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What’s your “Shtick” and How Do Customers Know?

As a small business owner you may think there are certain things your business does well.  You know – what’s your “shtick” – in other words, what do you want to be known for?


This month’s small business tip is about “integrated marketing” –how to build your brand with a consistent message across all of the marketing channels you use.  If your customers understand what you do well and agree, you can increase the chances of them returning to buy your product or use your service, and telling others about you!


Small business owners want the trust of their customers, but they often don’t know how to communicate what they do well.  So how do you do it? You integrate what you want to communicate in every promotion of your business.


Think about your company’s slogan.  Oh, you don’t have one? Then what are you communicating?  If you don’t know what you want to be known for, you are asking customers to draw their own conclusions. Do you know what those conclusions are?  Are they consistent conclusions?


If you remember “The Breakfast of Champions,” you are recalling one of the most effective integrated product advertising campaigns in history.  The breakfast cereal whose box portrayed pictures of national sports figures on each and every box, and in each and every promotion, was wildly popular, especially with youngsters who want to grow up to be strong and successful athletes.  The company was one of the first to integrate their “brand” into every type of communication available during their era.


Today, there are even more venues by which to promote your product or service.  Just think about a few.  Are you are using them?


For instance, you want to be known for your company’s prompt, courteous and reasonably priced service.   When you advertise, is that your slogan?  Is it in every television, radio, print, billboard or other type of advertising that you do?  If your company is “Prompt, Courteous and Reasonably Priced,” do you say those same words over and over?


When you,  personally, or your sales people attend events or visit customers, do you always say that your company is “Prompt, Courteous and Reasonably Priced?”  Is that part of your elevator speech at networking events?


Is that slogan printed below your company name in your advertising? Is it on your sales promotion material?  Is it prominent on your website?  Do you reinforce it on social networks like Twitter, Facebook or Linked In?  Is it on your business cards?  Your business vehicle?  It doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.


As a small business, you have limited time, space and resources to promote your product or service.  So, you should think about putting to good use what you do have control of.   There are tips in marketing on the SBA.GOV website under starting and managing your business at Make sure you are known for your best “schtick” by putting it forward through an integrated (affordable) marketing plan!

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About Patricia Brown-Dixon

Patricia Brown‐Dixon was named Regional Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Region VII Office by SBA Administrator Karen Mills in January of 2011 as a Schedule C appointee of President Barack Obama. Previously Ms. Brown‐Dixon served in the federal government by helping small business owners as the Director of the Office of Business and…