Small business owners often feel like the odds are stacked up against them and like they can’t catch up with larger corporations. 

But in actuality, these local brands are holding their own, as 46% of consumers said they were more likely to shop from a small business.

Here, media update’s Taylor Goodman unpacks four things consumers want from small businesses.

So, let’s get into it:

1. Personalisation

Do you remember feeling excited when you found a keychain with your name on it at the gift shop? Or the disappointment you felt when your name wasn’t there? Well, this is personalised marketing at work.

This strategy is significantly effective as it nurtures the consumer-brand relationship, allowing small businesses to form deeper, more authentic relations. After all, 45% of buyers shop from upcoming brands for a more personalised service.

Easily the most charming thing about supporting a small business is the personal connection it has with its clientele. 

For this reason, if you want to build a loyal following, why not tailor your brand’s messaging to your target audience’s wants and needs? 

In essence, this is what personalisation is — zeroing in on your audience’s interests and needs and using this information to engage with them on a more human level

If you are looking for ways to add a personal touch to your marketing, try:
  • including the consumer’s name in any email campaigns you send out
  • adding personal language that speaks to how your audience is feeling. For example, you could say ‘Feeling anxious? We can help you manage stress here.’
  • segmenting your audience according to their interests and sending them specific promotions that are relevant to what they want to see. 

2. Excellent customer service

It is no secret that consumers have a ton of options when it comes to the brands at their disposal.

For this reason, you need to find your unique selling point; and what better way to leave a lasting impression than by providing excellent service? 

Now, you may be wondering what constitutes ‘excellent’ customer service in the first place? Well, it is essentially building a positive relationship with your consumer base by being helpful, positive and kind. 

As a small business, making a positive, lasting impression on your clientele is important because this will help build brand awareness. As the word spreads about how you're excellent to work with, you’ll begin to form a loyal following. 

You can provide outstanding customer service by understanding your audience’s needs and expectations and meeting them with a smile on your face. 

Additionally, a small business should also take any feedback and criticism from their audience to continuously improve their customer service. 

3. A solid online presence

In the digital age, all businesses must have a presence online. It is no longer enough to simply have a web page for your brand — you need to be active on social media as well.

Why? Mainly because it makes your service more accessible. Even if your brick-and-mortar store is closed, your potential customer can find out more, 24 / 7 on your website, Instagram page or Twitter profile.  

Secondly, marketing your brand on social media is more subtle. You can sell your brand by producing excellent social content that will inform the customer without being too ‘in-your-face’. 

Lastly, a strong social presence helps to build a loyal client base. As you begin to share content regularly, engage with your followers and share positive reviews, your audience will see your brand as trustworthy

The way social media marketing works to humanise the brand through deeper engagement with their following helps build a stronger brand image.

4. Ethical business practices

As smaller businesses are — well, smaller —, they have less of a negative effect on the environment than larger corporations. 

This is due to these up-and-comers usually being localised and not needing to transport huge amounts of goods daily via delivery trucks. For this reason, these smaller brands are responsible for less pollution. 

Small businesses must be eco-friendly because more customers are thinking about the environment when shopping. Additionally, buyers are more willing to pay more for green products. 

The brand mustn’t just be environmentally responsible but also ethical in all areas, such as job creation and uplifting local communities. These local brands must focus on enriching their community to build a positive reputation. 

What do you look for in the small businesses you support? Let us know in the comment section below.

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Do you want to know how to transform your brand into a household name? Then be sure to check out these Five ways to improve brand loyalty.
*Image courtesy of Vecteezy