Blogs Help Small Business Brands Grow Stronger
by Naz Daud
Thursday, February 11, 2010
For any small business developing a business brand is not only essential but is also a tightrope walk that could cause you pain if you get it wrong! A quick search on the internet reveals plenty of gurus, entrepreneurs and advisors who will expound the virtues of particular aspects of branding - often those about which they are selling guides or tools, but how should you determine the best path for your business to follow?
There are two important points to bear in mind at all times - branding should be both consistent and adaptable. Your branding should aim to cover as many aspects of the business as possible, reach as many types of clients as possible, express the business aims in as many ways as it can, and achieve all this whilst remaining consistent. It will also be necessary to allow your business brand to adapt to change, reflecting growing trends, emerging markets, and the type of clients you are starting to gather.
Above all, one thing you should always aim to express is that real people lie behind the business image. Whatever facade or corporate image you attempt to portray, the fact that real people are driving the business forwards, dealing with customers, and injecting energy and enthusiasm into the work carried out, will make a big difference. Communication is critical, and can often trip business up - both big and small. Any business will need to communicate with its customers at some point, whether at the sales enquiry stage, the project development stage or the accounts stage.
Making sure that the people who represent your business actually present it in the way you intend will have a significant impact on your branding. It is, after all, people who portray the brand far more than then most other aspects. However, when it comes to communication, there is another weapon in your arsenal, or at least there should be; one which if wielded correctly can prove to be a weapon that will improve your sales figures, yet if wielded carelessly, can wreak all sorts of damage. Today, small businesses looking to further their branding, need to start blogging.
Business blogs are nothing new, yet there are many businesses who have not yet considered exploring this field. Blogs have an advantage over any other form of advertising, promotion or branding - they are two sided. In other words, if you develop a useful and informative blog which is regularly updated, then your visitors, and perhaps your clients, are able to respond by way of leaving comments. Your posts can reflect earlier comments, and visitors' comments can respond to your posts. Very quickly and easily, a two-way conversation develops, and it is this, if carried out successfully, that can prove highly effective in helping your business brand.
By being able to communicate with your clients, potential clients and visitors you can keep them abreast of your latest ideas, throwing out promotions in a conversational way which may well be syndicated and downloaded automatically into your subscribers' inboxes. However, by listening to your visitors' comments, you can obtain instant feedback.
Your brand can develop through your own personality, your blog becoming a living representation of your brand image, yet being able to present your business in a far more personal way than any other form of medium could hope to achieve.
However, there is a catch - and it's a pretty big one. If you start a blog, make sure you are fully committed to continuing with it, and updating it regularly. Do not ignore comments and feedback unless you want to give the impression of not caring about what your clients think!
Used properly, blogs can be a valuable tool for improving your business brand, although only one of many tools, all of which need to be used appropriately, effectively and consistently.