When it comes to growing your business, building your brand is probably one of the most important steps to success. Building your brand will help you not only to establish your organization as recognizable, but also allows you to create guidelines and a mission for your organization that can be easily shared with any new employees or members. A common misconception about building your brand is that it’s a costly process, but believe it or not even if you don’t have a large disposable income you can still build a strong brand. In fact, you can build your brand without breaking the bank and here are just a few ways.

Killer Customer Service

Let’s face it even if you’re on top of most things, some things can happen that are beyond your control and lead to a negative experience for your customers. This kind of issue could lead to negative reviews online or loss of customers – or it could give you the chance to create an excellent customer service experience. People won’t tell their friends if things went just as expected when they purchased something online. However, if something goes wrong with their order and your brand goes above and beyond to make sure that they come back as a customer that’s something you’ll want to share with others. Take the time to really hear what your customers are saying and do everything you can to make their experience with your brand something they’ll want to share with friends and continue to return to.

Take Advantage of Free Tools

We live in an era where most everyone in the world is connected via the internet. It’s easier than ever to reach “your audience” whomever they may be. You can build a strong brand through use of social media, connect with your audience, and allow them to interact with your organization. When using social media, you can also take advantage of free tools like HootSuite to organize your posts and schedule them ahead of time. HootSuite, Later.com, and other social media organizational interfaces allow you to have all of your accounts in one place and you can even share posts across them. Google Alerts is another free account that will allow you to stay on top of your brand. You can setup Alerts for your brand and keep yourself in the conversation anytime your organization is mentioned.

Collaborate

A collaboration allows two similarly focused brands that may have different audiences the opportunity to grow their audience and expand their brand. It’s something that those in the fashion industry know well, but it’s also an option for other types of businesses as well. Maybe your brand is something that has a lot of activity in the blogosphere, this could create an opportunity to work with bloggers and gain access to their audience. Both sides of the collaboration will bring fresh ideas to the table, and both brands will learn from each other and maybe even about themselves along the way. Just be sure to collaborate with a brand that allows you to maintain your integrity while you’re getting more exposure.

Be Elusive and Exclusive

            Sometimes all it takes to get some notice and attract attention is to fly a little under the radar. When Pinterest first launched, you could only join if you received an invite from an existing member and people everywhere were clamoring for an invite just to see what exactly the commotion was all about. This led them to reach 10 million users faster than any site had before. Create something exclusive with your brand that will drum up interest, or maybe as you grow offer something special to those who have been with your brand for a certain length of time. Keep in mind that people love being known as early adopters and the first to know about whatever is buzzing, especially in the startup community and playing it coy can build some of that buzz.

Use Your Resources

While this may sound like another way of telling you to take advantage of free tools, instead think of these resources as your employees. Each member of your team has skills and interested beyond their work, and these skills can be put to use in the world of marketing. Allow your team to think outside the box and maybe they will come up with something you hadn’t ever even considered. Utilizing your team is a free way to build your brand and could lead to some great new ideas.

Building your brand may seem like a daunting task, especially if you’re just getting started, but it will pay off in the end. A strong brand can set you apart from your competitors and grow your organization in ways you could have never imagined and you can achieve that without blowing your budget. Take advantage of any free or low-cost opportunities and nurture your brand as it grows into a success.