A common misconception of branding is that it’s a one-time thing that happens only at the start of a new business. On the contrary, branding is a continuous growth process. Every successful business should always aim at improving its image, products, and outreach.
That said, growing your brand can be time-intensive and expensive. That’s why it’s always best to act only when you’re sure it’s time to grow. Signs of being ready may include a growing industry, a steady cash flow that shows you’re financially prepared for growth, and an increase in your customers’ demands. Once you’ve recognized these signs, you can look to the following five tips on how to grow and develop your brand.
1. Think carefully about market penetration.
Sure, aiming for customer loyalty is good for business continuity and brand development. One of the best ways to continue to grow your brand, however, is to get new customers through market penetration. Market penetration is when you continue to sell the same products within your existing markets to increase your market share.
There are several ways to penetrate your market successfully. For starters, get to know your existing customers, understand their pain points, specific needs, and figure out why they buy your products. You can do this with a survey, but remember to use a wide swath of customers for more reliable results. This will help you know what marketing strategies are working.
Once you can identify effective marketing strategies, the next step is to concentrate on promoting your brand further. Also, try to increase your online presence via affiliate marketing and posting on your social media feed consistently. Most importantly, always stay true to your brand and, if possible, run a promotion to generate buzz around your business. One other crucial thing to note is that the more you penetrate a market, the more demand you’ll see. While this is a good indicator that your strategies are working, make sure you can meet these demands.
First, try to eliminate whatever bottlenecks will prevent your progress, which, in most cases, are logistic-related. For example, if you run a food delivery business, transportation recruitment is vital. You’ll need to hire reliable truck drivers that’ll offer speedy delivery of goods. Either way, ensure that the new applicant is competent and understands what’s expected from them.
2. Expand your services beyond your market.
Unlike market penetration, market expansion or development entails selling your existing products or services in a new market. This is an excellent way to grow your brand. It’s certainly crucial if you discover new users for your products (based on the earlier survey you conducted for market penetration).
Remember, you can’t just dive into expanding your brand at every opportunity. Control your ambitions and focus on strategic planning first. You need to know how fast you can deliver your product and what ethical compromises you may have to make to attain your goals. This could be related to environmental or labor standards.
When concerning corporate responsibility, if you’re unsure where to start, you can seek consultation from human rights lawyers like Malliha Wilson. You see, Malliha works with Nava Wilson LLP as Senior Counsel, and she has over 30 years of experience serving in roles such as the Assistant Deputy Attorney General and senior litigator for the Ontario government. Her specialty hovers around international human rights, corporate and labor law, and other complex litigation. Seeking help from an ethical lawyer like Malliha will ensure your business’s reputation remains high.
3. Expand your product range and services.
As a small business owner, expanding your product or adding new features is another way to achieve brand and business growth. This is a perfect strategy if you notice a shift in technology and customers’ preferences. A good example is what Apple does with its phones every year—they add features to meet Millennial preferences.
As usual, be sure to research extensively to avoid creating products, add ons, or services that aren’t in demand. To play it safe, you can start with a single new product, observe its performance, and listen to your customer’s feedback. The bottom line is to upsell and cross-sell to promote customer retention.
Market expansions are a big deal, and they can be risky, so make sure you hold a board meeting to set goals using OKR methodologies. OKRs promote efficiency by aligning individual goals with company goals and serving as a visual roadmap. Team alignment is essential when setting goals, as every team will understand the task at hand and the desired key result. While there isn’t a dearth of information on OKRs, you can listen to this Objectives and Key Results podcast to get additional information on how the OKR framework can help you set powerful objectives and measure results.
4. Market and Product Diversification
Another way to grow and develop your brand is through diversification. A diversification strategy is when a company decides to sell new products to a new market. This is a risky endeavor so ensure you carry out extensive market research. Remember that you’re dealing with a completely different market and product. So, unless you’ve done your homework, your knowledge will likely be scarce. For this reason, it might be best to outsource work to avoid making costly mistakes. Besides, your business is growing, and trying to handle everything on your own can be draining and inefficient.
For instance, understanding your financials can be challenging but is essential for developing a growth strategy. The good news is that even if you don’t have an in-house CFO, outsourced CFO services are an excellent alternative. A CFO consultant will help you analyze your financial statements and balance sheet and offer you expert advice on financial management afterward, like maximizing cash flow and coming up with an effective financial strategy.
5. Give back to the community.
Reinvesting in your community is a form of corporate social responsibility. It’s a great way to grow your brand and business. You can award school sponsorship programs for the less privileged or partner with other businesses (that share a common value) to organize fundraising events, and donating the proceeds to a charity.
Another way is by promoting social responsibility practice within your business. For instance, you can switch your production to run on renewable energy or purchase supplies only from local vendors. Either way, giving back to your community will help develop your brand’s reputation.