Creating and maintaining a brick-and-mortar establishment can be an exciting but stressful undertaking.
While it is very rewarding to own a business like this, there is no denying that there are dozens, if not hundreds, of numbers to keep track of as well as ways to advertise.
Advertising is something that any small business must deal with constantly, and one way to advertise passively is to do something that is called branding.
Nearly every successful business on the planet has very strong branding. Branding is something that tells consumers that are not even remotely interested in the establishment that the establishment should be a place worth stopping at.
One of the many reasons why small establishments do not survive after their first year in existence is because their branding is not as strong as it should be.
One thing to never forget is that the stronger an establishment’s branding, the more repeat business they receive.
Fortunately, there are many ways for small establishments to adopt strong branding. Of these, four stand out. These four methods are inexpensive and effective.
4 Inexpensive Types of Branding
This is more of a good habit to follow rather than a branding technique, but it is probably the most important.
Why is something like this a form of branding? Again, think of the most successful organizations that have stood the test of time.
Think of world famous establishments, and more important than that, take a look at their history. You’ll find that even when they were at the level that your establishment is at currently, they did things the exact same way every single time, knowing exactly what worked and what didn’t work..
A lot of new establishments fall into the trap of “experimenting” or “mixing things up” too much. They’ll adopt one strategy one month, then another the next month. This is not a smart thing to do. It is a much better idea to be consistent, this way you can see exactly what strategies are working and what is not working.
2# Determining a target market that no other establishment around you has targeted, then advertising accordingly
Again, this is more of a “set up” for physical branding than anything else, but it is just as important, if not more.
Most small business owners make the mistake of getting too ambitious, attempting to make their products or services available to the entire public in their area. They do not understand the importance of detecting a niche and marketing to that.
As the owner of a small establishment, you simply cannot think on the large scale; not at the moment, at least. Again, take a look at the largest establishments in the world, and take a very close look at how they started. In nearly all cases, they detected a target market, did all they could to make sure that this market knew that their establishment could serve them better than all other establishments in the area, regardless of size.
Owning a small establishment requires you to think small at first, and this starts with determining a target market that you can rely on. It should be your goal to make sure that you can serve this target market better than every other establishment in the area regardless of size.
3# Make your signs stand out from the rest
Let no other source tell you different: The best signs for any given small establishment are neon ones..
Naysayers who say that neon signs are obsolete or anything else do not understand that neon signs are like any other sign: They are designed to tell potential consumers that your establishment is either open or in the smarter case, offering things that no other establishment in the area are offering.
The problem with most neon signs is that in most cases, they all look the same. Fortunately, thanks to the advent of online stores, this is no longer an issue.
It is now more possible to ever to shop for neon signs in all kinds of shapes, colors, and sizes, even if their only purpose is to tell consumers that your establishment is open for business.
One of the cheapest and most effective branding strategies is to take advantage of this and make sure that your signs look way different than other establishments in the area.
4# Offer at least one different product/service than all other establishments in the area, and display it prominently
This goes back to the second strategy, and it is an applied version of it. The best establishments that have stood the test of time have always started out this way. They understood that they could fill a certain need or solve a certain and specific problem with what they sell and then they went out and told the public that only their establishment could solve this problem.
Remember that branding is a passive advertisement strategy, meaning that it needs to be visible and it must represent a call to attention. One way to do this is to showcase something that your establishment sells that makes it stand out from all others…and display it prominently.
This can be done in many ways. It can be achieved in the form of exterior decorations, signs, or even mascots. Whatever you do, make sure it is showcasing something at the establishment that is in high demand that no other establishment in the area offers.
While bringing in new customers is one goal of branding, the other goal of branding is to keep customers and visitors coming back. This is one thing that can make your establishment evergreen.
An extra branding tip is to always check how well your current branding strategies are and adjusting to them as necessary. The majority of small business owners do not do this, thereby running the risk of under performing and not being innovative when it counts the most.
All four of these branding techniques also require you to do some research and find out what other establishments around you are doing in their branding efforts. This is the one thing that will determine which of these four strategies you need to adopt first.
Author Bio: Lara Douglas is a young woman who loves interior designing and home decor. She is passionate about new trends and fashion forward home décor ideas. She regularly posts at Neon Signs Depot.