When you’ve decided to make the leap into entrepreneurship, it’s pretty common to feel a flood of emotions. One of the most pressing emotions has been anticipation. When you’re first starting out, you don’t know what to expect. Unfortunately, the customer doesn’t either. This is where the work of building brand credibility comes in. If you’d like to establish brand credibility, implement the following strategies.
1. Provide Testimonials
There’s nothing quite like the ‘word-of-mouth’ testimonial. When you don’t pay someone to provide glowing reviews of a product and they provide them, make sure you document those reviews to share with your audience. If you’re a salon owner and have clients who love the service you’ve provided, ask them to share their experience in written form. Ask them to leave testimonials on online review sites. Work those testimonials into your social media marketing efforts and other direct marketing strategies. With a new business, you won’t have very many testimonials. Therefore, just share the few you have on a regular basis. As you gain more, add them to the Rolodex. Before long, you’ll have a wide list of testimonials to use as social proof of excellence.
2. Become Communicative
It’s one thing to talk about how your product or service is the best in the marketplace. However, that’s incredibly vague. Become communicative about what your brand promise is. If your small business sells 24 oz tumblers for people who want to consume more water each day, your brand promise might communicate that you can deliver easy water consumption for the busy person. Make your brand promise clear, specific, and memorable.
3. Look for Ways to Improve
Connect with family members and friends in order to gather data surrounding how your product or service works. Do numerous trials on various touchpoints of the company. A great example would be the purchasing component. If someone wants to book an appointment or purchase a product, consider how easy it is to do so. If the website is difficult to find or navigate on a mobile device, it’s going to play a role in the number of sales you receive. As you develop a trusted circle of well-wishers, ask them to give their honest reviews on ways you can improve. As you gain more customers, ask them to provide feedback on their experience as well. Be open to feedback, and how your small business can evolve as a result of it.
4. Develop Immaculate Customer Service
Because so many establishments don’t have excellent customer service standards, it’s easy to stand out when you do provide immaculate care and support. From the packaging of products, shipping times, and dealing with disgruntled customers, develop processes that will keep your brand’s credibility consistent. Document all aspects of the process, and provide transparency along the way. This can help to put customers at ease as they support small businesses that are still in the beginning stages of existence.
5. Provide Referral Perks
When a customer refers a new person to your small business, reward them. This can potentially incentivize them to become repeat customers and brand ambassadors in their own right. A great referral perk might be a percentage off of their next purchase, a spotlight on your social media platforms, or a free thank-you gift.
6. Provide Demonstrations
If you’re launching a beauty or skincare brand, take time to demonstrate the product through tutorials on sites like YouTube and other social media platforms. When people are able to see you or a product model using the product, this makes it much easier for the potential customer to see what they’re getting into. This is why so many makeup influencers do swatches on their arm. This helps customers to see how the product shows up on specific skin tones. Consider collaborating with online influencers within your field to showcase or demonstrate the effectiveness of your brand’s offerings.
A strong, reputable small business doesn’t emerge overnight. It takes years to develop credibility, consistent customers, and an incredible reputation. However, the process requires a daily commitment. As you work to provide an amazing product or service to the marketplace, use the strategies to build your brand’s credibility as this one factor can directly impact your level of success in the long haul.