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Are you looking for a cheap and easy way to build your small business brand? If so, you are not alone. Many small businesses are on a constant lookout for ways to get their brand and logo design into the public eye without spending a ton of time and money in the process. Getting positive reviews and testimonials is one of the most effective—and most cost-effective—ways of accomplishing this.

There are several ways to get positive reviews that your business needs. Here are a few to get you started.

  1. Find existing reviews. If you aren’t already getting Google Alerts regarding your business, it is time to start. You also should do a search on several different search engines for your business name. Try Google and Twitter as a minimum. If the results are too broad, try your business name combined with the word ‘review’ or ‘complaint’. This should take you to anyplace your customers have already written about you. This will allow you to see what is already being said and which sites are most popular with your customers.
  2. Encourage reviews. Many restaurants place a small sign asking people to review them on Yelp or other sites. This is always a good idea, but first, you should make sure your business is listed at the review site of your choice. This will allow customers to post their review quickly and easily. You should also include a button on your website or social networking site that will allow customers to send you positive reviews. These can be posted on the internet or in physical locations for everyone to see.
  3. Deal with complaints. When you see a complaint about your business at a public website, consider it an opportunity to build your brand. Swallow your pride and leave a message addressing the complaint, apologizing, and offering to make it right. This will show potential customers that you are dedicated to customer service and really want for people to leave your establishment with a satisfied feeling.
  4. Avoid bribery. Don’t give people an incentive for positive reviews. Customers can sense the lack of sincerity, so these will be less effective, and they are unlikely to offer the little details that make a true review so enticing to potential customers. If you like, you can send people who left good reviews note of thanks and a small coupon, but never offer flat incentives for positive reviews. People will find out, and it will be a branding disaster.
  5. Have a brand worth talking about. Adequate service and an otherwise unremarkable experience will not be enough to drive people to their laptops. You have to give customers an experience that is unique and interesting enough to gush about.  Before you use customer reviews to build your brand, make sure your brand is professional, appropriate, and deserving of your customers’ attention. People love to have an opinion and share it with others, so a little effort in this area just might go a long way.
Mash Bonigala

Mash B. is the Founder & Creative Director of Logo Design Works. Since 1998, Mash has helped thousands of businesses express their brand messages through creative and award winning logo designs.