As a small business owner, you aspire to gain the sales, customer base, and success of a large company. One disparity you notice between you and larger companies is the way they market their businesses.
Though the idea of becoming a national company seems out of reach for you, it’s never too early to start acting like a big business in the way you market. Act like a larger company, and you may just see a spike in sales. Here are a few tips on how to market your business like a national company.
Find an Identity
You may have been in business for a while, but it seems like your shop, restaurant, or storefront doesn’t really have an identity. Big businesses are masters at defining their brand, and you should be, too. A big concept in branding is to find what moves people emotionally, then evoke the emotions that people can connect with.
Consider Toms Shoes’ commercials about their shoe donations, or the way Chipotle markets their use of sustainable, organic food. When you can convert customers based on emotions like these, they’ll choose your items over another company’s because they are invested in your brand.
One way to do this is be personal. Many larger companies actually try to act like smaller businesses to connect with individual customers. Use your smallness to your advantage.
For example, don’t be shy about where you came from. Tell your grassroots story on your blog or in a commercial. Create a hashtag for customers to use and post it in your storefront or on food packaging.
Invest in a Great Logo
All of the most prominent businesses in the world can be recognized by their logo alone. While much more goes into branding than a logo, your logo still needs to be well-designed.
Your logo will go on product packaging, signage, your website, and social media. Invest in a quality logo that evokes your brand and you’ll have a great start. Remember to keep it simple—associate only one or two memorable colors with your brand, the way Starbucks uses green and Target uses red.
Create Curb Appeal for Your Storefront
Once you have a great identity and logo, it’s time to improve your storefront’s curb appeal. A clean look is important no matter what kind of business you have, but if your business is customer-facing, your look is crucial.
Eliminate dated signage like window paintings and faded signs. Give the building a new coat of paint and replace awnings if applicable. If necessary, move your store to a newer building. Big businesses always have flawless storefronts to bring in and retain customers. You should do the same.
Spruce Up Signage
After you’ve improved the building, take special note of your signage. This can include any signs outside your business, on display in a strip mall parking lot, or on a billboard on the freeway.
Replace all old signs with consistent-looking branding; this consistency will mimic the big-budget marketing campaigns of larger businesses. This means the colors, logos, and tone should all match, even if the signs aren’t identical.
Consider investing in a neon sign to advertise for your company even when the business isn’t open. Neon signage attracts customers at night and gives off a polished look.
Remember: don’t replace any signage until you have a new finalized logo that works for small and big signs.
Utilize Social Media
These days, if you own a business, you need to be on social media. This is great for you as a small business owner, because social media is the great equalizer between small and big businesses. Anyone can run a Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account. And it doesn’t necessarily take a big budget to do social media right, as it’s all about personal connection and exposure.
Since you probably don’t have an entire department dedicated to social media like a larger company would, use a social media automation service to save time and money. You can post across platforms with the click of a button and plan posts days in advance.
Just because you’ve only been open for a year or you only have a few employees doesn’t mean you can’t act like a big business. Your small business can use the techniques that larger companies use to grow and thrive. Implement the ideas above and see how far your business can go.