Developing a strong brand that is recognized in its field often requires considerable investment and effort. VSEs and SMEs that launch out are often forced to save their modest budgets for operating costs and hesitate to invest their resources in developing their brand image, the return on investment being difficult to predict / measure …

Nevertheless, the visual identity of a company can have a significant impact on its profits without requiring colossal expenses. How do you balance the risk of investing in your brand, getting the most out of it, and optimizing the resulting profits? Here are 4 tips to develop your brand!

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Think Outsourcer

Start by defining your brand, what you want it to look like and the experience you want to offer your customers. The world is full of talent, and technology today makes it easy for us to access this resource, anywhere, anytime. Use this global network to your advantage.

For example, VSEs / SMEs with a limited budget looking to create a logo need help finding a slogan or launching their new product. They can very well appeal to a community of graphic designers, artists, freelance writers online via crowdsourcing sites. These professional networks often offer the possibility for VSEs / SMEs to meet their creative needs for very competitive prices. Being a small business does not mean that you are not part of a global economy and that you cannot take advantage of their benefits.

Send Newsletters

Many SMEs / VSEs refuse to invest in email marketing and the creation of a regular newsletter. However, emails that offer relevant content, sent directly to a client, offer an attractive return on investment potential for a low investment. Here, timing and relevance are key. It can be interesting to link, for example, a news event to its own brand or its own product to benefit from a buzz or the attention of certain groups of people.

However, be sure to stay close to your profession and always offer content that is relevant to your audience or your brand. Well thought out Newsletters sent regularly to customers – daily, weekly or monthly – remain one of the cheapest and most effective ways for small businesses.

Consider sending a newsletter to your customers
Illustration by Henrylim on 99designs

Use social media as a lever for growth

A Facebook page, which is moreover animated irregularly, does not guarantee results. Various social networks offer you different ways to interact with your prospects and customers. It’s up to you to decide which one best suits your needs or your sector. Each business must offer specific content and discussions across platforms – be it Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest… Instagram and Pinterest are better for visual content. Content consisting of an image with a caption or of course text is perfect for Facebook. Short sentences, comments and titles are reserved for Twitter.

Either way, the content you post should be compelling. Choose visually attractive high resolution images as much as possible. Also choose dynamic phrases, especially on Twitter, with relevant tags and hashtags. Tools like Hashtagify or Tagboard can help you.

How to use social media

Think local

SMEs / VSEs which are active locally and which grow by relying on the ecosystems and communities which surround them manage to attract new customers more easily. It is always interesting to identify and get in touch with the other SMEs that share your consumer base and to find synergies between the entities. Think collaboration, sharing of resources, and complementarity. By partnering with others, you can offer consumers a more successful, and often more engaging, experience.