When it comes to the outdoor industry, your brand plays a vital role in your long term recognition and overall success.  In fact, it is one of the most intangible assets that your company will possess.

It is not the ship so much as the skillful sailing that assures the prosperous voyage.
– George William Curtis

Outdoor marine related consumers you seek to serve are looking for products or services that will get them out on their next marine adventure. They don’t want to waste time on the mainland, they want to get out on the water. It’s your job to be brand strong and easy to find.

Build Your Best Brand

The plan doesn’t need to be painful.  Successful brand planning happens best when you are relaxed and fresh. Plan your strategy when you can put yourself in your customer’s deck shoes. Start with building on these four simple elements to build your best brand.

The Logo for Your Boating Company

Simply stated, use the two second rule.  Put your logo on display and glance at it for two seconds. The goal is to have an impression that sticks in the mind of your clients.

In order to gain a fair and balanced assessment, ask a variety of people to give you honest feedback. Start with someone not familiar with your brand.

Alternatively, ask your team for their opinion. After getting a glance, ask if their impression of your logo memorable.  What do they recall?  Can they describe the content and logo impression?  If their recollection was spot on, your logo is solid and you can focus on the second step.

If the feedback points to a weak logo, remember, it’s never too late to tidy up!

A Great Website Makes ALL the Difference

Focus on being the company that can be viewed from the boat, the marina, the living room and the office in a manner that compliments your business.

It’s safe to assume many of the new customers are using smart phones, computers and searching online to connect with their social media, web access, online services and other marketing communication.

Your untapped market of customers are savvier and more connected that ever before.

Like it or not, personal preference or not, the use of social media messaging, blogging and of course, website marketing.

Asking for your employees and family to review your website and give you feedback on a regular basis is a good exercise and offers valuable perspectives. Beware of depending on an unqualified developer to build your website.  This can enter your business into dangerous waters. Bottom line, the web is an ever changing world. Depend on an expert to develop a responsive website and guide you to strengthen your brand.

Marine Industry Brochures and Sales Materials

When you are striving to build a strong brand, remember that a brand should be similar from every perspective. This includes the development of a brochure that compliments your website, which compliments your business card and anything else that represents your company.

Your approach to branding can easily start at a grassroots level. Offering free branded lip balm, water bottles, or even microfiber cloths for cleaning sunglasses will keep your brand visible, and are useful to anyone in the outdoors. It never hurts to also have stickers with your logo brand also available for the taking. Customers love presents!

Be a Social Butterfly

You might be thinking you are excluded from Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, but the truth is, your competition is likely to be active and it isn’t as painful as you might think. Setting up an account will boost your brand in ways that can build a whole new stream of customers.

Simple fun is the best and easiest way to begin your social messaging. Consider when a customer has communicated to you that the service was stellar or you are now offering a new product, or when your top sales person is recognized in the community, it is all social news that your customers might enjoy. Best of all, their friends will then learn that you are their business of choice!

Staying the Expert in Your Business

Remember, just because someone watched a YouTube video of proper techniques to landing a yacht in the marina doesn’t make them captain of a ship. Same applies to successful marketing. Take the time to meet with experts in outdoor marketing and branding. Expect guidance and to be inspired. It’s important to give your perspective on what your company represents, new customer ideas, and the demographics of clients you currently serve.

The marketing expert should already know a bit about your company through their web research. Ultimately, if the dialogue from your meeting doesn’t inspire you, move to another expert until you are confident that you jive together. Think of this as a partnership. The initial meeting should take as much time as a cup of coffee, so jump on it!

Ready, Set, Brand!

By taking action with your outdoor niche brand, you will gain the residual effects and have fun too!

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