Creating a National Brand: What Can We Learn From Large Companies?
21 Jul 2014
The customer of today is increasingly wise and far less susceptible to many of the common marketing tricks. To that end, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) need to up their game in order to keep up with the competition and to remain viable.
Besides marketing themselves on a smaller, more personal level, there are a number of strategies employed by the big brands that SMEs can learn from.
Create a Positive Brand Reputation
How a company is perceived by the customer will make or break the brand. SMEs need to grab every opportunity to show off the positive aspects of their company and get themselves noticed for all the right reasons. Creating a brand reputation that reflects what the business is about and the way the company likes to work is essential.
Personalise Your Service
The big brands understand very well that in order to sell products they need to engage their customers. They make themselves approachable by ensuring the corporate image is covered with a friendly face — imperative for building relationships.
SMEs must ensure they have a point of contact that is visible and accessible to their customers across all channels of communication. To further engage consumers, this needs to include personalised content, tailored to the customer’s needs.
In today’s media-heavy environment, people have access to more information than ever before. The channels through which they are able to interact are becoming more on-demand — people simply don’t want to wait. It is vital to keep communication relevant. Big brands don’t only involve themselves in discourse about their own industries — they take advantage of mega events such as the World Cup, as well as community-based local projects, to consolidate their online and real-time presence. SMEs should get involved with events that enable them to communicate first-hand with customers about issues they feel strongly about.
The way information is consumed has changed exponentially in the last ten years. In order to remain in a strong position within the markets, big brands have immersed themselves in social media, and SMEs must do the same.
Having a social media presence can benefit companies in a number of ways, including offering a more modern, personal approach and additional methods of contact for customers.
By opening up an arena for very public discussion, where customer service issues are handled in an appropriate and timely manner, social media platforms can have a positive impact on brand image.
In addition, companies are able to gather vast amount of relevant information about their customers’ need and expectation through social media, which can help them to offer a more tailored service.
Many companies have found out the hard way what happens when they don’t follow through with promises they have made. People need to be able to trust that a brand will always do what they say they will. SMEs that set themselves up as an honest company will go far.