Published Thursday, October 31, 2019
The idea of an, “If you build it, they will come,” approach to starting or growing your business is tempting to believe but almost never true. If your business relies on community members to be customers or clients, taking real steps to ensure the locals know you exist is vital.
You've worked so hard on your business, and giving your brand the attention it deserves is important. Today, we’re sharing some of our favorite strategies that might work for you.
Your brand isn’t just your name and logo. Advertising guru David Ogilvy defines brand as “the intangible sum of a product’s attributes.” It’s the way that your business is perceived by anyone who comes across it.
A helpful exercise that MatchBOX cofounder and 10 IN HOUSE Strategy & Design owner Jason Tennenhouse suggests is imagining your brand as a person, Feeling adventurous? Give it a human name:
What does it look and sound like?
How does it dress and talk?
Where does it shop and eat and who are its friends?
Can you answer these questions, and do you like the “person” you’re imagining?
Perhaps showing up where they are means meeting their needs before they become customers. Does your demographic need something that you can help them with as a first-interaction with leaves them feeling like you offered something of value?
Hosting a workshop, office-hours, or a free consultation could give you face time to build rapport and give you cred as a business that's genuinely interested in helping your customers or clients problem-solve.
That's where loyalty comes from.
Understand your demographic and then meet them where they are.
Are your customers parents of young children? Get your logo on the back a local soccer or basketball team’s jerseys.
Small businesses? Join or sponsor MatchBOX or a BNI group.
You can be a title sponsor for a fundraising event, host a food drive for Food Finders, or have your logo placed on the rink-walls at the next Lafayette Roller Derby event. Being thoughtful and intentional about what you put your name on will increase awareness and visibility, and let the community know that you care about the good work that's happening in Greater Lafayette.
Revisioning the concept of traditional work environments and moving to a collaborative space has been an amazing opportunity for our organization to remain engaged with our constituents and expand our connections in the community.
"MatchBOX is helping my company (One Fact) survive and prosper. The affordable space is only the start. It is the connection with the other co-coworkers that is proving helpful. MatchBOX gets a share of credit for any success One Fact sees in 2017!”
MatchBOX is where I met some of my newest best friends, Amanda, Emily, Matt, Ed, and sometimes Ryan. It's conveniently located near Kathy's candies and a bunch of places to get drinks during lunch. Could use a couple more Pokestops though.
<3 Austin Toombs
MatchBOX has provided an incredible opportunity for getting my work done, collaborating with others (at least 4 projects so far), hosting meetings for organizations I'm part of, and meeting other independent contractors in the area. The feel and ambience of the place just adds to the fabulous workplace -- not to mention the coffee and snacks! I have friends around the country who are jealous of our MatchBox space.
—Johanna Merritt Wu
My Enactus Purdue team got a tour of this studio recently. The environment is outstandingly innovative! Everyone there is incredibly friendly and hospitable and passionate about what they are doing. What a great place to see opportunity in the city of Lafayette!
—Acaimie Catron (from Facebook)
There is such a positive, creative vibe to this space. I participated in Lafayette Writers' Studio events and classes at MatchBOX fall, 2016. It is easy to access, convenient to downtown Lafayette and parking is not difficult in its area of town.
—Sandra B. (from Yelp)