Reasons Why Small Business Should Harness Authenticity.In an age where almost every type of entity is online, public information is becoming more and more valuable. Not only are consumers looking for brands that have their best interest in mind, but those they feel they can relate to on a personal level. This is why I've decided to hone in on the authenticity of small businesses - in attempt to help them stand out through original differentiation.
When it comes to small business, every company is looking to differentiate their offering in some kind of way – especially in the service industry. The competition is real and as soon as one entity gains momentum, another is there to steal the thunder. It’s an ongoing system that leaves some in the dust while others enjoy temporary success. This is why small business should harness authenticity and their brand story. Being consistent with messaging not only establishes a sustained market share but allows small businesses to generate trust and loyalty within their region.
The problem is, many small business owners aren’t sure how they can get ahead of the competition. But, I’m here to share that it’s as simple as leveraging the “why” behind their story. Let’s take a look at some of the ways a brand identity and persona can enhance consumer perception.
1. Establishing Branded Appeal
Most business owners seem to believe that appeal refers to how “cool” or “relevant” their brand is. In reality, society is shifting towards more believable messages that relay quality and competence. You can tell the customer over and over that you’re their best solution, but until you’re able to show them, it’s going to be an uphill battle.
Establishing appeal shouldn’t focus on how funny or entertaining your company is. Although witty leadership may resonate with some, most are looking for the most competent and trustworthy company to handle their immediate needs. Seeing a picture of a CEO fishing in the Bahamas isn’t really going to drive a conversion – even if most of their audience enjoys fishing.
How Can You Establish Appeal as a Small Biz?
Creating appeal begins with a small business’ story. Discussing “how” and “why” you came to market may seem boring, but targeting people with like-able content isn’t necessarily going to establish credibility for the actual value you provide. If you’re a small business and you’re marketing mirrors global chains or informative producers then I urge you to reconsider your strategy. Going anywhere outside of your unique personality and the relationship you have with your local audience can be a recipe for wasteful spending. Moreover you’re allowing the company to be compared to larger institutions that have the money to invest in reach campaigns.
Search results and relevance have taken content marketing by storm over the last 5 years but consumers are beginning to see through the BS. Although I cannot speak for everyone, I know younger generations are beginning to look past the fluff and read into substance. If you’re trying extra hard to persuade, then maybe you’re in the wrong business. Or maybe that’s simply what you’re conveying. To me, that’s not very appealing. Especially when I’m searching for answers or a local solution and only finding opinionated bias without any relevance to my search.
You can promote appeal simply by showcasing the work ethic or personalities or your people – or leaders. You can be perceived as appealing by highlighting first impressions or a preview of the customer experience like the imagery below.
2. Reinforcing an Ability to Solve and Serve.
As I dovetail with my initial reasoning, I want to reiterate the importance of competence. After being a part of the marketing agency realm for a few years, I started to realize that content strategies were being formulated based on consumer interests instead of needs. Agencies were attempting to place brands in front of potential customers before they were needed.
Although this is a solid complimentary strategy, not all small businesses have the capital to afford the results of this approach. Especially now that there are eerily similar blog articles throughout different industries. Don’t be misled – in the long run, consumers want to understand the experience they’re preparing to take part in, not necessarily how much a pool company knows about pool party decor. What bothered me the most was that many clients viewed blog content as a success because they saw an increase in traffic. But, how can you monetize consumers that are simply reading your articles for information? In most cases, they aren’t bookmarking you.
Reinforce Abilities With Reason
Taking the time to reinforce an ability to serve and solve problems creates a peace of mind while setting the bar for consumer’s small biz “shopping” experience. Although some brands are remembered for their content, it’s imperative that small businesses hammer down their brand personality and efficiencies so they’re remembered for those. If you didn’t start a business to entertain, then don’t focus on entertaining until it’s something you can afford. In most cases, this is after you’re able to sustain and scale the business. A recently launched small business should harness authenticity to the fullest extent to save on the front end.
Take pride in leveraging customer testimonials or even authentic videos of company processes to give consumers insight on the brand. You can still optimize these forms of content in order to be found for specific searches. Moreover, you’ll be able to create different forms of content and media to maximize the reach of your provided value across multiple channels. Being original and authentic allows you to promote what you know and what you do by positioning it in a way they appreciate the most. Discussing what you do best is a great reason why small business should harness authenticity for content production. Here is a simple way to do just that:
3. Generating Trust and Loyalty.
The last point I want to make pertains to what most small business are chasing – residual income or return customers. For the most part of the last decade, companies have been focusing on keeping their audience engaged on social media or through email marketing. Thing is, you shouldn’t need to remind previous customers of their experience or incentivise them to return. Your competent appeal and ability to serve will inevitably persuade them enough.
When brands focus more on retaining customers through persuasive tactics instead of harnessing and maximizing their value – it hinders their believability and (aforementioned) competence. Stop trying so hard. Be authentic and transparent with your product or service and inform followers on your commitment to them. At the end of the day, this is what matters – right?
How Does PreFocus Help with Loyal Acquisition?
When it comes to branding, we attempt to create an experience that not only resonates with consumers but allows them to trust the process. Providing insight on every layer of the business gives customers confidence in the brand to satisfy their specific needs. Not every business can address all customer concerns. No matter how hard you try, the further you extend your value reach, the harder it’s going to be convey believable competence.
Inevitably this hinders brand trust. It’s important that small businesses focus on what they do extremely well so they can drive loyalty in that area first. The easiest way to solidify this is to promote the identity and personality of the brand on a consistent basis. Show what you do, how you do it, and why you’re doing it. Tell people about your pivots, overcome conflicts and other success stories. People can and will relate to an established persona they can identify with. This is my main reasoning for why small business should harness authenticity. Marketing with purpose helps garner traction for the perceived speciality of the small business.
The PreFocus Preview.
From my experience with business owners, many have new ideas and tactics on a daily basis. Finding ways to help them place these “future” ideas on the back burner until they’re able to properly execute their authentic value is key. Generating loyalty begins with a company’s ability to harness their unique identity. Conveying competence with a voice (or personality) that resonates with consumers will magnify the provided value far more than relevant blog articles will.
No matter what a small business does, they should cater everything to their local customers. Publishing the “why” behind a launch and the mission to serve will provide credibility while expanding the value a business sets out to execute. When small business harnesses authenticity, they know exactly how they want to convey their brand. To learn about more ways to harness your branded identity and promote your competence, submit an inquiry for a FREE branded strategy below.
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From my perspective, there are plenty of reasons why small business should harness authenticity. Not only is it super affordable, but you’re essentially promoting what you know so customers can trust you. Stop competing with creative persuasion and stick to the basics with original content that showcases the authenticity of your brand. #PreFocusWithUs.