Online branding seems to be one of those trendy marketing catch phrases that many people reference but perhaps not all people truly understand. Additionally, different people and businesses may have different ideas about what constitutes online branding or why it is important (or not).
What is branding?
Whether online or otherwise, branding should be thought of as a way of telling your customers—and prospects—what they should think about you. When you take control in this way and tell people how to view your company, you put yourself in the driver’s seat. This proactive approach is always more powerful than the passive, reactive option.
Why the emphasis on online branding specifically?
Branding has been around for a long time, but a big focus today is how to define yourself to an online consumer base. Implementing a comprehensive online branding strategy allows you to:
• Be in control - A robust online branding strategy puts you in charge of your identity rather than letting your customers or competitors define you. For most businesses today, the Internet is where your customers and competitors are. The ease with which they can post reviews or comments about you in any number of forums can all too easily become your identity if you do not take an active role in developing it yourself. Even if others’ comments about your company are positive, they may still not be exactly what you want to broadcast as your primary image to the world.
• Separate yourself from the competition - This is important for any business, but if your products or services could be considered commodities or are essentially similar to your competitors, you need a way to stand out from them and tell people why they should choose you versus the other guys.
• Send a consistent message to the world - Ensuring consistency in your brand and message to your audiences is of extreme importance in marketing. Confusing your customers or potential customers about who or what you offer is one of the fastest ways to send them to your competition.
Online branding Success Stories
Many of today’s most successful companies take full advantage of the opportunities offered through online branding. Nike, Jack in the Box, Corona, Disney, Lego and more have all reaped the benefits of promoting their brand through various online channels.
Branding can be tough for any company large or small and sometimes you may need to find a marketing company to help. One company that excels in branding is Struck, they have worked with everyone from the State of Utah's Mighty 5 to Kung Fu Panda 2 .
This is done through internet marketing campaigns that are tailored around the needs, behaviors and desires of each company’s target audience. Campaigns that revolve around responsive web design, mobile-friendly touchscreen experiences, social sharing/integration, and well placed content have the best chance of succeeding. Effective online marketing like this helps to increase exposure and strengthen a brand.
If your business competes at all in the online world, a part of your marketing effort should include clear activities focused on communicating who and what you are consistently and continually. Doing so will yield results all the way to your bottom line.