The following are various touch points that you can use to build your brand:
- Traditional Media: This is mass market in nature, meaning that it will be exposed to a large number of people. The elements are TV, Radio, Press – magazines and journals. However, for a new business (SME), this may not be relevant as it entails huge capital outlay and may be too mass market for what you want to achieve in the short term.
- Digital Media: With the explosion of the digital platform, the face of advertising has been permanently changed in recent years. There are several touch points that can be used to generate awareness for a brand on the digital platform. There is media buying on sites like google search, yahoo, Sports/fashion/food sites. Depending on the type of brand you are projecting, you are able to tailor make your communication on relevant platforms.
- Social media is the new way of maintaining communication and dialogue with friends, family and the outside world. These sites have been used by several companies to drive brand engagement and followership. Gone are the days when brands talk down and at customers; now is the age where there is a two way conversation. You can buy Ad spaces on some of these sites. This is a cost effective way for an SME to reach its audience and showcasing your brands. Some of these are LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook amongst others.
Word of mouth/Referrals:
- The effectiveness of word of mouth has been attested to over time. This is more so, when a customer has enjoyed a good experience from you. They go ahead and tell other people and your brand expands and grows. A happy customer can refer your brand/business to many more people. Be aware also that a bad experience may generate a worse word of mouth which will spread faster.
Public Relation (PR):
- This is often referred to as earned media. This is when you get mileage for your brand through write ups in newspapers or magazines. This may be borne out of the personal experience of the writer and it gives credibility to your brand. PR can also be a news reporting of your event. Either way, it projects your brand in a positive way.
- Brands run promotion to drive users to patronise them. This can be in the form of discounts, free offerings or loyalty schemes. You need to be specific on the objective for running a promotion and set out the results expected. Once you are clear on the objectives of a promotion, you can decide on the mechanics and communication platforms that will drive awareness. Note that promotion is not what you do all the time as there are other effects on the brand – loss of revenue, dilution/erosion of your brand equity. You do not want to give a perception that your brand only thrives on promotions.
- There are several networking events that can provide a platform for your business to engage with industry leaders, opinion leaders and end users. Making your brand visible here will contribute to the building of a strong brand.
- Similar to networking events, there are platforms where you can get people to experience your brand – through sampling, usage of the brand in a way that builds a positive and lasting impression of your brand.
Using your owned media:
- Other owned spaces that you can use are your company letter head paper, business cards, brochures etc. Maximize this for your benefit – afterall you do not need to pay for the use of the space!
- This is your own space. Have you ever thought of developing a website for your brand? This is a platform that can be sorely yours and which you can use to tell the world about who you are and what value you can add. This does not have to be expensive or elaborate. There are many website templates that can be found online free or purchased for less than N5,000 which you can them customise to fit your brand story.