Nine ways to build a brand on a budget

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Date: 28 April 2021

Advertising agency designer discusses small business branding ideas

With marketing budgets approaching record lows, many small businesses are searching out new ways to build their brand identities. This is especially true of start up firms, who lack a coherent brand image to begin with. Other established companies are trying to rebrand themselves and focus their efforts on developing modern ways to get their message out.

Business owners or brand managers who are struggling to redefine their brand should take a look at this list of tips. They might help them redesign their entire marketing strategy.

1. Put more energy into your social campaigns

Google search volume reports reveal that the number of people looking for Instagram marketing services went up more than 2,700% in the last year. These same reports suggest that TikTok is quickly becoming a major place for those looking to get a message out. Take a few moments to consider if you can identify a social network that attracts the kind of customers you hope to reach. They are normally free to sign up to.

2. Improve your visual identity

Chances are your company's visual branding isn't all that distinctive. This makes it more of a challenge for consumers to associate any particular emotions with your brand. Consider sourcing independent graphic designers who have the right experience to design the logo and brand identity your company needs. In many cases, this service won't cost as much as you might expect.

3. Signal your virtues

While you might think that virtue signalling is a negative term, it's really only bad if you make claims and don't back them up. Consider building an eco-friendly exhibition stand or using organic products along every step in your production chain. It will then cost virtually nothing to reach out to your consumers and show them that your changes are all genuine.

4. Redesign your letterheads & stationery

These days, few businesses worry about their printed materials, but you should give the same attention to any digital paperwork you have to the physical stationary you might have used in the past. Brand identity and visual design are closely linked, so make sure everything you send to your customers has a uniform look. If you don't, your messaging will start to look garbled or badly conceived.

5. Put together a message

Companies that don't have a clear message or theme won't be able to engender strong feelings in their consumers. That's why it's important to develop some kind of message. Palace Skateboards is a great example of this in the UK. They're able to collaborate with other companies because they want to 'piggy-back' on Palace Skateboards' laid-back, somewhat rebellious image for their own marketing campaigns. While this might not be the right kind of message for your firm, there's a good chance that there's one out there that would be.

6. Don't forget about audio

While it might be easy to assume that everything about your brand image has to be visual, nothing could be further from the truth. Local radio interviews are virtually free and many people listen to podcasts. Those who have taken the all digital route may find that any number of podcast hosts would be more than happy to have them on their show for free. This gives you the freedom to build your brand by appearing on shows that connect with the type of listeners you're targeting.

7. Design an awareness campaign

Don't forget the need to increase your brand visibility as you build you brand identity. You can build brand awareness in a way that doesn't cost anything at all. In fact, you can do so at each step along the way if you plan your campaign properly. Instead of putting out press releases to promote your rebrand, try a guerrilla campaign. Connect with influencers and reach out to captive audiences to show people that your brand is out there and is ready to engage with them.

8. Find the right kind of influencer

Before you do that, however, you'll want to make sure that you're working with the right type of influencer for your brand. Some celebrities in North America have charged millions for Tweets, but you can find nano-influencers that will cost far less. Check out social videos geared towards people in your ideal customers' demographic. You might be surprised to find some skilled influencers this way that won't cost too much.

9. Define your audience

None of these tips will work if you can't put your finger on exactly who your audience is. Write out a definition of who your audience is and then build the rest of your campaign around this. Since you can do this yourself, it won't cost you a penny. That being said, it might very well be the most important part of your brand identity campaign since it will help you identify exactly who you should be trying to reach.

Copyright 2021. Article made possible by Philip Piletic.

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