You have a small business to run. You need your marketing dollars to count and you need to build your brand’s reputation as cost-effectively as possible. Here are three, simple ways (and why they work) you can use to refine your offer and help customers love your company, product, and service.

Be different from the competition.

Let me explain with a situation I was pondering recently.

When I go to the store to buy contact solution, I always walk away with the cheapest brand.

I usually buy the generic branded stuff specifically because it is the cheapest. But I know deep down that it does not have as much quality as all of the other higher priced stuff on the shelf.

I realized the other day why I do this: because none of the other brands make themselves different—at least not on their packaging.

A couple lessons here:

  1. If you are going to sell a product or service, making yourself different from the competition is half the battle. You want to position your product, your service, and your brand as a different from everyone else. What is more appealing: another contact solution or a concentrated contact solution with 27 ingredients specially formulated for peak cleanliness and comfort?
  2. Just because you know how you are different doesn’t mean your audience does. Don’t assume your customers will see the specialty of your brand. They don’t know your industry. They don’t know your process. And they don’t know what it takes to make as great a product as you do. To them, all contact solution may be the same clear liquid.

This is where a “unique selling proposition” comes into play. What sets you apart from everyone else? What makes you the #1 provider in your field? That is what you need to tell your audience.

You may very well make the best contact solution money can buy, but the average customer won’t know that. Many customers (like myself) will always buy on price unless you give them a reason not to.

Deliver on your promise every time.

Whenever you make a promise, you had better keep it—especially in business. Your brand must fulfill the need it is designed to fill every time.

Think of your normal, everyday conversations. We recommend things to one another: a new restaurant, a plumber, or a great movie.

If one customer recommends you to a friend and you don’t deliver on your promise both times, you may lose both customers. When you don’t deliver, you break trust and build negative feelings about your brand.

One of my favorite places to go to is Chick-fil-A. Whenever I go to a Chick-fil-A, I can expect a good sandwich, friendly service, and a clean restaurant. This is one of the reasons there are always so many mothers there. They know there will be a place for their kids to play and a helpful staff member to meet their needs.

When you ask a customer to buy, you are putting them in a psychologically uneasy position. They have to step out and try something they have never tried before. And they have to put their hard-earned money on the line.

If you don’t deliver every time, they don’t have a reason to come to you every time they need your skills.

But, if you deliver on your promise every time, you will begin to build a brand of consistency and quality. You can put people in a psychologically stable position. When people know what they can expect from you, they are a whole lot more willing to buy from you.

Deliver more than customers expect.

I remember the first time I ordered an Apple product. It was an iPod Shuffle. I opened the box and I saw the iPod. Then as I rifled through the packaging, I found something I didn’t expect: an Apple sticker.

This sticker couldn’t have cost more than a couple quarters, but it surprised me—I wasn’t expecting it. When you surprise someone, you make an impact. When you make an impact, you make a loyal fan.

The Apple sticker is also genius for another reason. Generally, a purchase from Apple isn’t cheap, so people will be looking for a reason to validate their decision to spend a large amount of money. Getting a surprise, even something completely trivial, gives people a reason to validate their purchase. Giving them a pleasant surprise (that you didn’t promise) may seem like something they didn’t pay for. That will make the purchase price seem like a “drop in the bucket” compared to the value they got. This is the secret of surprising someone: it makes their purchase worth more than the price.

Are you a small business owner looking to build your brand with these three, easy steps? Need advertising to go along with it?

Email me at konradholdenwriting@gmail.com to begin your project today.