How to market like a large corporation on a small business budget.
When ever I talk to small business owners about how to best market their business they often respond the same way, “I don’t have the budget”. You don’t have the budget? How can any business say that?
If we look at the common strategies used by large corporations we can see some comparable and often equally effective (relative to our market share and needs) strategies.
Branding your small business
Large corporations spend tons of money here. The brand perception, or brand equity, is critical and is often the foundation for every marketing campaign, sales collateral and underlines the complete company culture. They spend money not only to influence the buyer but also their own employees. Creating the brand through colour, styling, holistic messaging and so on keep the marketing departments of these corporations busy. The brand speaks large to the buyer and is a major component to why people buy from them.
So how can I ‘Brand’ my business and why should I?
If you’re wondering what your ‘brand’ is you are sitting to close to the window. Take a few steps back, no run far away from your company. Now looking from 50,000 feet can you see your company? I doubt it; all you can see is a small dot in your hometown. Now as you move closer in down to street level and walk toward your company what do you see? You’ll either see a store front, your company van, truck or car and then finally you. If we stopped here we could talk for hours how each of those elements to your business have strong brand value. Each influences customers to either buy from you or run for the hills. Imagine a handy man pulling up to the job site in a beat up 1972 cargo van with rust held together by duct tape. Nah I don’t think I’m going to spend $20,000.00 to fix my bathroom with this guy regardless who has referred him. No when you walk up to McDonalds, one of the worlds best brands, what do you see? You almost always see a very well kept store. The front is colourful the inside is clean, the furniture is new and the personnel are very eager to help you. At this point you haven’t even bought anything and you’re happy to be there. They have used a strong well laid out brand strategy to make you feel at home; after all you’re going to have dinner with them.
- Work on your store front even if it’s a car.
- Keep your appearance professional and reflective of your customer’s expectation
- Make them feel welcome