According to research by Oxford Economics, the private business sector comprises 4.8 million family-run businesses, which are essential to the British economy. Today, some of the most popular family-owned companies in the UK, like JCB, Dyson, and Specsavers, are still contributing to industries due to their strength, initiative, ability to take risks and noticeable branding.
Like all businesses, branding plays a considerable part in your family business because this is what increases your brand’s visibility, credibility, likeability, trustworthiness, customer retention and more. All of this is needed to succeed in a market populated with larger competitors, so for family-run businesses to survive, they must have an effective branding strategy to set themselves apart.
But this begs the question, how do you bring the family-run business brand to life? To make this easier, we’ve created this article outlining several ways your family owned business can portray a strong brand image. From origin stories and naming to typography and visual elements like private number plates, continue reading to find out more.
Tell Your Story
From retail giants like Walmart to healthcare corporations like Specsavers, every family-run business has an origin story. In order to tell an effective story to grow your family brand, you will need to work hard to humanise your business. You should aim to make it easy for your potential customers to connect to the brand. If you manage to do this right, then you will make your business achieve more brand crediblility, and potentially increase customer loyalty.
All the above is vital for success since most consumers prefer to deal with other people instead of an organisation. So, if you haven’t already, it is essential that you include your origin story in your branding strategy. Ensure that you highlight key moments, the founding story, timeline, don’t lose sight of your audience, include your family values, corporate values, and be as authentically you as possible.
Once you’ve jotted down all the above, you’ll have to work on condensing the whole story into a digestible version that you can feature on your website, marketing material, and all your social media channels so that you can establish a connection between your family values and your target demographic.
Use Visual Aids
Another way that you can build a brand for your family-run business is by using visual aids like images, videos, infographics, memes, and much more. Although text-based content will always be a significant part of marketing, for family-run businesses to stand out from their competitors, they must use visual aids.
Ultimately, our brains process visual information 60,000 times faster than text, so people are more likely to engage with visual content instead of text content. Visual content could range from posters and graphs to models and videos; it could even include out-of-office marketing like handing out business cards or driving a company van with a private number plate.
The latter is an excellent way of promoting your brand, especially if your family-run business operates in a small community since it’s recognisable, and brand awareness can be created from driving the vehicle. If the car is in motion or stationary, passers-by won’t be able to miss your company car’s private number plate. Enhancing your public profile will help to develop your brand.
Using independent private number plate specialists like Registration Transfers, businesses can turn their vehicles into a visual branding aid. You could fashion your plate into your brand’s name or initials, or if you are stuck for inspiration, you could use their themed searches. Consider visiting their website for more information and see how their services could help your family-run business brand today.
Give Back To Your Community
Most family-run businesses rely on their community for support and loyalty; therefore, they must show appreciation by giving something back to their community. Rolling up your sleeves and getting stuck into community work is one of the best ways to contribute and show your personal and professional values.
Fortunately, there are various ways that family-run businesses can give back to their community, from volunteering at community events like bonfires, car boot sales etc. and hosting events. However, only get involved in events that align with your professional and personal values, and don’t feel scared to let others know when you do.
Yet, at the same time, you don’t want to make it seem like you’re bragging, so don’t overdo it. One of the most effective ways is using your business’s social media channels, which allow you to check in at community events, share event updates, post photos, and engage with community members who didn’t make it to the event. But it’s not the only way you can use social media to establish and strengthen your image…
Take Advantage of Social Media
Family-run businesses must use social media to engage with their customers and establish their brands in today’s digital world. With an average of 57.6 million Britons actively using social media daily, businesses that don’t take advantage of what social media has to offer severely affect the number of potential customers their business reaches and their marketing capabilities.
To ensure that your family business doesn’t suffer the same fate, it is vital that your business can build a brand image through social media by determining which social media channels you will use to represent your family business, and which markets you want to target through them.
Start with two or three channels, like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, so you can start building up an audience by posting regularly and using a unique tone of voice. Once you’ve built up a decent following, you could consider opening other social media accounts your existing followers can follow.
For instance, if you’re brand decides only to use Facebook, Instagram and TikTok to build your social media brand, this gives customers the connotation that your brand is forward-thinking, that it can grow with the times, its target demographic is millennials/Gen-Z etc. Ultimately, you want people to know what your company is about by looking at a few social media posts, and if they get it right the first time, you’ve hit the nail on the head.
Even if you’ve always resolved to remain a family-run business, there comes a time when you may need to broaden your horizons and onboard staff members that aren’t family and, as a result, might not be as invested in the business as you might like. In this case, you’ll need to offer proper training to ensure that they understand your brand’s story, aims, and goals so that they can be the face of it.
No matter what you do behind the scenes, your employees are one of the most significant contributors to your brand identity. It only takes one negative interaction between a customer and one of them to sour this image, which is why it’s vital to outline to new employees how your business expects them to act and deal with customers.
Fortunately, there are many ways that family-run businesses can train their employees to embody their personal and professional values and core beliefs, from attending outsourced training classes and getting them to shadow senior staff members to giving them an induction within their first week of employment and providing e-learning opportunities for them.
Not only does adequate staff training boast tremendous results for a family-run business’s image, but it also increases employee engagement, improves customer satisfaction, increases the company’s bottom line, reduces staff turnover/absenteeism, etc., which makes staff training well worth it in the end.