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6 Branding Ideas You Should Consider For Your Small Business

6 Branding Ideas You Should Consider For Your Small Business

If you’ve recently started your small business, branding is definitely top of the agenda for you. While branding requires you putting money out to get your business identified by potential customers, making a branding campaign that sticks also requires creativity.

The branding strategies that will make your small business shine can also be effectively be applied to a big business, but without the oversized cost. That said, these business branding ideas could be considered effective for any business size.

1. Become a Social Media Whizz

Pardot survey shows that at least, 80 percent of consumers would consider a product from a brand they follow on social media. This establishes social media as the leading destination for small businesses who are ready to establish their brand.

Having established the strength of social media on brands, building the required formula needed to set your small business as a leading authority figure in your niche is all that is required. Unlike traditional media that always require extensive training, you can easily become a social media pro by understanding the ropes of your target platform and sticking to them.

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2. Give Free Branded Shirts

This can be considered as branding on a budget.

For a small business that understands the real value in having its brand shown on T-Shirts, the expenses incurred during the printing and production stages would be seen as an investment well spent. Sujan Patel, a leading digital marketing expert shared in a case study that a T-Shirt giveaway campaign helped him make $980,000 (figures as at the time of writing this article).

3. Vehicle Wrap Marketing

This branding technique came into existence back in 1900, when Milton Hershey first tried it with his Lancaster PA brand. While the cost associated with vehicle wrapping can be huge, given the cost it takes to put a decent paint job with your brand on a vehicle, the result justifies the process.

Those in the business are even saying technology has helped to make the process more pocket-friendly on small business owners. According to Chris Burgess, founder and lead installer at ProWraps, Inc, “With vinyl sheets, car wrapping is now affordable and can be changed almost instantly to accommodate a new advertisement. Businesses that use our wrapping technology have reported increased brand gains.”

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According to a 2011 survey conducted by Ad Agency RYP & Becker Group (a follow up to 3M’s initial research on the subject), 97% of those surveyed recalled the ad while 98% thought they had a positive image of the brand as a result of the advertisement and 96% thought car wraps had more impact than billboards.

This survey result further strengthens the impact of car wrapping on branding for small businesses, and indeed any business size in general.

4. Sponsor Podcasts

With the guarantee, that podcast audience is always listening, scoring a low-fee advertising on a regular podcaster’s show with a loyal audience is a definite way to strengthen your small business’ brand. Podcast audiences are more likely to key into the message of the audio content and are more likely to remember a business that is mentioned in the podcast.

With the audience listening to podcasts while they work out, drive, travel in public transport and even when walking and running, hardly any form of advertising has personal penetration.

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5. Partner on Fundraisers

Another powerful branding tool a small business can tap into is by hosting fundraisers. Hosting a fundraiser in support of a well-known movement in your immediate market can help locals quickly form a good impression of your brand.

This strategy may not require you to put much money on the table. Your role could just be as simple as bringing the people that would be donating the money together. Partnering on fundraisers will not only help your draw attention to your business when invitees attend, you will also be forming goodwill within your immediate area.

6. Exhibit at a Trade Show

Twitter took off from a trade fair.

Powerful things can happen when you put your small business offering on display where other startup founders and small business owners are looking to meet like-minded folks. By exhibiting your small business at a trade show, you’re securing a recognizable brand positioning that could translate into greater opportunities in the future.

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A great example is how Twitter’s exhibit at SXSW led to them finally getting on Oprah Show and instantly becoming a sensation almost overnight. You can’t call Twitter a small business anymore!

Featured photo credit: nebula.wsimg.com via nebula.wsimg.com

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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