Build a reputation, not a brand

It’s among the conventional wisdom of marketing that you must build a strong, recognizable brand. Sometimes the conventional wisdom is wrong, or at least dated.

While there is a big value in having a highly-recognized brand (Apple, Nike, Coca-Cola), getting to that point is a long and expensive process that most small businesses cannot afford. It’s also not working as well anymore, according to a recent New Yorker article. The Internet has made it easier than ever for consumers to be well-informed about potential purchases. A quick Google search will get you expert reviews of almost any product or service, Amazon is loaded with customer reviews, and sites like Yelp and Angie’s List provide places for people to share their experiences with local businesses.

In other words, the Internet has made it more important than ever to build a good reputation. People’s experiences with businesses, both good and bad, are more likely to be shared on sites like those listed above or on social media like Facebook and Twitter.

The good news for a small business owner is that building a good reputation isn’t very expensive. Provide great service. Go the extra mile. Share your expertise with your clients. It takes time to build a good reputation, but word-of-mouth (or word-of-internet) is the largest source of new clients for most businesses.

A good way to work on building that reputation is to send a newsletter. It’s your chance to prove your expertise and show your clients that you care about them. Contact us to find out how to get started.