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Tips for building brand recognition without spending much money – Part 4 of 4

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Momentum builds

When you first start your business the small things you do will seem frivolous, it will seem like you aren’t getting any traction, but brand awareness takes time. A person might not necessarily try your product the first time they see it, but if they see it repeatedly, they will become more likely to try your product.

We are now at the point where we a lot of people say, “Oh I have seen these before, I have been wanting to try them.” We hear it at demos, and we see it in conversations on Twitter. Repeated brand exposure is the key to building momentum, and you don’t need millions of dollars to spend on TV commercials to accomplish that.

Good ol’ grass roots marketing is far more powerful than you think. It just takes a bit longer to achieve national exposure, than blasting a commercial over multiple television networks, but even in today’s age with Tivo, commercials are getting overlooked. Plus, word of mouth, personal recommendations are going to have far more value than a print ad or television spot.

Build and army (Social Media, continued)

Over time we have built relationships with individuals through social media; many of them athletes, some health nuts, and a few musicians. In exchange for them getting free product from us, they shout from the rooftops how much they love our stuff. Through that messaging we have gained lots of loyal supporters that not only purchase our product from us, but also help us spread the word of how much they love Bearded Brothers bars.

Bearded Brothers has an army of sorts, defending and touting our name on social networks like Twitter and Instagram. It’s one of many ways people discover our products: various health and fitness related blogs is another. We achieve this in two ways. The pro-active way of achieving this is recruiting brand “ambassadors” that we send free product to in exchange for mentions on social medial, and in personal life. These are not paid sponsorships, they are real people that love our product, and would likely still be doing the same thing, even if we didn’t send them free stuff.

The second way to build an army is passively…let the recruits come to you. Just being present on social media networks gives people the opportunity to toot their praises to the masses about your product or service, especially if you are active and engaging on those networks. It’s also important that every single person that sends you a praise gets replied to (same is true with criticisms). This lets them know you are listening and that you care.


Once the train starts picking up steam, it’s hard to stop. There have been days recently I actually worry about how much momentum we are picking up. Just yesterday I opened up Instagram to see Bearded Brothers tagged in an image taken out of a page of Details magazine that featured our tasty Mighty Maca Chocolate bar. It just goes to show that consistent hard work will pay of exponentially.

Speaking of Twitter and Instagram, you can follow myself, and Bearded Brothers on the following accounts:
Twitter: @calebsimpson
Instagram: @calebsimpson
Twitter: @BeardedBros
Instagram: @BeardedBros

Part 1 of 4 (Social Media, Facebook)
Part 2 of 4 (Tell your story)
Part 3 of 4 (Think like a drug dealer)

Tips for building brand recognition without spending much money – part 2 of 4

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In part one of this four part series we talked about using social media as free, or low cost marketing. It’s a great way to get your message out there, but in order for it to work, it has to be the right message.

Tell your story

Bearded Brothers, Chris and Caleb.

Bearded Brothers, Chris and Caleb.

At Bearded Brothers we are constantly hearing, you have such a great story. That story is, “We’re just two brothers who are passionate about the outdoors, staying fit, and especially about healthy organic foods. We love that last one so much, we started an awesome snackfood company. Our bars are, raw, vegan, gluten and soy free, made with organic ingredients, and crafted in hot and sunny Austin, Texas. Oh, and everything else we make is pretty dang delicious, too.”

Make your story the focal point of your message to customers. People like to feel connected with the brands they support. That is largely why we went with the name, Bearded Brothers. Our wives were the geniuses that came up with the idea. I actually didn’t like it at first. But the more I thought about it the more I LOVED it. I realized it conveyed the family aspect of the business. It was a name that people could connect with, bearded or not.

This is the story we tell people all the time when they ask us how we got started. We tell it to media, we tell it to friends, and to buyers of grocery stores. We are literally just two average guys that were not satisfied with the current energy bars on the market, so we decided to solve that problem.

We also seek to make our social media content very relatable. We occasionally post photos of our family, and share about what we are doing on the weekend. We aren’t just a business; we are people and seek to connect with others. So, think small, and tell your story – keep it authentic.

Own your brand

I don’t mean own it in the sense of register a DBA or LLC. I mean don’t be ashamed of your brand and what you stand for. We are constantly getting grief about our “small” bars and the high price point, yet we have changed our price very little since we have started because we know the bars we are providing are superior to anything else on the market. When you buy our bars you are paying for 99-100% organic ingredients. Very few bars on the market can make that claim.

Bearded Brothers could easily make compromises and source half of our ingredients from non-organic sources that would still be non-GMO. But we have decided we want to support organic farming, see the industry grow, and eat organic foods ourselves. Thus, we don’t compromise; it’s part of who we are.

In some ways, you ARE your brand. Chris and I are both healthy minded individuals, so we practice what we preach. The Bearded Brothers brand embraces an active lifestyle and healthy eating, and we encourage others to do the same through our social media messages. Being real and genuine is part of who we are, and the brand is merely an extension of our real selves.


Regardless of what product or service you are offering it’s important to be genuine, to tell your story, and to be true to the reasons you started the business. People love authenticity, so let it show in how you engage with your customers. For part 3 of 4 I will talk about why you should think like a drug dealer when it comes to letting people try your product.

Part 1 of 4 (Social Media)
Part 3 of 4 (Think like a drug dealer)
Part 4 of 4 (Momentum builds, using Twitter to build a brand army)