Trembling Giant Marketing was founded on the principle that independent small businesses face a nigh insurmountable barrier of reaching their audience and communicating with them in a quality and professional manner, and someone needs to build a local business that provides professional quality services at affordable prices.
Branding, Marketing, and Public Relations are usually the farthest thing from the mind of a small business owner. It can be a daunting expense, and the value is not always immediate or obvious. The reality is that it is invaluable, and needs to be at the top of a small business’ priorities. The film “Field of Dreams” brings to mind the famous whispered voice, “If you build it, they will come.” And that has been a hopeful mantra for all small business owners, because who wouldn’t love customers to come to you just because you made something wonderful. But the reality is that if no one knows about you, your business, your products, or what makes your business unique or special, no one is coming.
Your Brand is the best place to begin. It’s the cornerstone to your business, and helps you to be your own guide in developing and growing your business. It will tell you who you are, what you value, what your business strives to do, what your business wants to become, what unspoken promises you are making to every customer who interacts with you, why and how you are different from other similar businesses, and what everyone will expect when they work with you. Once you define that direction, you are able to clearly begin to build your business.
If possible, a business owner should answer these questions before they decide on their business name, let alone their logo, colors, style, and most importantly, their voice. All of the design and voice direction that a business has, which people often refer to as the company’s “brand” is really just the visual execution of said brand. Your brand should guide how you design your storefront (or office), how you interact with potential customers, what your sales process is like, how you answer your phone, as well as your signage, advertisements, websites, social media, press releases… everything, basically, should be defined by who you want to be.
Marketing and PR, are how you engage with your customers and how you entice them to learn about your brand and your products. The best sales are the ones where someone isn’t buying your product, they are buying your brand. This gets into what your customers need and what they want. Your brand, your marketing, and your public relations are defined by what your customers NEED but are driven by what they WANT. For example, TGM does websites as one of many marketing services we can provide to our customers. When someone chooses to work with us to develop and design their website it isn’t because we just provide the service, it’s because they like our style, our community focus, the way we support local organizations and freelance talent, how we intelligently speak about our industry, or how we work with them to provide the best impact for their audience and budget.
In short, your need to know what you want to be and what you want your business to be, and understanding that and communicating it to your customers is the most valuable thing you can do for your business. To get yourself started,
ask yourself these brand questions:
What is the inspiration for your business?
Where did you begin, and how?
What is your primary motivation, what about your business gets you excited when you wake up in the morning?
What are immutable traits that you strive for and/or are customer or market perceptions of you?
Who are your primary competitors?
What traits would you use to describe them?
How will you achieve success?
What is the big message you want to send, what is the takeaway?
Are there any quotes or principles that serve you well in helping you to stay your course?