This post is written by Maya Tarabishy, a member of Vistaprint’s Social Media team.
We’ve been talking about promo products a lot this week, which got us thinking about branding your company as a whole. In the past, Vistaprint’s Senior Director of Client and Brand Strategy, Lynne O’Connor, wrote a great blog on Building a Brand for Your Small Business. So with the Olympics coming to an end, we decided to focus on one of her points, “positioning yourself to win.” If you are rethinking your brand position, or how to strengthen your brand in general, here are some tips to get you ready for the game, and ahead of the competition!
READY: Whether you’re a rookie or a household name, winning any race or competition takes practice and preparation. When it comes to building and branding your business, that’s no different. Here are some important warm-up drills.
Scope Out Your Competition: Who are your other competitors, and what are they already doing? If you haven’t already, perform a competitive analysis so that you are fully aware of the playing field, and what areas aren’t being met.
Play up Weaknesses: After performing the analysis, step back and look at your research. Ask yourself questions like: What does the market need? What aren’t my competitors doing? What are they doing poorly? Once you can answer questions like this, it’s a lot easier to ensure your small business, and brand, is at the head of the pack.
SET: After preparation and training, it’s time to review.
Define your Position: It’s important to develop a point of view for your business that will guide its branding. If you haven’t yet, think about your message. What is the message that you want to get across about who you are as a company? By creating a guiding mission, your marketing will ultimately be more genuine and representative of your brand.
Create Goals: In order to better align and even strengthen your tactics with your point of view, it is crucial to continuously create new goals for yourself. Just like a basketball coach maps out strategy for players on his white board during game day, you, too should write down your objectives so that they don’t get lost or avoided.
GO: Now for the fun part–putting your plan into action!
Market Your Point of View: Now that you have a strong company position, you are ready to go up against your competitors. Let everyone else know the benefit of using your small business by marketing yourself. Whether it’s through a business card that you can hand out to customers or a website, marketing your business and brand is essential!
Defend Your Title: Any competitor knows that once you win once, it is not time to throw in the towel. The same goes for small businesses. You must relentlessly work to ensure that your brand is top of mind. Take the extra step so that your customers will remember you, whether it be giving out promo products, or sending a customer appreciation note.