Many companies are taking advantage of the power of the Internet by maintaining a web presence, engaging in social media, and using other online marketing strategies, but they often forget to incorporate their brand into these efforts. Branding is an essential component not only to a marketing campaign but to any business in general and a basic understanding of branding can go a long way helping a business succeed.
A brand is really just something, or set of things, that sets your business apart from the competition, this could be a logo, tag line, reputation, name, sound, or really anything. How you create your brand will be unique to your industry and business goals. In order to create your brand you have to truly understand your business and what makes it special, then you emphasize that uniqueness through your branding efforts. This will also require a fair amount of research. The more you can learn about your customer base the more you can tailor your branding specifically to your target market.
Once you have a thorough understanding of your business and your customers you can begin building your brand. In its simplest form branding often begins with a logo, tag line, and a voice that conveys the unique elements of your business. Logos and tag lines don’t need to be overly complicated as the best are usually simple and concise. Developing a voice can be quite a bit more challenging, but it should reflect your businesses values and showcase its’ strengths.
The real key to successful branding is integration and consistency. Your logo, tag line, and voice should become a part of your business. Every document, phone call, or other correspondence should contain your branding. Develop a set of stationary or standard documents that contain your logo and tag line. The brand really needs to become a part of every portion of your business. While these branding elements are touching every part of the business it is vital that they remain consistent. Inconsistent branding will confuse and push away customers.
Branding is an incredibly important part of any business venture and the topic goes well beyond what we have covered here. These basics should help any business develop a solid branding base that can built upon using more advanced techniques or through the services of a trusted online marketing firm.