As a business owner, it’s important for you to stay ahead of the curve. Your profit is equal to your hard work and a whole lot of exposure. In today’s ultra-competitive climate, the business world is more cut-throat than ever before. While the competition is definitely fierce, there are plenty of things you can do to make sure your current customers will stick around, and that potential customers will become life long patrons.
Anyone can sell a product or service, but it takes a special, strategic plan to sell your wares or services in a unique way that no one will forget. You really want to impress your customers and other businesses, so that you’re ahead of the game and have a unique branding strategy.
Branding is what makes businesses stand out. Terms like Kleenex, Xerox, and Whiteout are all household names, but it is because of the branding that their parent companies have worked so hard to establish that we equate them with every day items, regardless of the manufacturer.
Branding helps give your business its own personalized identity, and will help to ensure that people automatically recognize your company and its products. This is what larger corporations have depended on to make them money. But how do you go about branding without overdoing it? Or, how can a business effectively use branding as a way to impress the customers, and crush the competition?
Doing well and making sales is not good enough to become a dynamic, over the top success in business. As a company and business owner, you should want to go above and beyond the call of duty and really impress people with your company’s mission statement, marketing techniques, products, and most importantly, customer service. Excelling is definitely possible with some out of the box thinking and tactics. Simple changes can make a huge difference in the way you look at your business and in the way customers will respond to your advertising.
First and foremost, you must define your business and decide what it is you stand for, what you represent, and how you will make money. Defining your brand and your company is absolutely the first and most essential part of success.
Next, solid communication tactics need to be developed. Here, communication means advertising, special offers, and email or mailed newsletters. It also means how you are perceived by others via your website. You will also need to market and promote your products and your company. All of these elements combined should be fine tuned to your company’s identity, and with what your customers want. Utilizing the Internet to the best and most effective ways possible is also a must.
If you can get creative with the things people are looking for in businesses today, you can easily change the perception of your company through not only your customers’ eyes, but through your own eyes as well. Here are some insightful and helpful tips, tricks, and tactics to help increase your business with the impressing factor:
1. Professional Looking And Professionally Functioning Websites Are Essential.
Don’t simply use a template-style, generic website to sell your products. Today’s Internet savvy shoppers know what a polished website looks like, and they are much more likely to buy from them. They also know what a generic, unimpressive one looks like, so make sure yours is professionally done. You may:
- Make it easy to navigate,
- Make it look good so people will be attracted to it and want to make a purchase there as well as return at another time, and
- Ensure you have a reliable hosting company to reduce downtime, which will result in lost sales.
- Have it designed and maintained through some professional if you are not so qualified.
2. Come Up With A Creative Tagline.
Many companies use taglines as a method for people to remember their name. For example, the cereal Wheaties is known as the “breakfast of champions.” The breakfast of champions part of the brand name is simply the brand’s tagline, but it is widely recognized and makes that particular type of cereal stand out. By creating a tagline, Wheaties has developed something unique, and something that will stand out in peoples’ minds.
Brainstorm a few taglines of your own until you find one that really defines your brand or your company. Then, add it underneath your logo on as many different things as you can include the website, business cards, and printed materials.
3. Impress Your Customers With Your Logo.
A logo really does have an impact on the way people perceive a business. Something that is colorful, not too overwhelming, yet creative is what you want. A company name is there to do its job, but nothing has quite the impact like a cool logo.
Think of what your business stands for, what you’re selling, and what people are looking for. Then, work around those ideas to come up with a creative, edgy logo that really stands out among the crowd. Twitter is a good example of a new logo that is already highly recognized due to its creativity and simplicity.
4. Market Outside The Box.
Don’t just offer your customers emails with coupon codes. Think of some new, creative ways to send them special offers. Whether it’s through charity donations, fundraisers, or a word of mouth campaign, there are ways to get people to make purchases without using traditional methods.
Contests always seem to do well, so think of something that relates to your business that will also get people interested in what you have to offer. You have to make everything look appealing to the customer, while still remaining focused on your own goals and getting the word out about who you are as a brand.
5. Stay Fresh.
Don’t ever let your website get dull or stay full of old inventory. Try to update your items and products as much as possible. If the business is only offering one thing or is offering a service, then try to take new approaches to the website every couple of months. Develop a “sister” product for the main product so that people will want to buy its companion. Updating with new content and a new look works wonders for any business, since people are always looking for something new.
