Branding on a Budget

Are you trying to promote your brand on a tight budget? Well then, it’s time to get creative with ways to get lots of free positive exposure. The concept of ‘target marketing’ requires you to precisely define and describe your ideal customers with specific demographic details – those who really need your products or services, value your approach to it, love your style, will always pay full price for it and will easily evolve into raving fans.

  1. If you know what trade publications, eLetters or blogs your target market reads regularly, try to publish content in them that promotes the value of the concepts behind your products or services. But, don’t try to sell. Write about the importance of data security for small businesses, not the specific data security service your company provides. Allow the exposure to ‘brand you’ as an expert.
  1. If you know what professional or business group events your target market attends regularly, offer to speak at them. Same caveat – speak about the value of the concept, not your specific product. Allow that exposure to also ‘brand you’ as a dynamic and engaging expert.
  1. Volunteer your time and talents to some of those groups. Showcase your expertise. The classic example is the website designer who freshens up the organization’s site pro bono, in exchange for a mention on their home page. Allow the contribution of time and talent to help ‘brand you’ as a professional who gives expertise willingly to support worthy organizations.
  1. Always ask for referrals from happy customers. Let them become an extension of your sales team … or your entire sales team. Testimonials on your website can help, but not as much as a happy customer calling a colleague on your behalf. And the larger the customer’s organization, the greater the chance for internal referrals to other divisions and departments.

One final tip – whenever you network at small business-oriented events, ask people you meet how they brand their businesses on a budget. You’ll be amazed at what you can learn.

So, ‘No-Budget Branding’ is simple but not easy. It requires time and effort, especially if you don’t want to invest the money to have a branding pro do it for you.