Have you ever encountered a business and wondered how in the world did it ever become so successful? I find myself driving around and wondering how some of these businesses have even managed to just pay rent for so long. Meanwhile, businesses that are truly unique and innovative with seemingly tons of potential don’t go anywhere. Why do you think this is?
Oftentimes, it really comes down to marketing. Marketing is a huge determining factor in a business’s success, especially so in the early years. You can have the greatest idea, business, website, or service in the world but if no one knows about it, it really doesn’t matter. Investing in building your brand is absolutely critical. There’s a reason people are willing to pay a premium to buy the corn flakes cereal with the Kellogg’s logo slapped on it. The consumer feels comfortable with the brand and most importantly, recognizes it. If your business is to have any kind of success, you must find a way to get your name out there so that people can recognize it.
There are various ways of trying to accomplish this. Some are costly while some are not. One of the best forms of advertising is a free one, press. No matter what business you are running, I can guarantee you that there is a press outlet somewhere that is willing to write about it. It’s your job to reach out to them and pitch your story in a way that is appealing to them. With the internet, it really is not difficult at all finding contact information for various reporters. Determine which may be most interested in what you’re trying to do and reach out to them. Being covered in a reputable outlet (even a local paper) can do wonders for your business. Not only does it improve your brand awareness by getting all those people reading it more familiar with your brand, it also improves your reputation. “Wow! Your company was mentioned in the local gazette? You MUST be legit!”
Get involved and be seen. There’s a local pizzeria in my town that has some of the best pizza I have ever had. But they are always empty and are struggling to make ends meet. On the other hand, there is another pizzeria with sub par food but it is the talk of the town. When you walk in, you see pictures of the local baseball teams they have sponsored. You see clippings of newspaper articles about them. You see cute notes written by children up on the wall talking about how much they love their pizza. This is a successful brand. It doesn’t matter that their product is worse than their competitors. They’ve successfully built a unique brand and it is instrumental to their success.
Take a lesson from the successful pizzeria with the bad pizza. Put the effort and invest the time into building your own brand and marketing it. When people wonder how in the world a pizzeria with such bad pizza manages to do so well, you can tell them that it’s all because of powerful brand marketing.
Ismail Humet is the Co-founder of MyFreebeez.com, a website dedicated to promoting small businesses online with video promotion and giveaways. He is also actively involved in his community and leads a non-profit organization he founded.