Consumers want more. Whether your business is a B2B or B2C, consumers have so many choices about where to spend their dollars, it’s amazing they still claim they can’t find the right businesses to patronize. According to the 2014 Authenticity Gap survey consumers are impatient with what they perceive as a lack of innovation coming out of companies and entire industries.
How can your small business stand out from the crowd? Here are four ways:
As a small business owner, you have the advantage of assumed authenticity just based on the fact you’re not a big company. What’s more authentic than a small business owner trying to achieve the American dream? Play up the history of your business on your website and in your marketing materials. Talk about your struggles and your triumphs. Try to get press coverage about your business beginnings. Everyone loves to read a real success story.
Be a local
Get listed in all the local directories and be involved in your community. Your city’s website most likely has an event calendar; local businesses can set up booths at events and sell or give away products and services. Sponsor a local sports team or volunteer your time at a local charity. Participate in small business events. Get your “Shop Small” logo from the Small Business Saturday website and put it on the front page of your website.
Be an expert
Show off your expertise by speaking at local events or to networking groups. Teach a class in the community or volunteer your knowledge for a newspaper or magazine article. You can also record an online video to highlight on your website.
Want to take questions? Set up a Google Hangout or webinar with your clients.
Everyone likes a charitable or socially responsible business so they can feel good about the business they are supporting. If you have a charity close to your heart, check the charity’s website to see how you can help. If there is a local chapter near your business, you can get personally involved. If you’re not already involved with a charity,contact your city’s Chamber of Commerce or business development office to see what local charities are active in your area. You could offer a certain percentage of every sale to the charity or donate services or goods. Don’t stop there. Become a spokesperson for the charity and spread the news through your website and social media platforms.
These ways to stand out from the crowd in your industry give consumers the extra edge they're looking for when choosing what businesses to patronize. Make one or all of these part of your company culture and you'll give your brand a boost.
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