Guest Author: Joyce Smith
In today’s saturated market, it’s becoming harder and harder to make your company stand out. Brands have become virtually indistinguishable from each other.
That’s why it’s so important to advertise outside the box. You have to think of innovative ways of reaching your target audience without inundating the consumer. Ads in traditional media like TV and print just don’t cut it anymore.
To truly establish or expand your brand, your company needs to focus on these core principles:
- More community engagement
- Incorporating branding into daily logistics
- Creating brand ambassadors
If you would like to be established as an industry leader, follow these simple steps to cement your company’s public image and gain a competitive edge.
If you’re trying to make a lasting impression on a potential client, give that person a branded item that he or she won’t immediately throw away. Or recruit staff to become your “brand ambassadors” by wearing or using the swag in the community.
Affordable, fun ideas for potential company swag are hats, wristbands, temporary tattoos or cell phone cases. If you have the budget, you could also manufacture an extensive line of branded apparel (company swim trunks, anyone?).
Whatever swag you choose should be something your brand ambassador can use or wear and distribute to others. Avoid obnoxious branding and opt for a subtle logo instead. People are more inclined to ask questions if isn’t already spelt out for them.
Building a public image is more than just throwing up a website and a few paid ads and commercials. It’s about molding the public’s perception of your business and what it represents.
Little league sports teams. Charity runs or walks. Fundraising concerts. If your company sponsors any of the above, you’re guaranteed to boost your public image. And all those involved – the baseball players, run organizers, etc. – become your brand ambassadors by sporting your logo.
With whatever cause you attach your company’s name to, encourage your staff to volunteer in record numbers. A team show of support will cement your reputation as a company who cares.
Like many business logistics, outsourcing your transportation needs has made shipping product a lot more convenient and manageable. Most fleet management companies will pick up the supply, warehouse it and make sure it’s delivered according to your schedule.
Trucking companies can also benefit your business in a way that most people wouldn’t think about – creative branding. Fleet companies adopt their clients’ branding while they ship their product from point A to point B. They plaster their trucks with your logos, and outfit their drivers in colors that match your branding.
Branded transportation (be it trucks, hot air balloons or trains) is like mobile billboard advertising – difficult to quantify, but guaranteed to be seen by many.
Guerilla advertising is a strategy that uses unconventional methods (flash mobs, street art, interactive demonstrations, etc.) to promote a brand. It can be highly effective and even newsworthy, but it has to be done right.
In homage to street artists like Banksy, you can use guerilla advertising to infiltrate city streets, public parks, zoos, aquariums, etc. The backdrop of your street “ad” should be relevant to your business in order to truly make a statement.
Your ad should include limited contact information, like your company’s name and website. A little mystery will help to intrigue passer-bys, who are essentially your target consumer audience.
If you implement the above tactics, you’re guaranteed to build a name for your company. Or, if your brand’s already entrenched in the consumer psyche, than you’ll generate buzz that will elevate you far above the competition.
Joyce Smith has over 10 years of work experience in PR and marketing. She’s a part time yoga instructor and full time Leafs fan. Joyce also does consulting for Canada Cartage Systems, a leading trucking company in Canada.