Trusted aphorism not withstanding, they will not come merely because you built it. If you are going to start a new business, you have to get the word out. You have to find a way to reach the person on the street, let them know that you have a new product or service, and give them a reason to want to try it.
Traditional methods of doing this include print advertising such as:
- Brochures and Guides
- Newspaper Adverts
- Business Cards
That may work out just fine for you depending on your target market. If you are trying to exclusively reach the generation of people who still let their fingers do the walking through a printed phone book, the old ways may still be the best ways. But if you are hoping to attract people born after 1970, you might want to consider these non-traditional ways to launch your brand:
Modern, Useful, Promotional Items
People have been giving away small promotional items for ages. It used to be that every bank worth anything would hand out ink pens emblazoned with their company name. That was great for its time. Today, there is a generation of adults that don’t even own a pen, and use one as infrequently as writing a check.
These days, you can give consumers USB flash drives in the shape of a credit card. That way, it fits nicely in their wallet, and will be seen overtime they stop in the QuickMart for a 5-Hour Energy. Whatever promotional item you use, make sure it is both relevant and useful.
There is nothing wrong with the branding strategy. It is the branded items that need to be updated. It may pay off to try something unexpected like offering the USB in credit card shape. While a dwindling number of people carry cash, everyone carries a credit or debit card. As it happens, a significant cross-section of those people have data that they need to securely access on more than one machine.
Kickstart it with Crowd Funding
One of the current leaders in the nascent smartwatch market is Pebble. Apple was credibly rumored to be working on a smartwatch years ago. This small, independent startup saw an opportunity, and did everything they could to be first out of the gate before the iWatch tsunami hit.
That preemptive iWatch competitor would never have gotten off the ground without a highly successful crowd funding campaign on Kickstarter. In some ways, Kickstarter launched the Pebble watch, and the Pebble watch launched Kickstarter. Now that Apple really is about to release their smartwatch, Pebble is preempting it with yet another Kickstarter release. This time, it is all about publicity.
While Pebble’s latest Kickstarter antics have received some blowback, Kickstarter, and other crowd funding platforms are still a great way to launch your small, independent brand.
Finally, if you want to get your brand out, you have to get it online. One of the best ways to do that is to start a blog related to what you do. If you are an auto mechanic, write about auto maintenance and repair. When people go online to look up information about the subject, they will find you. If you sell health insurance, write a blog about healthy living. If you are a dry cleaner, write about nice places one might want to wear a suit.
Provide information, not marketing. If you make an ad, people will ignore it. If you provide information, people will read it and appreciate it. When people read the information you provide, you have their undivided attention. Undivided attention is worth its weight in gold.
Kickstart it, blog it, and emblazon it on modern devices. If you brand it, they will come.