6. Viral Videos Mean Massive Sales.
So many brands and companies today have opted to use viral videos as a means to get new business (take the Burger King franchise for example).
Come up with a cool new video, whether it’s funny or just plain outrageous, and then distribute it on the web. Make sure you’re reaching out to the niche group that your business appeals to. Take skateboards for example. You wouldn’t produce a wild skating video and then post it on a needlepoint website, would you? No matter what the video entails, try to stick with the types of websites and businesses you already pander to. People will respond to the video if they know what you’re selling and why.
7. Social Media Works.
Websites like Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace work wonders for businesses. Get your name out there by becoming friends with customers on these sites. You can use the social media networking websites to help spread the word, announce sales, and launch contests. Word of mouth is and will always be the best form of advertising. Thanks to the new social networking sites, you can reach thousands of people in a matter of minutes, which translates into a personal aspect for your customers, and much more business for you.
Blogging is a super-effective way to get people involved in what is happening with your company. Post an updated blog on the home page and watch how quickly people will respond.
Most people enjoy the voyeuristic aspects of blogs, so use this to your advantage and write about updates, happenings at your company, new products, and upcoming promotions. Make the tone of the blog lighthearted and fun, and try to keep it as updated as possible. While daily may seem impossible, it really is best since it will keep your patrons interested in what is happening on a daily basis, and kind of “reel” them into the inner-workings of the brand.
9. Be There.
Customers want to deal with businesses that have someone there for them whenever they need them. Whether it’s through live chat, personal email correspondence, or by telephone, customer service is the key to success, hands down.
If a customer has a need or a question, they want to be able to know there is someone available to help them whenever they need it. Be sure you make yourself or your company available for customers. This can be a slow process, using emails only initially, but ideally a 1-800 number would be best so that people can talk to a real live person.
10. Positive Attitudes Work.
While it might seem as if things can get overwhelming most days, maintaining a positive attitude is a must. Whether it’s with employees, your business partner, or just with yourself, try to be as positive as you can. Sure, things will be frustrating at times and there will be days when you’re overloaded, but negativity really does reflect on your business. People know when the “tone” of things are not the way they should be. Try to be happy and make sure that attitude reflects in your brand and in your website’s overall theme.
11. Make The Benefits Clear.
Don’t just say, “hi, we’re the Acme Company and we sell widgets.” Customers can get just about any item anywhere they want to. But by defining the actual benefits of that item, people feel much more confident in sticking with you. Highlight the positive benefits of your products, and make sure these are emphasized in as many ways as possible, through advertising, on the website, or with word of mouth campaigning.
12. Don’t Just Announce The Benefits Of The Products Or Services, But Point Out Their Unique Features As Well.
Think of several things that make your product unique. This is what a Unique Selling Proposition is; it not only talks about the benefits of a product, but it also points out what makes that product stand out in a crowd. Is your cereal crunchy or is it extra crunchy and stays that way in milk? Does your glue stick, or does it stick to any surface instantly? Adding these little unique traits to the branding is what draws customers in and makes them intrigued.
13. Look At The Competition.
While it’s obvious you’re focusing on the business and the tasks at hand, don’t lose sight of the competition. See what they are offering, find out who their customer base is, and decide what tactics they are using effectively that you might be able to revamp and use. Knowing who your competitors are as well as what makes them successful will give your business a whole lot of ammunition and a new perspective on how to do things.
14. Make Your Product/Service Unique.
If you feel as if you’re only offering the same old as such, then think of different angles to your product that you might not have thought about before. Brainstorm and write down a list of adjectives that describe your business. Then, take those words and play on them with taglines and features that make your product unique. It might not seem as if you have something unusual to offer initially, but with a little of bit of out of the box thinking, you can put a “spin” on your product so people will be interested in what you’re offering.
15. Surveys can work for you.
Don’t be afraid to ask customers what they think of your company. Use online survey providers or email based surveys to get a feel for what the customers are interested in, what they like and dislike, and any suggestions they can make to improve the site. These surveys can be an invaluable resource to help you get a better hold of your marketing niche and style. Customer feedback is one of the most valuable tools in your arsenal.
Apart from the above, there are many more methods to increase your business. As much you will concentrate over your business activities, your business will grow up and you will get more money.
Be Happy – Better Business Means More Money.