10 Tips for Building a Local Brand

Written by: Jason Bayless | September 27, 2016
Building a brand isn’t coming up with a name and logo for your business. It’s the voice of your company, the sum of your customer’s experiences and the trust they have in you as a business. You can develop a strong brand without having a huge budget like some huge corporations.

1. Don’t Compete with National Brands
While you want to compete with other companies to gain customers, you don’t want to do that on their turf. You might not be able to compete with them on price or selection since they have more room than local stores. Instead, you want to provide better quality, personalized service or location.

2. Mentions in Reviews
Ask your repeat, happy customers to leave reviews for you online. Most smartphone users will check online reviews before they’ll visit a location to make a purchase. If you have loyal customers, they want to help you with your business. Have a central location that you want them to leave those reviews too. The easier you make it for your customers, the more likely that they’ll leave good reviews.

3. Engage with Community
When you are visible in the community, people believe that you can be trusted. It makes you familiar to them, and that leads them to find you and your company likeable and personable. This community engagement can be in person or through platforms like social media linked with the community.

4. Special Treatment
Customers love to be treated like they’re special. Unexpected surprises and positive experiences make the customer feel like they’re appreciated. A personal note to customers or a free addition to their purchase is a good way to give them the feeling of being special.

5. Use Local Lingo
To prove you’re immersed in the locale, describe areas like a native. Use local landmarks in directions or show your local roots during important local events. Specific discounts or promotions during the weather can be one way to cater to the locals.

6. Demonstrate Expertise
Locals expect those who are in their community to have more invested in the community’s success. Small companies that provide information for their customers that doesn’t involve sales-related media is one of the best ways to demonstrate expertise and provide value. For example, an HVAC company can send newsletters to past customers about upcoming weather and related heating or cooling needs.

7. Use Brands for Exposure
You can use national brands to gain more exposure for your company. Display brands that people recognize to boost your reputation, but don’t overwhelm your local SEO efforts by overdoing the national brand exposure.

8. Target Local News Outlets
It can be a boost to your business to get exposure in a national magazine or newspaper, but a local newspaper will have the attention of your target customers. Have events and participate in community activities that community magazines and newspapers will cover.

9. Hyperlocal Channels
If your business is located in a large city like Boston, you’ll want to focus on hyperlocal sources like magazines catering to Boston residents exclusively. Weekly free papers catering to the community can be great for business too. When a local resident sees your company frequently, they’re more likely to feel they can trust you.

10. Keep Your Promises
Lastly, one of the biggest ways to build your brand is to keep your promises to customers. You can’t put a value on a good reputation in your community. One of the best ways to garner a reputation for trustworthiness is through providing good service or products as well as going beyond that for your customers.

Your brand won’t be built overnight. There are many tiny steps on the way to becoming successful and building a brand in your community. Focus on providing value and getting your business out into the area making a difference.