Brands are the ultimate marketing tool. They can define your products, your audience, and your market. They can be used to solicit customer loyalty and brand recognition. But what is a brand? And how do you build an effective one?
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It’s been proven that market growth and customer retention can help stave off the effects of a recession. How can your business keep up with the competition in order to create a thriving store or company? With these 11 strategies for market growth, you’ll be able to start competing with the big boys!
Strategy #1: Build Professional Relationships
Most successful businesses know how important it is to have friends in high places. Coordinate your efforts with well-connected people in your industry, and learn from each other regularly by offering advice and mentorship. If you’re struggling to build relationships, look into a company like Linkedin or join an online Chamber of Commerce where you’ll meet potential connections every day.
Strategy #2: Stay a Step Ahead with Social Media
As the saying goes, “the best offense is a good defense.” That’s why it’s important to stay on top of the latest information and trends by staying connected through social media. Try using tools like Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest to help you create and share content that appeals to your customers. Jot down any requests or feedback from your customers so you can plan ahead next time they stop by for a visit!
Strategy #3: Create Content that Pays Dividends
Sometimes it’s hard to get motivated when there aren’t any customers in your shop. Take the time to create blog content or online articles that you can share with other businesses and customers. Your content doesn’t have to be expensive, but just think of it as an investment in your business. If you can write a few blogs over the course of a month, that’s enough to keep your name in front of hundreds or even thousands of potential customers!
Strategy #4: Get “Popular” with Promotions
Maximize the appeal of your store by offering valuable promotions on different days throughout the year. For instance, consider a “Buy One, Get One Free” promotion on Tuesdays, or special sales every other Wednesday. You’ll be bringing in more business and helping your customers save money at the same time!
Strategy #5: Set Up an In-Store Loyalty Program
You can think of loyalty programs as a small investment that has a huge payoff. You can set up your own loyalty program by creating a punch card system or using something like the Shopkick app to reward your repeat customers for every purchase they make with you. The more customers you have, the more profit you’ll be able to make!
Strategy #6: Consider a Virtual Hands-On Experience
Online shoppers are just as important as in-person shoppers and need to be provided with the same level of service. One great way to get your virtual customers interacting with your store is by staying ahead on the latest technology trends. For example, you can use Augmented Reality to allow your customers to virtually touch and feel products in your store through software like 3D printing. Or if you’re a large retailer, consider creating a Facebook app that allows customers to take a snapshot of their products and order them online.
Strategy #7: Create an In-Store Digital Magazine
You don’t have to be the next David Letterman to create a magazine that would keep your customers coming back. To get more people talking about you, offer in-store digital magazines that will tell stories at your store every month. This is a DIY project you can do with minimal investment, so you don’t have to spend any money on printing and advertising.
Strategy #8: Offer Free or Cheap Wi-Fi From Your Store
As people do more of their shopping on the Internet, they’re turning to free public Wi-Fi to help them get through their shopping lists. If you’re a small business, consider offering a free in-store Wi-Fi connection so customers can work on the customer service or personal documents that they need. Alternatively, point your customers to a website like freewifi.co that will help them find a nearby Wi-Fi connection for a fee.
Strategy #9: Make Independent Repair a Priority
In the age of Yelp, it’s incredibly easy to find out which local businesses can help you with repairs and maintenance. You’ll also want to ensure that you can provide your customers with warranties so there’s no risk of being stuck with an expensive repair bill after the fact. Before you start offering repairs, make sure to get your pricing down and your processes in place so everyone is on the same page.
Strategy #10: Make Your Business a Destination for Local Events
Is your business located near a major highway? Take advantage of your location and create an event that will help you get more customers in the door. For example, you could arrange to have a parade float or truck in your parking lot one weekend during the summer. Interested families can stop by and learn more about your business before they move on to their next destination!
Strategy #11: Be the One to Break the Rules
Sometimes it’s tempting to follow the crowd, but there are times when it’s best not to. Consider your business and whether or not it makes sense to have the same approach as everyone else. Some businesses won’t succeed because they follow trends that will eventually change, so try breaking the norm if your business only works for you!
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