Becoming a brand leader in your locale poses significant challenges, no matter what type of business you have. Even if your store is in an area with high foot traffic, you need to be strategic about your brand development to ensure long-term success.
Developing a strong local brand allows you to differentiate yourself from both big stores and other independent business owners near you. Local business branding, though, does not need to be expensive—here are things you can try to make a mark in your town or city.
Team up with other local brands
Collaborate with businesses whose objectives align with or complement yours. Join service groups, local chambers, or even coworking spaces to meet like minded founders. This way, you have a group of people to whom you can reach out for partnerships.
Give your time and resources to help local leaders as well. Team up with non-government organisations or local government units. It allows you to practise your stated company values while giving back to the public.
Get to know your neighbourhood
Community is about relationships and fostering trust. If you show that you truly care about the people you serve and do not just treat them as customers, you will likely earn their loyalty. This will happen if you actively listen to feedback and are responsive to complaints. Strive to resolve issues as soon as they crop up, and see if you can implement suggestions.
Be aware of what people are talking about locally, as well. If you are just starting out, get a graphic designer who can advise you on branding themes and styles popular in your area. When you have your finger on the pulse, you can tailor your communications, your policies, and even your products or services to what matters most to your customers now.
Use social media and SEO
The internet is a great place for promoting your brand on a shoestring budget. Social media is one place you could start—many people access their social media profiles daily, and producing content on this platform helps you get in front of possible customers. You do not even have to advertise all the time—you can use social media to share local news, create thoughtful posts on common problems, or share how-to guides.
Using social media in this way is a form of optimisation, or a way of getting the most out of your presence. Another is SEO, or search engine optimisation. Investing in SEO should be the backbone of your long-term growth strategy.
Be proactive about community service
Always be on the lookout for opportunities to give back. This can take many forms—you could mentor other business owners, list your staff for volunteer hours at a local programme, or sponsor events like farmer’s markets or town halls.
In these ways, you can get brand exposure while helping your city to thrive. This, in turn, promotes a positive perception of your business. Aside from the profits you gain, however, doing charitable work is in itself a rewarding experience.
Being a standout brand in a small community hinges on your ability to embrace your neighbourhood and provide value in a more personal way. Show people that you love being in their town or city, and they will be glad to call you their own.
Displaying your brand personality is easy if you have well-designed graphics. Albert Salim is a graphic designer in Sydney who helps small businesses cultivate their visual appeal and push them to the forefront of their industry. Get in touch today to learn more.