Friday 27 September 2013

Stronger Branding: How To Brand Your Business Online

Why are Pepsi, Wal-Mart, and Apple all household names? In a word: branding. When you hear the name, you instantly have an image in your head of what the company stands for. You connect emotionally with the brand. Maybe you hate a particular company. Maybe you laugh when you hear a company's brand name. Maybe you feel an intense sense of joy. Whatever the response, the fact is that that company has gotten inside your head. Here's how to get inside the head of your customers with your own brand.

Create a Personality

When Apple founder Steve Jobs created the Macintosh, he wanted it to have a certain feel. He wanted people to think about the company a certain way. He couldn't do it alone, though. He had to hire managers, engineers, and other talent that would foster a community within the company. Eventually, his leadership and salesmanship created a defined culture and corporate personality.

Apple's personality was built from the ground up. Without a defined culture, no firm personality would have developed. Without that, there would be nothing special about the company today.

You might not like it, but its designs are loved by millions of people. Apple has created a personality of friendliness. Apple's customer service is one of the most competent and generous in the industry. The company also has earned a reputation for designing products that "just work." Jobs himself almost never wore the cliched "shirt and tie" during his later years with the company. Instead, he kept things very casual.

All of this led to the company being seen as industrial, yet "laid back." Friendly, but competent.

This is, in essence, what you must do with your company. Decide on a personality you want for your company and work to build the culture from within your organization. Hire the best talent you can afford. Eventually, the marketplace will start to see not just a corporation, but a living thing.

Create a Signature Look

Some companies have a signature look. Their products have consistency. For example, think about any major brand like McDonalds or Five Guys Burger and Fries. Think about Microsoft or Apple. Think about Coke and Pepsi. What do these companies have in common? They all have a strong brand image.

From the corporate colors to the way commercials are designed and shot to the way products are delivered to the marketplace, each company has carved out its own special look. Customers come to depend on that, and they associate the look with the brand.

In your own business, it's going to be important to flesh out a strong corporate image - a logo. Along with that, you'll want to incorporate corporate colors into your website, business cards and other marketing as well as your letterhead.

Basically, every form of communication, marketing, and product packaging (even products) needs to be doused in your brand image.

Develop Consistency In Communications

There's nothing worse than inconsistent communication. When your brand doesn't have consistency, your message is muddled. For example, let's say you have a letterhead with your logo and a few colors incorporated into the letter's design. But on your website, you have different colors - the same logo. You product packaging is a generic brown box with sans-serif font because that was the cheapest available at the printer.

This kind of message says that you're not in business for the long-haul, that you're not yet serious about your company, and that you just don't know what you're doing yet. It's hard to build trust, and relationships, with a company that hasn't got a firm sense of itself. Fix this, and half of your troubles will just disappear - overnight.

About The Author: Kurt Smith is a marketing consultant with a specialty for branding. He mainly writes for marketing blogs and websites. Visit the and see how they reach out to their customer base.

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Related articles:
Adding Real Marketing Value To Brands
Taking Your Brand Social? Follow These Steps!
What Is A Brand And Why Is It Important
Brand Awareness: The Real Purpose Of SEO

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