Organic brand building is a skill every small business should hone, and I often say Founders and Entrepreneurs should get stuck in early to understand what it takes to grow a community from the ground up. It shouldn’t be scary, although it may feel it. It really is about staying true to your brand values, stretching yourself to be open-minded and progressive in mindset and treating each lead as a long-term brand advocate you want to build a genuine relationship with. Here I share 5 steps to building organic brand building – for long-term credibility.
Focus on one thing at a time
It’s so tempting to want to over complicate your organic demand plans with over-analysing the effects something may or may not have and looking over your shoulder at the brands who are killing it on Tik Tok. Yes, educate yourself and have awareness on what you can eventually tap into but it’s crucial for yourself (and any team members you are lucky enough to have in the early days) to have a clear focus. If gaining an online community is your goal, then choose a platform and nurture it. Instagram is still an incredibly powerful tool for building your brand voice and confidently starting to hone a community. Mastering your instagram content and community-building tactics may be the best place to start, then you can start thinking about how to evolve further to new spaces.
Are you really opening the door to everyone?
In the early days of growing awareness for your business, many Founders have a clear (and niche) customer in mind. This is fine – but in reality you don’t actually 100% know who is going to be attracted to your product, and if you narrow down too niche (and worst yet only reflect yourself) then you are putting a barrier up for a consumer who may fall in love with your brand. Be open minded, reflect the world we live in today and have fun. Serious, ‘too cool’ brands have definitely got their place but are you opening the door completely – it’s something to think about!
Organic Demand planning
Take some time to plan, brainstorm and really think about the small tactics you can affordably do to build a loyal, loving community. Engage with your audience and think of small ways to surprise them, show up for them and encourage them to share your brand with others. This might be through physical product surprises, customer appreciation days, fun emails dropping into their inbox with a surprise code or a game on-site. Use your creativity often and start getting into a good rhythm where you have a strong set of levers, to pull when you need them.
Tell your Founding story or use leaders within your business to really bring a human connection to your brand building. It can feel scary but most press want to hear from the Founder initially, on the purpose of the business. Out of the brands we love, we probably have warmed to the leadership within that business because of what has been communicated around them. Pitch yourself – scary but necessary!
Get your product out there!
Whether you have a physical or digital product, it’s essential to get people using it. Budgets may be small but you have to let people see, touch and experience your product as soon as you are ready to build awareness. Whether that’s press gifting, sending a link for someone to sign up for free or including your product in a goody bag (virtual or IRL). You can’t underestimate the power of this investment. It may take some time, but remember we’re building a brand for long-term credibility – every touchpoint matters.
Where you can find me
About your author
Rachel Humphrey, is the Founder + Director of RH Brand Building. With over 15 years’ PR experience across consumer brands, Rachel has a strong skill-set in leading brand building for progressive, digital businesses. After establishing the PR and Strategic Partnerships division at Birchbox UK, she held this role for over 7 years, building the brand’s awareness and a growing loyal community.
With a background in unique and progressive business models, Rachel is able to find clear messaging for a brand’s unique stance in the market and deliver a powerful and thoughtful strategic PR plan; for long-term brand credibility that is relevant to an inclusive and diverse audience.
Rachel is also an Associate Lecturer at London College of Fashion, leading sessions on organic demand and often focusing on her expertise in beauty subscription and community building.
You can find more about Rachel and her business here.
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