Local Brand Development
Recently, I’ve started to work on website development in conjunction with brand development. My focus has been on small local businesses, that primarily use their website as the hub of their online marketing activities.
I’ve learned that branding a business is easier than it may seem. While starting from a blank slate may be daunting to some, I’ve found that doing so is extremely easy.
3 local brands that are doing local successfully
Case Study 1: Moving Forward – a local moving company
Moving Forward was a moving start-up that had a truck and a dream. While using local sites such as Kijiji to generate leads, the business was suffering and the owners needed help.
One day, while picking up some groceries, I ran into the owner and he expressed his concern for his business. The owner and I used to work out at the same gym, and I wanted to help him while testing my digital marketing skills at the same time.
We discussed some options to help improve his local brand presence. To start, we purchased a domain name that would resemble his brand. While I can’t take credit for the name or logo blueprint, can did take what they had and run with it. After developing a mission and vision, we aligned the strategy with the brand. The result….Moving Forward was born.
After developing an integrated marketing communications strategy, social media profiles, a website, and several print items, Moving forward was ready to take the Kitchener Waterloo region by storm.
The result, Moving Forward started to show up in the search engines on the first page of Google and Bing, and we started an aggressive Google AdWords campaign that targeted local residents that were in search of moving services.
Moving Forward has grown over the last 2 years. They have a number of positive reviews on their Local yelp, Google+, and Yellow pages profiles. They also have a number of customers that refer them to friends and family. The most notable achievements, they earned over $8,000 per month using the search marketing strategies I developed, and have recently stopped using paid advertising because they are ranking in the top 3 of the search results for targeted searches and are flooded with free leads.
Local Branding Helps Small Business Owners
Using a local branding strategy, many small businesses can out perform large companies. The Internet has provided a level playing field from which small business owners and compete directly with large businesses and win.
Case Study 2: Key2Fitness – Local personal training and fitness coaching
A few years ago, while working out at the local YMCA, I got to know Michelle Key. Michelle was an avid fitness fanatic, and she religiously worked out daily using a combination of cardio and weightlifting.
One day Michelle approached me because she had heard about the success of Moving Forward. Michelle expressed her love to help people get in shape, and also expressed her frustration because a local webmaster had taken control of her site and wanted large sums of money to keep it going.
While Michelle made a living offering personal training services, she was far from wealthy and could not afford to pay high fees to her webmaster. A further investigation into Michelle’s website found that the local webmaster was not offering any value to her digital assets, but expected a large sum of money.
Michelle wanted to use her last name in her business name, and had already dreamed up the name Key2Fitness.
I worked with Michelle to determine her needs, her goals, and the way she believed her business should be perceived. Once an understanding of Michelle’s mission and vision had been established, we focused on developing her unique selling proposition (USP). The result was a logo that was simple yet effective at communicating her business position.
Using social media and search marketing, Key2Fitness has enjoyed a comfortable stream of leads and opportunities. While Michelle has paused to continue her family, she continues to support her current list of clients. When Michelle returns to normal, Key2Fitness has an aggressive content and local social strategy to drive leads like never before.
Case Study 3: K1 Massage Therapy – A Local Registered Massage Therapist
Kieu had a similar problem to Michelle in the sense that her website was being held hostage by an unruly webmaster. All Kieu wanted to do was help people, but this rather unreasonable webmaster had decided they were going to prevent Kieu from achieving her goal without paying heavily for it.
I know Kieu through a family friend, and when I heard her story, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for her. Further investigation found again, that the webmaster had no clue what they were doing and they wanted to earn a living doing nothing positive to help Kieu.
The first steps were to have Kieu contact her webmaster with an offer to transfer her domain ownership back to her. Unfortunately, the webmaster took offence to the request, and Kieu found herself in the market for a new domain.
Kieu-Oanh uses K1 as her nickname because they are pronounced similar. Kieu wanted to call her company K1 Massage Therapy, which she was lucky to find an exact match domain which contributed to her branding.
K1 Massage Therapy is a recent development, and the strategy development is in the preliminary stages of designing a new website, creating social media profiles and a social media strategy, and preparing for an aggressive AdWords campaign.
Kieu is already generating leads from her site, but has not broken through the top 10 in Google search results yet.
Local Branding Using Digital Assets Works!
The Internet has provided affordable advertising and promotional activities that enable a small business owner to maximize their reach using a small budget. In the past, it took thousands of dollars to achieve the same result.
Keeping a streamlined branding strategy will help to maintain consistent brand awareness, and increase the frequency from which customers are reached.
As time moves forward, these small businesses will continue to drive leads for next to nothing, and eventually earn large sums of money doing what they love!