Good branding is at the core of any good company. When you’re just starting, developing your brand with limited funds takes some creative thinking. I knew the day I opened Plan A for business that I wanted to build a brand that our customers recognized as compassionate, dependable and logical. I wanted my brand to communicate everything about my vision and with a shoestring budget. I set out to use my limited resources as strategically as possible. Six years later, we are known as the largest health care tech staffing company in the North. We put out a premium service and our health care pool is known to be the best around. Our branding has played a big part of building that relationship.
Here are some of the things I did and that we continue to do that have helped us to shape the brand we are today:
1.Be unique. Our solutions are creative, proven AND unique! They combine giant pain points with simple customized technology for an effective and efficient staffing strategy. How’s that for unique?
2.Create your own culture. I knew from day one if I was ever going to be somebody’s boss that I would work hard to be the best boss I could be. The culture started with me so I put everything I valued on the table: honesty, accountability, communication, integrity, team work, humour and fun and I got to work creating a culture around that.
3.Grow and expand your network. There are many ways to do this. I started by pushing myself out of my comfort zone and getting out there. I joined the local Chamber of Commerce and Toastmasters right away. I got involved with volunteer work, I attended networking events and I invited lots of people to lunch! I got to know many people in the community and my network is continuously growing. Other ways we’ve built our network is by our business blog and through online communities such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
4.Deliver exceptional customer service. We are dealing with people and health care so we have the occasional snafu. Even when things are chaotic, in fact, especially when they are chaotic, our focus is still on keeping our customers happy. Our ‘run into the fire’ attitude and focus on solutions keeps our relationships with our clients strong no matter what is going on.
5.Have a good name and a logo to match. A strong brand starts with your company’s name. Your company name and logo are going to appear on everything: business cards, letterhead, car signage, promotional items, website, social media, etc. You’re going to be looking at it and talking about it for a long time. Make sure they look and sound great!
6.Speak with one voice. Knowing what we do and why we do it has always been important. Having a team that speaks in the same language has been a game changer!
7.Consistency. Since day one, our marketing material has been light, sometimes funny and relatable, inspirational and focused. We stay true to this through all of our marketing platforms.
8.Know what your business stands for. Knowing what we stand for has helped us to build solid connections with our clients, our staff pool, within our office, with people we do business with and in our community. Knowing what we stand for also guides us when we are faced with something we are against.
Branding your business is important. These inexpensive strategies have helped me get my name out there, successfully, without a big budget! Let me know what works for you!