__Building brand awareness to grow your business.
Once you start your business, it is very important to develop the skills to make your brand known in the community in which it draws its customers. Large companies spend billions of dollars every year on marketing their brand. You don’t have to wait until you are very big to start working on your brand marketing, and its image. This is something you must learn to do once you start the business, because it is one of the ways used to grow a company.
The key is not how much money you have, but how “ingenious” you can be. Here are some quick simple things you can do:
#1. You must first develop a strong awareness about the importance of marketing your brand to the community.
It is simply not a matter of advertising your products and services. The long-term survival and profitability of your business depends on it!
Each day you must be asking yourself, “How do I get my brand better known out there?”
As you ask yourself this question, you must “knowledge up” on the subject. This is a huge subject which is written about and discussed by company executives and experts every day. When you walk around, become “conscious” of what different kinds businesses around you are doing to promote their brand in the community.
Your favorite football club, for instance: Do you know how much they are paid for shirt sponsorship? Check it out on the Internet today, and let us know!
On motor racing: How much do you think it would cost to put your company’s name on a Formula One car?
Did you know the F1 teams quote for a different price for putting a company name on each part of their cars? They once gave me statistics on how many people get to see each part of the car… All very scientific, and very, very expensive!
#2. When you look at an advert try and “see” it as an entrepreneur and not as a consumer:
-Can you “see” what they are trying to say, and to whom?
-Can you “see” their strategy?
-Can you “see” their campaign?
As I have told you before, when I first built my consciousness in this area, I would buy magazines simply to study adverts! It was the same with television. I would sit for hours simply look at adverts, and following advertising campaigns.
#3. Try out your own ideas:
No matter how small your business, you must set aside a little money in your budget every month for promoting your brand. The less money you have, the more “ingenious” you have to be!
I once went to my local authority and asked them for permission to put up signs showing the names of streets and neighborhoods. I showed them a beautiful sample; they were small unobtrusive signs, and my company name was in very small letters. Within a matter of weeks we were known throughout the city!
The best ideas are always those that are simple but helpful. For instance, I once ordered large umbrellas and gave them for free to women who sold at informal markets. We offered local schools the opportunity to fix their play grounds, on condition that we could put up small billboards around the grounds.
Believe me, once you start the ideas will just flow, and it does not to have to cost very much.
#4. Study how to use the Internet to promote your brand.
By now you know Internet has extraordinary reach. You can literally build a global brand overnight in ways that were practically impossible only a few years ago. It can be very targeted, and you can reach the right audience in truly remarkable ways.
You will not know until you try. Today, why don’t you make some inquiries with Internet publications, and websites to see how much it will cost to put a little advert on your brand. Go for those sites whose audience you want to reach, as linked to your business.
Finally, with brand marketing, it is a “long game”. Don’t look for instant results. It will take you a long time, but you must do it.
“…MARKETING makes PROFIT…”
To be continued. . .
Strive Masiyiwa is the founder and Executive Chairman of the Econet Group. He serves on several international boards including Unilever, and the Global Advisory boards of the Council on Foreign Relations and Stanford University. A board member of the Rockefeller Foundation for 15 years, he also serves as Chairman of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). He is a co-founder of the Carbon War Room, Pathways for Prosperity, and the Global Business Coalition on Education. He and his wife, Tsitsi, co-founded the Higherlife Foundation and are signators of the Giving Pledge.View all posts by Strive Masiyiwa