Do you remember when Coca Cola ran the #ShareaCoke campaign? Yes, the same one that had the Coca Cola logo name swapped with regular names? Exactly! We were all in uproar. Lol. Talk about taking consumer involvement to the next level. It’s still one of my favourite marketing campaigns, to be honest. See ehn, I didn’t even drink Coke then, but I’d walk into a store checking various Coke bottles to see if I’d see my name or any name similar to mine on a bottle.
Regardless on where you stand on the dangers of sugar consumption, you’d have to agree that Coca Cola has always been known to go all out when it comes to campaigns and building their brand. I can’t imagine what their budgets look like for these things. Anyway, it got me thinking about our approach to brand marketing, especially as small businesses without a Coca cola budget. It’s easy to say, ‘oh but I’m just starting, I can’t spend money for branding yet.” However, every time you pass on a potential brand opportunity, you also pass on potential consumers. It’s really that simple.
Now, if you are wondering how to scale your business’ brand visibility, here are a few tips.
You know when you are deciding things like the name of the catering service and registration at CAC? Yes. Start then. Think about what you want to be known for, how you want to be perceived. Start by listing out your favorite brands and the products you often return to. Look at their product, the messaging, the positioning. What about them do you find striking? Then ask yourself what your business can project and offer the market to have that kind of reaction.
Go That Extra Mile
Excess resources don’t always equal smart marketing campaigns. And yes, sometimes hitting the mark with your tiny budget requires that you go the extra mile, do what your colleagues would not anticipate, offer that X-factor. For example, my aunty has a store that’s part of a line of stores on that street. One Sunday evening, I ran into her and she told me she was returning from her store. It turns out that everyone else closes their stores on Sundays, so she opens up on Sundays and takes a day off on another day. She makes the most sales on Sundays and is known to be the one shop that opens on Sundays. That’s an example of going the extra mile. And the best part? Completely cost effective.
You will not always feel like posting on your social media page or sending a newsletter or showing up at all. Especially if you are at the stage where you are running all the departments yourself. #Sigh. But the thing about marketing is that you have to stay consistent. It’s ok to take breaks on occasion, and it’s even better to plan ahead, especially for marketing materials. As much as you can, automate the process so you don’t always have to be physically involved.
Finally, remember that business is tough, especially doing business in Nigeria. Refuse to give up, at least as much as you can manage. Re-invent your failures. Learn from your mistakes. Be patient and watch your brand dominate the world.