Six new year image boosters for your small business

Six new year image boosters for your small business

This quieter time of the year is the ideal time to put your brand overhaul plans in place. Here are six business image boosters to give your business a professional facelift.

1. Assess your brand attributes

The first step to any brand overhaul is to understand what you want to be and how you want your brand to be perceived, says Dan Ratner, managing director of branding and communications agency, Uberbrand.

“Organisations are often so wrapped up in their own feelings about their brand that they often lose sight of how it is actually perceived by their customers. If there is disconnect between the brand perception an organisation wants to convey and how the public actually sees it, there is a problem,” Ratner says.

You need to consider strengthening or changing your brand strategy if a group of the public is asked to describe your brand and they all come back with different answers.

Or, if staff has different perceptions of the brand, an overhaul could be the answer.

“If people within the organisation have differing perceptions of the brand, it makes it impossible to communicate consistent messages externally that will help build your brand equity,” he says.

2. Get your website right

Look at your website objectively and ask people to give honest opinions of it. Also, compare it with the competition,” says Joe Fox, marketing director of web development and digital marketing agency Studio Culture.

“There are countless businesses out there – what are you doing that’s different?” he asks.

Consider if the language on your website is easy to read, if the site is cluttered, and if there’s room for an online store. Also, consider if users would feel safe making a transaction through your site and if not, how to fix that, he says.

“The position of a button, the colour of text and the subjects of your imagery have all been known to influence purchases online, so conduct thorough testing,” Fox says.

Using social media effectively is also crucial for anyone in business, Fox says.

“Use the right tools for the right market and create a story about your brand that people want to listen to and appreciate – don’t just sell, sell, sell.”

3. Assess your marketing footprint

It’s a great time to assess everything that represents your business brand, including your voice mail message, website and business cards. Also assess eNewsletter templates, new business presentations, company profile documents and make sure any testimonials you use are up to date.

Be sure these areas represent your business well and cater to the preferred style of your audience, says Phoebe Netto, of PR and consulting firm Good Business.

Good or bad, businesses are constantly creating impressions about their business to others.

“Often it’s the seemingly small aspects of their business brand that create a lasting impression, such as business cards, phone manner, email signature, staff uniform, presentation of invoices and proposals.

“Ensure that your unique selling points and key values come across simply and clearly, and that it’s obvious that your business addresses a need or desire that your ideal customer has,” Netto says.

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