Fueling Your Small Business Fire
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Fueling Your Small Business Fire

According to Forbes, on average during 2015 businesses with less than $5 million in annual revenue experienced 7.8% annual sales growth. Is your small business feeling that growth? Odds are if you are a small business retailer, the answer is not so much.

There are a number of strategies small retailers can employ to stoke online sales growth. Here are few ideas to get you going. Try them out and see which of these best help you to reach your ideal customer.
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Hierarchy of Needs + Consumer Experiences = Marketing Success
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Hierarchy of Needs + Consumer Experiences = Marketing Success

There are so many different words we can use to describe marketing in today’s business climate – collective, cooperative, collaborative, connected, social, relational, digital, immediate, on-demand, integrated, flexible, pull, measurable, inbound, visual, discussion-based, creative, transparent, organic, relevant, personal, humanized, credible, sophisticated, entertaining, influential, interactive… I’m sure you can think of at least 20 more.

I think there is one particular term that marketers need to pay special attention to: EXPERIENCE. And I’m not talking about the brand experience you may be thinking about, which I have addressed before that is focused on how the consumer experiences the brand across channels. I’m talking about the experience a consumer has when engaging with what the brand has to offer.

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The Brand Integrity Equation
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The Brand Integrity Equation

When you hear or see the word “brand,” what do you think of? A logo? A slogan or tag line? A character? That’s what many consumers would think of.

Now, put on your MarCom hat – what do you think of? Brand identity, brand promise, mission, vision, logo, colors, tone-of-voice, visuals, taglines, personas, marketing touchpoints…

Sure. But that’s not all. A brand is made up of the sum of ALL its parts, not just the ones that marketers focus on. Brand identity is delivered to consumers through an organization’s products and services, its sales team, its pricing, its product development, its customer service, even its fine print.

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Samsung scored with Ellen’s Oscar selfie

By now we’ve all seen the best selfie ever. (See below in case you have been living under a proverbial rock.)  How could you not love this photo? The spontaneity, casualness and silliness of it made it go viral instantly.  So much so that it not only set the record for the highest number of retweets (more than 2.5 million right now and 700,000 in the first hour), which was Ellen’s goal, but it also crashed Twitter.

EllenOscarsSelfie

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Watch Your Tone!

Ever been checking out a brand’s Facebook page and noticed that their posts are obviously being written by a couple different people?  Yikes! That’s no good. With strapped marcom budgets, reduced staff and large workloads, many brands rely on several different people to post to their social pages and profiles.  How can can a brand ensure that all the people posting on behalf of the brand are singing in the same voice rather than their own?

Each person posting needs to understand and embrace the brand’s personality.  Is the brand formal or more casual?  Is the brand fun or serious?  Ultimately, the brand’s personality needs to be determined by the executive team and everyone, from the top down, needs to buy into it. Once the brand’s personality has been established, the marketing team needs to figure out how to marketing materials will reflect it.

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