Building trust in your business amongst your current and potential customers goes a long way in marketing just how great your small business is – and it starts with your brand. Our public relations specialists at the Federation of Small Businesses share their top tips for building your brand and how you can protect it in a crisis, so that your hard work doesn’t go to waste.
In this video, Robin Swinbank from FSB PR and Crisis Management, explains how you can protect your brand in a crisis and why it's so important.
What does your branding say about your business?
First impressions count. From your business name and logo, to your packaging or what you share online, it all speaks volumes about who you are as a business to current and potential customers.
If you’re just starting out or are considering a refresh, here are some questions to get you started:
- Who is your target market? What appeals to them?
- What is your message? What will you say in your marketing materials or general day-to-day communication with customers?
- What makes you stand out from the competition? What do you do differently?
- What is your tone of voice? Are you personable, light-hearted, corporate, professional?
- What are your values as a business? Do you champion your dedication to sustainability or customer service, for example?
Protect your intellectual property
Intellectual property is defined as any type of idea, information, design, invention, logo, symbol, image or name that is used in commerce, and as such is a key component of your brand. Some automatic protections instantly apply in UK law, but there are different types of protections you can apply for to further safeguard your hard work.
If someone is falsely using your brand identity, this can result in a PR crisis. For example, it’s all too common for businesses on Twitter to be impersonated by ‘parody’ accounts using their name and logo to reply to customers - much to the customers dissatisfaction. So, being able to manage this correctly is important for keeping your reputation intact.
Get the word out
Promoting your brand increases your brand recognition, whether you’re aiming to be known locally for the best products, or have clients up and down the UK come to you for your services. Our detailed guide to the seven most popular ways to promote your business walks you through everything you need to know, from digital marketing to traditional advertising and PR.
With more businesses starting online and shifting to the digital space during the pandemic, perfecting your business’ online profile is now vital for building your brand. It’s often the first place that customers will turn to when they want to learn more about your offerings or find your contact details, so being recognisable and cohesive can help you make your mark. Have you claimed and optimised your business’ profile on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn? If you’re not sure where to begin, our digital marketing course features on-demand webinars to get you started.
Join the conversation
Whether it’s a Twitter chat or a local virtual networking event, be seen in your industry and wider business community by networking with others. Sharing what you know with others is a great way to establish yourself as an expert in your field, so that next time someone needs advice or even your product, you’re the first person they think of!
Don’t limit yourself to fellow business owners, either – journalists are always looking to speak to small business owners, especially in current times. From sharing your start up story to giving a professional opinion for a quote, getting featured broadens your reach.
Deal with negative reviews like a pro
Sadly, we’re often quicker to make noise when we’ve had a bad encounter with a business than we are to praise them when things go right. Negative reviews online can be frustrating, and incredibly damaging to your reputation if not dealt with correctly. Are your customers talking about you online? Start engaging with them and manage your online reviews. Less than pleased customers present an opportunity for you to turn a negative comment into a great display of customer service.
Protect your brand in a crisis
Whether it’s a marketing mishap or a faulty product, there are lots of things that can go wrong in business. Having the knowledge, skills and support to protect the brand and reputation you’ve worked so hard to build is essential.