Have you ever had your spouse (for those who are married) or a friend say to you as you head out for the day, “Are you going to wear that?” To which you respond, “What’s wrong with what I am wearing?” Sometimes, ahem, myself excluded of course, we may wear something that doesn’t quite look right or fit the occasion. We look in the mirror and think “you look good.”
As a small business marketing consultant, I sometimes want to say to a small business, “Seriously, are you going to wear that?” when it comes to their branding. In other words, “Are you going to let that represent the marketing narrative for your small business?” Seriously? Let’s talk!
Here are three thoughts to consider when it comes to what your small business is “wearing” (a.k.a BRANDING):
- Have a great logo – Have a great logo, not a good logo, but a great logo! Ask others if your logo lives up to the vision of your small business. If it doesn’t, then maybe it’s time to sit down with a good marketing professional and walk through defining your brand and what a great logo would look like for your small business – a logo that communicates your marketing narrative. It isn’t enough to work with just a good graphic designer. Not all graphic designers understand branding. They should, but unfortunately it’s not always the case. You need to work with someone who understands branding AND good design. For more key factors to a great logo
- Have a great business card – C’mon small business people, for goodness gracious. Your business card is the most efficient and inexpensive marketing tool you have. Make it count! When you hand someone your business card it should communicate who you are and what you do in 5 seconds or less. Every business card should have the following seven elements:
- Company Logo
- Company Name – If the company name is clearly stated in the logo, ignore the company name. If not, take note of how important shouting the company name on a card is.
- Your First and Last Name – You might be surprised how often this one slips through the cracks. You’re not gonna let that happen now are you?
- Telephone Number
- Website – If you don’t have a website, then you have just communicated to your contact you are a not a serious player in the world of small business.
- Email Address – Your email address should be your name + your domain name. Do not settle for a @Hotmail.com or a @yahoo.com. Again, another indicator that you are pretending to be a small business. Stop pretending and get an email address that matches your domain. Pay someone for the time to help you set this up if you do not know how to.
- Service or Product Description of What You Do – If your company name or logo does not clearly define what you do, then you need to add additional language to your business card that does. One word descriptions will work fine. For example, if the name of your company is Smith and Sons and your small business is that you fix cars, then you might want to add to your business card, Automotive Repair. Make sense?
- Answer All Your Calls With A Consistent Greeting – Many small businesses do not consider the phone greeting that they perform as a part of their branding strategy. Just because you are a small business doesn’t mean that how you answer incoming calls doesn’t matter. It does. All of the ‘big boys’ answer their phone with a consistent message, so why don’t you? Start answering all your phones calls today with a consistent branded greeting. For starters, try this one, “Good morning. YOUR COMPANY NAME. Greg speaking. How may I help you?” Head here for more tips on answering your phone to win business.
What other tips would you add that help communicate your marketing message?