Keep Your Business Relevant With a Quality Brand Experience

Posted by on January 17, 2014 in Marketing [ 0 Comments ]

small business brand experienceThe idea of branding is often synonymous with big business, but a 2013 survey revealed that small business owners are seeing the benefits of being widely identifiable.  Conducted by American Express, the research discovered that small businesses are seriously considering the impact of their brand. Almost three-quarters of small business owners admitted to constantly monitoring the perception of their brand. More than half are using digital platforms, such as their own websites, to help bolster their images.

Related: Can’t get your brand off the ground? Find out what steps you can take.

In Canada alone, according to the American Express Small Business Monitor, 93 percent of small businesses have developed a unique brand to set them apart from other organization in their respective market. The value of a unique brand experience is incalculable, but only so long as companies take the right approach.

Why it Takes a Community to Raise a Brand
One particular way companies can help ensure their brand’s effectiveness is by developing a community, like Higher Learning Technologies, which uses its mobile app to attract  students hoping to excel on their Dental Admission Test, Medical College Admission Test or dental board exams. The small company now benefits from thousands of downloads each day coming from over 70 countries. This approach gives small-business owners the opportunity to get consumers to coalesce around the brand, working toward supporting and advocating for the company, according to Inc. Magazine.

Related: How Businesses Can Establish Online Trust with Online Branded Communities 

Higher Learning Technologies grew because of its commitment to the community of individuals the mobile app was targeting. Founder Alec Whitters identified the need from his personal experiences, studying for dental school tests. He understood the way he was going about preparing for tests wasn’t as efficient as it could be – and current offerings on the various app stores weren’t hitting the mark – so he started a team of like-minded colleagues to solve the problem. From this compact group developed a worldwide community benefiting and supporting the small business.

Where the Humblest Beginnings Can Lead You… With a Little Elbow Grease  
Businesses should also work to maintain consistency within their brand. While the recognition of a brand can be boosted through marketing, the reputation is solely dependent upon the customer attitudes surrounding offered products and/or services. Maintaining consistent quality control will be paramount to a brand’s success, which hinges upon your ability to push the envelop of excellence on a daily basis.

For instance, the vintage clothing retailer ModCloth has continued to evolve since it was officially established in 2006. What started as a hobby and a passion grew into a viable business after founder Susan Gregg Koger – and her husband and co-founder Eric Koger – expanded her love for thrift clothes shopping and collecting vintage designs into a Web-based format through which customers could shop for unique and hard-to-find styles. From a university dorm room to working with over 700 independent designers, ModCloth has grown at a minimum of 50 percent every year and earned $25 million in 2012, according to Fast Company.

Related: How to Use Community for  a Better Online Experience

A large part of the company’s success has been its ability to reach out to consumers and involve them in business operations. The “Be the Buyer” function gives customers the power to scroll through different styles the Kogers post as potential new designs from trade shows and choose which ones ModCloth should offer. This level of customer focus is hard to replicate, but not impossible. And it should give you a pretty clear idea of how your customers will reward you if they remain the center of the way you operate.
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