The art of subtly introducing your brand

Creating informative infographics is a subtle but effective way to highlight your small business online.

By Henry Brown

Businesses like to be loud. They want to shout the fact that they have something to sell from the rafters, and they’re not afraid of people hearing. Many firms have built tremendous success with advertising strategies like this, but, as it turns out, being brash isn’t always the best strategy or the only option. There are subtle ways of introducing your brand too.

That being said, history is full of example of companies that did very well by being loud. Coca-Cola never shied away from the limelight, and its brand is so successful that its name is the default for any cola drink.

But, of course, if you run a small business, and you don’t have a globally recognized brand or a huge marketing budget, you have to use all of the marketing tools at your disposal, including seldom-discussed subtle methods of selling your company.

[amazon_link asins=’0452265193′ template=’ProductAd’ store=’succeedingi0d-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’713ff462-ebfd-11e8-967a-a76d8060c34a’]Use branded products

Companies, especially those in hospitality, love to brand the items that customers use. It helps to create a sense of continuity, reminding customers that they are in a unique place and not just another hotel. If customers interact with your company in any way, look for opportunities to introduce your branding to the objects around them. Legal firms, for instance, will often hand customers pens with their logo on them. Consulting practices and accounting firms do the same, handing out branded pens, note pads or other useful items. Even independent coffee shops have hopped on the bandwagon, selling own-brand mugs and cups, just like the chains.

Build infographics

The relationship between customers and brands is complicated. It’s rarely a matter of mere familiarity: it’s often a lot more complicated than that and built on several essential pillars.

One of those pillars is undoubtedly the brand’s usefulness. But how can you, as a small business owner, be subtly useful to your potential customers? Infographics are an excellent tool for brand building because they give customers an exciting way to absorb new information. Rather than scrolling through yet another blog post – a wall of text without any specific company branding – infographics provide the graphical medium to be visually impactful. The best infographics not only offer an exciting way to absorb information on a topic but also clearly reflect the brand of the company.

[amazon_link asins=’B008DZ59TQ’ template=’ProductAd’ store=’succeedingi0d-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’7e8c5848-ebfd-11e8-ba9f-11704450bfca’]Hand out your own bumper stickers

If you’re regularly stuck in traffic, you’ll notice that many drivers put stickers in their back windows. Often, these are for humorous effect or to warn other drivers that there’s a “baby on board.” But occasionally you see branded bumper stickers advertising a particular company.

Stickers are a fun and subtle way to promote your business. Getting people to put them on the back of their cars is effectively a form of free advertising. What’s more, because they tend to be quite rare, they stick out more, making them visible to traffic pulled up behind.

Brand your electronics

If you take your laptop and phone with you everywhere you go, then you could be missing out on an opportunity to use these objects to promote your business. Own-branded laptops and phones are unusual and quickly catch the attention of the people you’re working with. Phone chargers with your logo can also help if you want to try something a little cheaper.

Sponsor a local club

Running a local business successfully often depends on getting everybody in your community involved in some way. But what’s the best way to do this? People in the local area want to know that your business genuinely cares about their wellbeing. That’s why many small business leaders and solopreneurs sponsor local clubs: they want to be seen as playing an active role in community life. In return, sponsors have access to club members for advertising and marketing messages.

Develop a magnetic personality

Branding doesn’t always have to be deadly serious – or even particularly consistent. What matters ultimately is engagement. But there’s a problem: most brands never recognize that to be successful, they need to do something a little bit zany and out of the box.

Take the fast-food chain Wendy’s, for instance. The burger joint, famous for its square patties and triple-decker sandwiches, has found a niche for itself on Twitter as the joker of the fast food industry. It regularly quips about all sorts of things, subtly promoting itself as a fun place to be.

[amazon_link asins=’1119114098′ template=’ProductAd’ store=’succeedingi0d-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’963b9397-ebfd-11e8-aeac-9f3c97adfb12′]Get influencers to do your work for you

Influencers have enormously helped Tesla. Teslarati, for instance, is a blogger who has helped get the news out about the company for several years and has now built a substantial fan base. If possible, you would like to emulate this by connecting with your own network of influencers.


Henry Brown is an online marketing executive. When he isn’t talking shop, he’s roaming the streets of London, uncovering the extra-ordinary in the ordinary.

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