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How to Build Brands with none or less Advertising Budgets

Advertisement Budget Alternatives

Advertisement Budget Alternatives

How does a brand communicate with its consumers? Advertising is an obvious answer. It has managed to work wonders for companies looking to communicate with consumers and that too in large numbers. I recall reading an article which stated that an average person is exposed to approximately 3000 to 10000 advertising messages every day. And this statement I assume was subjected to offline and traditional advertising. Including Internet however would only scale up those numbers with a huge impact. Most of us don’t even notice several of these advertisements, while companies continue to spend millions of dollars in an urge to make an attractive ad that would pull a potential consumer’s attention towards the brand. Google’s Ad words program too is been flooded with huge competitive row over ad spots for relevant keywords.

In such a scenario, where huge bucks are being spent by large corporations, what can a small business do to communicate their differentiating or for that matter popularizing its products/services to consumers? Well, there is a lot that can be done as long as the focus is clear and strong.

Firstly, it is essential to understand that Advertising is not the only medium to generate Brand’s awareness in the market. There are various different consumer touch-points that a small business could resort to. Some of them could be,

  1. Pre sales Experience: Accommodate a consumer and make him or her feel comfortable during the pre sales sessions. Try to recognise the consumer’s priority need and address their current concerns while explaining them the benefits of your products or services. Make sure you are truthful, presentable and don’t push them into buying your product. His pre sales session with you must end on an unforced upon positive note.
  2. Post sales Experience: Many consumers are left stranded at the post sales sessions. Maruti Suzuki motors, took an early competitive advantage over several huge competitors in the Indian car market by providing a country wide spread after sales service outlets for their cars. For many industries till date, Post Sales experience for consumers is still a nightmarish experience. Try to capitalise, if your industry shows similar qualities.
  3. Niche Advertising: Large corporations fail to advertise into the bottom tail of the market where comparatively a lesser of their target market exist. This could be a good opportunity for you to reach and communicate your brand to potential consumers. Niche advertising is often found to be cheaper too.
  4. Online Presence: Presuming that most of you already have a company website, you must prioritize your website navigation tracks to perfection to make sure your potential and current consumers do not face a dead end or get lost while navigating through your website. We obviously don’t need to remind you that your website design must be attractive and suitable to your business operations. Take a feedback, it helps breaking myths.
  5. Public Relations: Consider your Brand as a separate identity. Shape its personality into a likeable and emotionally connectable identity when communicating with the people through direct or indirect media channels.
  6. Networking: Participate in conferences; speak on the stage if you are given a chance. This may be your most effective channel to popularizing your brand. Networking opportunities may help you communicate your brand’s differentiating attributes arguably better than any other channel.

There is no limit to the number of consumer touch-points. Conducting deep brainstorming sessions may avail your branding team with several innovative alternatives.

Let us know, what kind of touch-points do you utilise with your business, it may help other readers too.

3 Responses to How to Build Brands with none or less Advertising Budgets

  1. Ed Roach Reply

    August 19, 2009 at 7:11 am

    Meheer, I use html marketing, online and offline networking, volunteerism, mentoring, speaking engagements, PDF newsletters, lots of free content on my website, physical brochure and cards, and generally keeping my eye on my brand.

    I am working on niche, and building a healthy opt-in email list. I keep the wheels constantly moving on my self-promotional efforts. If you join my list for instance, you can expect to see my FREE weekly branding tip in your in-box the same time every Wednesday. Then monthly my newsletter, (I’m on my 62nd issue).

    I am in the works developing an online trade show to build all exhibitors lists. The only problem is the lack of time :)

  2. Komal Reply

    August 21, 2009 at 8:35 am

    I agree with you Ed. The actvities you suggested add up to the post above and infact add more value.

    I generally attend informal conferences to network along with fellow bloggers with similar interests. I also interact with industry professional whose association helps in building credibility and value to my brand.

    But yes lack of time is a problem we all face in general. I guess, we all believe that there is always more that can be done than what we already do.

  3. Niranjan Bhatia PMP Reply

    February 8, 2010 at 1:05 am

    This article is very useful and ignites thought process in non-conventional areas.

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