No matter what your budget, it doesn’t have to constrain your efforts. It’s possible for your brand to make an impression without spending millions of dollars. With a little luck and a lot of creativity, there are many ways a company can make and maintain a name for itself.
Here are some low-cost tips for building your brand that you may not have considered before.
- Crowdsource.While your in-house team is an essential and necessary part of your business, sometimes having an outsider’s perspective can help you better express your company’s vision. This is where crowdsourcing comes in.You can gain the brainpower of thousands of freelancers through crowdsourcing sites, contests, and platforms, in addition to your regular creative team. And enlisting this extra help won’t break the bank.For example, logo design from a single vendor can cost thousands. But crowdsourcing site 99Designs enables you to have dozens of professional designers competing to work on your logo with a final price tag between £199 and £530. Score a Score offers a similar service for music, voice over, and sound design.Another innovative option is Victors and Spoils. This ad agency enlists the help of 5,000 freelancers to offer ideas for brands and products based on a one-sheet. And Crowdflower is a data enrichment platform that puts the crowd to use for everything from sentiment analysis to comment moderation.
- Pursue the media.New and established brands need to make publicity a priority if they want to dominate their competition. And it’s easier than ever before to find cost-effective methods for developing a relationship with the media.Knowing the media is the first step in gaining their attention. Find reporters in your industry on Twitter. With a little bit of research, you can uncover pre-made lists relevant to your business. For example, here’s a list for the NY Times National News team, and M+R has developed several lists aimed at helping those in the non-profit realm. Once you’re following reporters, establish a connection by regularly retweeting and responding to them.You can also use HelpaReporterOut.com to find reporters specifically looking for experts in your industry to comment on a story.Before you pitch, do your research, and know the outlet’s audience and point of view. Stay up-to-date on the current and relevant media trends, and identify how your business fits into the broader story or trend.Develop a strong elevator pitch that is both brief and personal. You need to be able to pitch the media quickly, but also allow them to see there is something personal behind the idea.
Finally, when communicating with the media, make it easy for them. Providing the media with prompt and thorough information means they’ll be more likely to work with you again.
- Seek out brand evangelists.While having a strong social media presence and strategy is crucial, it is also important to find brand evangelists who will push your brand to their own community.Not only do brand evangelists spread the word about your business to a broader audience, they often provide a more credible voice than the brand itself. Consider this statistic from Nielsen: 68% trust consumer opinions online, while only 48% trust search engines or social media advertising.By developing relationships with your customers beyond the point of sale, the customers will want to push the company because they are excited by the brand – and with how the brand values their consumers. Maintain a two-way conversation with your customers, and reward them for their loyalty.
- Collaborate with other brands.Newer brands need to expand their audience. Established brands need to maintain their current audience while also breaking into new markets. With this in mind, it can be beneficial to seek out other businesses that share your audience and collaborate with them.In certain industries, such as fashion, working together in this way is fairly common. For example, Havaianas flip flops teamed up with luxury brand Valentino to develop a high-end variation of their product. But for most businesses, this type of collaboration doesn’t even enter their radar.A partnership with another brand can expand your audience and awareness, which can then boost your sales. By collaborating, you can learn more about your own company, your audience, and what consumers are looking for.The only thing to be aware of when collaborating is to know who you are partnering with. You don’t want to risk the integrity of your brand just to gain exposure.
- Invest in low-cost branded promotional products.Branded merchandise can turn any customer into a walking promo for your company. In fact, 8 out of 10 say that a branded promotional gift increases brand awareness.Even low-cost corporate gifts, such as mugs, pads of paper, and keychains, ensure that your brand’s name is seen many times over—both by the customer and by those they interact with. Ninety percent of recipients report that they use promotional products on a weekly basis or more often. And 87% kept them for over a year. And unlike paid ad spots, the branding power of a promotional gift requires no money to maintain.Consider also that your employees are brand ambassadors. Equip them with promotional items, too. They can wear branded shirts while on the job (or off the clock!). Use branded pens when customers sign receipts. And carry items to on-site jobs in a branded bag. Think about what items your employees use on a regular basis – they could be additional opportunities to establish your brand.
Calver offers thousands of budget-friendly promotional products that are perfect for new and established companies from any industry. Visit our storefront today to find the perfect product to increase your business’s brand recognition.