Coca-Cola. Kodak. Ford. McDonald’s. Sears. You’ve heard of all these top-name companies, which 24/7 Wall Street pegs as the greatest brands in American history. And they all have one essential trait in common: All were born and began to thrive way before social media was even a concept. While the Internet can help propel your own brand to global proportions, the most reputable companies never ignored the power of building a brand offline, and neither should you.
Get Print Happy
No matter how colorful or accessible online info may be, many folks still prefer to see something in print. A Pew Research Center survey shows that 89 percent of participants read at least one regular book over the past year, compared to the scant 30 percent that read even a single e-book.
Offline brand-building materials include the immutable business card and can extend to brochures, fliers and other colorful and vibrant things people can hang on the company bulletin board or their fridge. That’s right: your brand will still be visible once the computer goes off for the night. Being print-happy doesn’t have to deplete the world’s resources, either, if you opt for a business card printing service with eco-friendly practices like OvernightPrints.com.
Keep it Consistent
Just as you’d recognize a Coca-Cola business card as easily as the Coca-Cola website, you need to keep your own brand consistent whether your materials are digital or printable. One of keys to consistency is a recognizable logo, backed by a consistent tone and style in all materials and correspondence. If your website is edgy and sassy, your brochures and business card should not be stuffy and glum.
Consistency becomes easier if you first define your target market: your typical customer. Inc.com offers several tips on defining that market so you can keep everything consistent to best speak to and cater to that market. Steps can include:
- Reviewing your current customer base
- Looking at your competition
- Analyzing your product
- Picking specific targets based on demographics
Embrace the Face-to-Face
Even if your brand online has reached the crevices of far-away places, missing out on offline brand-building means you are missing on the value of face-to-face interaction. Let’s say you read about a dynamic, exciting company online for 10 minutes. Compare that to 10 minutes spent with a real-live dynamic and exciting individual representing a company. Which experience are you going to remember? The face-to-face is likely to win since putting a face to a name and having human interaction can leave a much greater impact than reading words on a screen.
Join local or industry business groups and pack your schedule with events. PersonalBrandingBlog recommends networking events, industry conferences and seminars, charity gigs and other happenings relevant to your brand’s identity. Hit all the gardening events if your company manufacturers fertilizer. Take time out for a 5K run to give your fitness brand a voice at the next charity fun run.
If no relevant events are on the horizon, create your own face-to-face opportunity by scheduling a meetup that speaks to your niche. Heading a meetup provides automatic authority in the field and leaves the valuable first impression no computer screen can ever match.