A strong, established brand decreases the risk associated with introducing new products and services. If a familiar store consistently chooses quality merchandise, you may be far more willing to try something new when it becomes available. A dedicated Costco shopper may be more willing to try a new product added to the in-house Kirkland Signature line. When Apple introduces a new device, people who trust the brand may be far more willing to purchase it. A brand with an established history of innovative, quality offerings can enhance or refine its brand with a great deal more confidence in the outcome.
Of course, Costco and Apple were not able to develop their brands overnight. It took years of hard work, lots of failures, and the willingness to not only admit those failures, but to stand up and try again. These efforts built a brand that inspired trust, and that trust now enables these brands to create new offerings. Small business owners can do the same.
Expansion: Rosen & Crantz
Expanding the capabilities of a law office requires adding new partners with new skill sets. It also includes making sure that potential and existing clients understand how those new offerings can benefit them.
Attorneys Rosen & Crantz expanded their practice, currently focused on financial management and estate planning, into business law. They began the process by reaching out to existing clients that were also small business owners, setting up meetings where they explained the new legal services and giving an overview of client-specific opportunities to each one, demonstrating that integrating services for a business owner’s personal and professional affairs could increase profitability and decrease costs.
They also held a series of workshops for local entrepreneurs to explain the benefits of segregating and protecting personal and business assets, making sure to invite their existing clients. Although those clients were not asked to provide testimonials or endorsements, their attendance provided evidence of the relationships Rosen & Crantz had already developed. In this way the firm was able to leverage the trust built over time with existing clients while demonstrating expertise in a different field and attracting a larger pool of potential customers.
Expansion: Bina’s Beauty Haus
When Bina’s Beauty Haus decided to expand into makeup consultation, Bina first went to her most dedicated customers and asked them to let her create a custom look that included both makeup and hairstyling. She also offered a free photo shoot and allowed the client-models to choose a few of their favorite pics for her website and a new point-of-sale display she wanted to install in the salon. Several of her customers agreed, and she was able to leverage the strong brand she had developed with those customers into endorsements for a new offering.