You’ve finally achieved your dream of opening your own company. However, 2020 was difficult in a lot of industries. Women-owned businesses suffered alongside every other small operation around the world. You may wonder where you should start with your marketing plan for 2021.
The number of women entrepreneurs lags behind men. About 231 million women started businesses in 59 surveyed countries in 2019. About 6.2% of women owned thriving businesses, while 9.5% of men did. The reasons for lower ownership rates aren’t known, but women who do start their own firms can follow some guidelines to ensure they’re successful.
One of the top things you can do to ensure your organization finds success in 2021 is focus more on branding. What makes you stand out from the competition? How can you become a more recognizable name in your community?
Branding is about more than just fancy taglines and pretty logos. You need to dig much deeper and follow some specific steps to ramp up your results.
1. Perfect Your Message
Paying more attention to your branding allows you to perfect the message you want to share with potential customers. Every business has a unique value proposition (UVP) that makes them stand out from competitors.
When you focus on branding for the year, you’re forced to take a close look at what makes your company different from others out there. Why should customers choose you over someone else?
2. Rise Above Challenges
2020 was difficult for most small-business owners. Women entrepreneurs may have suffered even more due to issues such as having kids at home doing e-learning while they try to establish a name for their firms.
Some ways you can survive the COVID-19 pandemic and come out ahead in 2021 include putting your family and employees first and communicating better with your customers. Focus on showing how your brand wants to help people navigate these difficult times.
3. Get to Know Your Customers
One thing focusing more on branding does is force you to get to know your customers better. To create messages they’ll respond to, you have to know a little about them.
First, dig into the demographics of your typical customer. What is the age, gender and location of your average buyer?
Next, look at the psychographics of your buyer persona. What drives the person to seek a product or service such as yours in the first place?
4. Command Social Media
Rather than just throwing things up willy-nilly on social media, having a branding strategy forces you to develop a personality for each platform. You’ll embrace a voice for your business, and people will come to recognize it.
For example, when you post on Twitter, you’ll reach more people than just those who follow you. You’ll come in contact with anyone who follows those who retweet your posts. Making sure you have a strong brand presence becomes a vital part of online promotions.
5. Connect on an Emotional Level
When you focus on branding, you’re also forced to think about the ways you’ll promote your name. The best way of relating to customers is on an emotional level. All the work of getting to know your target audience allows you to discover their pain points and the emotions behind them.
If you sell baby safety latches, the pain point is parents who worry their busy toddler might get hurt. The emotion driving them is fear. So, your branding should focus on putting those concerns to rest. How can you best reassure customers you care about their child’s safety, too?
At the core of every pain point is an emotion driving it. It could be joy, fear, anger or any number of other human feelings. Your job as an entrepreneur is to figure out which ones your customers experience and present how you can solve the issue.
6. Develop Customer Loyalty
According to Harvard Business Review, companies that develop a strong loyalty program grow 2.5 times faster than others and generate higher profits. Part of your branding efforts should be becoming a household name for your customers.
When people know who you are and what you stand for, they see you as reliable. Present a consistent attitude. If you claim a UVP of having the best customer service in the industry, you must go above and beyond for your clients however you can.
Customers are more apt to be loyal when you are authentic and care about the same issues they do. Survey your clients, dig deep into analytics and figure out what you have in common with them.
7. Gain More Referrals
A strong brand name attracts referrals. When your customers know you offer something they love, they are more likely to recommend you to family and friends. Your branding efforts must go beyond a great product, though. You also need to show them why you’re the best choice out there.
The more name recognition you gain, the more likely those they mention you to will check out what you’re offering. Think about your branding efforts on two levels — keeping current customers and wowing them while attracting new leads.
You Can Find Success in 2021
A new year is a time when many women entrepreneurs reflect on past failures and successes. It’s a good time to reinvent your brand and what you’d like to be known for going forward. Think about the best ways to get the message across about your company’s values. With a little focus and scheduling, your brand name will become better known than ever before.
About the Author
Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.