followers, associating and engaging with your business, in turn trusting your business and staying loyal to it – often regardless of pricing and even in the face of the odd customer service mishap. People find themselves paying more for Nike shoes without thinking twice about it, because Nike’s customers, or followers, see the brand as superior and they associate themselves with ‘just doing it’, trusting and staying loyal to the brand first and foremost, followed by the belief in a trustworthy product and superior customer service.
Identifying your small business’ brand strategy is a first and essential step in running it successfully.
Get the brand right, and the loyalty and trust will follow, giving you a perfect marketing BLT.