Branding is all about identifying your products and services with ‘a name, logo, slogan, and/or design scheme. A brand often includes a logo, fonts, color schemes, symbols, and sound, which may be developed to represent implicit values, ideas, and even personality’ (Wikipedia).
||Band Aid is an example of a brand that has become public domain, due to the sheer popularity of its name – we generally use the words ‘Band Aid’ to describe any form of adhesive, sterile dressing for wounds – Band Aid is now one of the most recognizable brands in the world!
Building your brand will create credibility, implies trustworthiness, and should make your business name synonymous with the product or service that you sell. Here are just a few tips to building your brand online:
Your branding, and design, should be consistent – online and offline! Make sure people will recognise you as the same company, whether they visit your blog, or happen to see your television advertisement – in other words make sure your online branding efforts reflect your offline branding in all aspects.
Choose your domain name very carefully! Your domain name is the name of your e-commerce store, or website, and can very effectively reflect your brand. If your company name is not available as a domain name then select a name that is easy to remember (and spell), and if possible highlight the type of product or service you provide.
Advertise your online brand offline – encourage visitors to visit your website with clever advertising, competitions, online registration for new product updates and so on.
2. Social Networking
Create a profile on every major social network from MySpace and Facebook to YouTube and Twitter. Your profile is a clever way to share essential information about you, and your company. Many sites now have customizable profiles that enable you to display a logo, colors and fonts that reflect your brand.
Network and improve your brand visibility. Get out and meet people online, join chats and groups, offer advice and answer questions, however stick to subjects and groups that are relevant to your brand, and the products or services that your offer.
Stickiness Keep people coming back to your profile, make sure they remember your brand. Make sure you keep your profiles updated, add photos or videos, competitions, tools or widgets. The more interesting your profiles, the more likely people are to come back repeatedly!
Blogging is an excellent way to connect with both current and potential customers and clients, building trust and an affiliation with your brand. Problogger has just done a great article on blogging to ‘sell yourself’ and your brand, rather than to sell your products or services.
Your online marketing efforts should carry a message that is consistent with your brand, and should be displayed on sites relevant to your area of business. If you are building a trustworthy, reliable brand image then select reputable, credible websites to display your branding message or adverts.
Apply these tips to your own business to build your online brand. To help you out further, check out the brands below and ask yourself – what have they done to make their brands synonymous with the products or services they offer? Good luck!