Convenience and accessibility. The internet has forever changed the way businesses connect with their customers and present themselves to the world. A modern consumer within seconds can have a list of options in the palm of their hand. This instant connection of consumer and businesses has changed the landscape of marketing forever, with this change simply being a business is not enough.
Branding and it's Importance
A company's brand is its identity. Gone are the days where consumers went to the hardware store because it's the hardware store. Before the average Joe considers driving to a store they subconsciously consider who they've heard of and where they'll find the best deal. If they don't already have an answer to those questions the answer is a few taps away. Within seconds the average consumer has access to every local businesses' catalog, location, pricing, and branding.
This is where marketing counts. Not necessarily marketing to reach those who don't know about a business but marketing that shows that a business is legitimate and is the best choice among all of their competitors. If a company doesn't have good branding, a clear concise message of what they provide, they are easily swiped past. This negative impression matters. This can cause a person who might have considered shopping at a business to take their money elsewhere, and never look back.
Why Relevancy is Relevant
There is a reason why large chain companies that drain millions into marketing consistently out perform local businesses. They are already on the consumers minds before a consumer even begins to search for where to spend their money. They flood social media with ads so they are the clear and obvious choice whenever a purchase is made. These companies realize what some local businesses miss, marketing starts and ends with branding and clarity.
The same tactics used by large companies to appear relevant to the average consumer can and should be used by local businesses. The same tactics used to compete with their many competitors should be used by local businesses. With the internet and social media there is a truly level playing field. It's a competition to be relevant and convenient. The identity of a local business, when embraced, is already more relevant than big name companies, business owners are part of the community, they're your neighbors, your kid's soccer coach, they go to your church etc. The ability to see and touch a product and actually know who you're buying it from has value in its own right, but just being available and having a product does not make a company stand out as the best option.
Every business must prove they are the best option, word of mouth only goes so far and with one swipe a business can be considered irrelevant and outdated.
The Entertainment Factor
How many advertisements, that you remember, were actually about a product or service? Franchised businesses and the people who advertise for them have learned that people are sick of ads. If you watch a string of Super Bowl commercials you'll quickly recognize that when advertising at that level every ad is either a quickly executed punch line or something geared towards shock value. Big companies are constantly trying to "rebrand" themselves to their consumers because they recognize they've created consumer fatigue. People are tired of being advertised to and are sick of seeing the same brand again and again flaunting the same message.
New, fresh and exciting ads are a requirement of the companies that have done it all before but on the local level, clear strong branding is still valued. Having ads that show a company's identity and brand are refreshing to the local consumer and are a must. Once established in the community, the first local company that goes to the next level and puts effort into being different, fun and unique quickly becomes the go-to for the local consumer.
Consumer's want to be entertained. Not advertising isn't an option and going the extra mile stands out to those who are watching, in the internet age everyone is watching.
Be fun, be interesting, show the public who you are and they will embrace you. Every business has the opportunity to stand above the rest, and all it takes is presenting yourself and allowing the consumer to choose.
It's not enough to simply be a business. A business must do whatever it takes to set themselves apart. Embrace what makes your business different and show that to your community and the world. Then consumers will choose you, because you have given the effort to show that you care enough to go the extra mile.
I will be speaking November 20th in Coeur d'Alene about this topic. All are welcome to attend this luncheon. It is hosted by The Heart of Business at the Greenbriar Inn. Comment on and share this post if you found it interesting or want to talk with me about your thoughts on the topic.
Lastly If you need help developing your brand or showing how you are different we can do that for you. The Pulse Productions team is passionate about helping businesses succeed in what they do and we are ready to help you take it to the next level.
Thank you for reading.
Owner Pulse Productions