Branding your company encompasses so many things. It involves your products, your culture, your message, your image, and most of all, WHY a consumer should get excited about your services. It’s a tall order for something that needs to be concise, crystal clear, and evoke emotion – over and over again.
Automatically, businesses begin to think in terms of extensive marketing campaigns, videos, multimedia advertisements – all large expenditures of dollars that can cause a lot of stress over your actual return on investment.
There are other ways to multiply the power of your brand message without a big expense.
Turn to your existing clients. Yes, it’s that easy. Savvy small businesses are learning to utilize the good natures of loyal customers who are willing to serve as “ambassadors” of their brand, serving to spread the word about that business’s products, services, or spectacular company culture.
To win over a brand ambassador, you must step outside the box and add a personalized wow factor to your service.
It doesn’t have to be expensive. I’m not suggesting a $500 gift card or a fantasy getaway. It’s all about paying attention to minute detail, and making an effort, no matter how small. Social networking is an excellent place to begin your endeavors, although face-to-face interaction should never be discounted as the ultimate connection.
For example, Crayola recently received a Facebook post complaining about an unsharpened crayon received in a new box. Guess who immediately got a replacement? A small expenditure, and yet that customer was quite pleased with pocketing a new set, and with the immediate visual attention they received from a large company. Will they tell others? You bet. And the exchange is also posted online, for all who engage in social media to see.
Word of mouth referrals still remain one of the least expensive ways to generate repeat fans and new customers.
If someone refers you, reward them highly. It’s still going to be less expensive than a large marketing campaign. Make them feel special – and the new referral as well – so that the referrals continue to trickle down the line. According to Jennifer Lawler of Entrepreneur.com, “VoicePulse, a Voice over Internet protocol service provider, offers existing customers the opportunity to send an e-mail to their contacts with a referral code. If the referred person signs up for service, both customers get a credit to their accounts. Other small-business owners offer gift certificates for items clients would enjoy–think, chocolates, flowers, discounts, theater tickets and the like.”
Don’t forget to stay connected and always add value to your products and services.
It’s extremely important to have a systemized plan in place to continue frequent “touch points” with your existing clients. Work hard to develop a personalized relationship with your customers, especially if your “touches” include useful information and are designed to add value to their experience with your business, rather than simply pushing additional products or services.
All these factors will play into building the ideal client who will work hard for your company – at little or no marketing cost – all because they love who you are.