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Five innovative ways to market your business

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1.   Reward Loyalty

When a new customer comes through the door, always say thank you. Reward them with a discount off their next purchase. Where possible get their details and send them a birthday card. Make buying in bulk worth it for them. Offer them something where the more they buy, the more they’ll save, creating a win-win situation for you and the customer.

Offer rewards for introductions. If your customer brings a friend and the friends spend, then reward both of them. The customer will bring more friends and the friends are likely to do the same.

2.   Product packaging

First impressions are lasting impressions. This holds for anything that conveys your business image. If you have a bricks and mortar store it will involve everything from how the storefront looks before the customer has even stepped inside to the ambiance inside. When people feel comfortable they will spend money. Once you have the environment sorted think about your staff. A cashier with a dishevelled appearance is going to remind the customer not to come back. Well-attired, fresh and clean looking staff will make all the difference. Courteous behaviour always brings them back.

Considering this, how you package your products matters too. Packaging that is clear and precise as to the contents will attract more attention. More and more people are environmentally aware so if you can avoid plastics, this will help you reach those customers.

Is your brand clearly marked on the packaging? If you are sending a product for delivery why not attach a label with your brand logo to the back of the envelope or over the opening of the box? These images remain in the customer’s mind long after the event and will precipitate phone calls

3.   Car Livery

Think about this. For every traffic light you stop at or every parking space you use, the surrounding people will see your business livery. On a busy morning in peak hour traffic that could be thousands of people. Once you’ve paid for the livery, the advertising is free. Make sure that a web address or phone number is included. Camera phones mean that many people will just snap a pic to keep the number and call you back later. A simple two colour vehicle advert made for your rear window will cost less than £100. So, what are you waiting for?

Remember to reach out with the advert. A great coffee shop advert on a car once had an image of coffee spilling out the fuel tank and advertised the coffee as human fuel. Make sure the advert has something to remember or create a topic that people will talk about.

4.   Social Media

Use online resources. Take loads of pictures and post them online. Whether you manufacture bath bombs or repair cars, visual input online is best. Offer advice and get people to engage with you online. Social Media is a great way to get people to come into your store. Integrate your loyalty programme with Social Media and invite customers to send in images of the using your products. You can even offer additional loyalty points when people send in pictures that they’ve posted online.

Duplicate online what you do in bricks and mortar. Use the same colour schemes and images. Definitely don’t make changes to your logo, you want people that see you online to be able to identify your business in the street or when coming to your premises. The reverse rule is also true, if you’re doing something really awesome online, don’t forget to duplicate it in store. Most of all have fun.

Partner Up

Find someone who has a business that compliments yours. We’re not talking about signing up the competition here. A store that sells children’s clothes could team up with a store that sells children’s shoes. They will have the same customer base, that has different needs. By joining forces, they can share clientele preventing them from going to stores out of town or further afield.

Businesses that join forces can also help each other to increase footfall and increase overall profits for both sides. Hotels and guesthouses do this very successfully with local tourist attractions and restaurants. This approach only requires a bit of creative thought and participation from two or more businesses.

Making your business more visible by thinking out of the box and finding alternative ways to market yourself will bring long term rewards. Don’t forget that both Amazon and Apple started off in a garage in the suburbs, not so long ago.

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