Focus on brand recognition in 2012
As the New Year is upon us, now is the time to review our business strategy and embrace the ongoing changes in how clients choose their products and services. In order to get (or stay) ahead of the competition, plan your promotional strategy early and plan it well. With customers getting more and more bombarded with various brands through numerous channels, 2012 is the year to aim for brand recognition.
Here are some things you can do to help you effectively promote your brand this year:
Make your company logo visible
Promote your product or service without being a hard sell by sponsoring events that are related to your business and placing your company logo in strategic locations. Making your logo visible in relevant locations (events or websites) can help to make your brand more recognisable to potential customers and partners.
Tailor promotional materials to the audience
Many businesses get a flyer designed, print it, and proceed to distribute the same design to numerous people. Using the same promotional templates for all audiences may have worked before, but the tides have changed (or rather, our recognition of what clients respond to has evolved). What will appeal to a top notch executive might not work for a client who’s a stay-at-home parent. Tailor marketing material to the target audience and print different versions to cater to different clients as required.
Make your promotional materials useful
Consumers are becoming more and more sensitive to hard sales pitches. Step away from brochures and flyers that solely focus on pushing your company’s products and services. Design promotional material that focuses on being useful to your customer and not just something they’ll throw in the bin at a glance. A well known, albeit cliché, example of this is calendars. While ideally you might be able to come up with something a little more creative, branded calendars do tend to still have a greater chance of making it onto the recipient’s fridge than a pushy sales leaflet.
Don’t forget to follow up
Following up without pestering is an art every business owner should master. Check in with your prospects – a seemingly cold lead now may become a valuable customer or partner in a few months’ time. A simple, no-pressure courtesy call can refresh the other person’s memory of you and your brand.
Attend trade fairs or conventions
Trade fairs and conventions provide the perfect opportunity to reach out to your target audience, allowing you to network with potential clients and further your brand by distributing promotional materials to relevant people. Booth space at these events can get pricy, so research a variety of events in your industry and budget to attend those that will bring the most value to your brand.
Get involved locally
Get involved in the local industry networking events and groups. Be in the know of the current trends in the nearby circle. Forming partnerships with other professionals in your area can lead to increased brand awareness, business referrals, and useful contacts in general.
Run a contest
It could be online, in store or through other creative ideas you and your team can think of. If you’re feeling especially brave, work social media involvement into the competition entry requirements (a couple of examples may be getting participants to tweet about you, Like your Facebook page, or blog about you). Remember, however, that public opinion of and chatter about your brand online cannot be controlled like more traditional marketing methods – be careful in how you approach social media involvement and don’t attempt to force people’s opinions.
A marketing promotional strategy will only succeed if it is planned and timed effectively. Even the most expensive promotional material will not be effective if not directed to the right audience in the right way, so make sure that you know who your target audience is and what kind of communication methods they respond to best.