There is so much competition in virtually all markets these days that we all need a way to really stand out from the crowd. Are you just one of the many or is there something that sets you apart? Have you developed your brand?
Let me take you on a “virtual” journey to your local supermarket store. You get inside and head your way towards the aisle that is full of breakfast cereals. Take a look at all those cereals. Which ones stand out? Which are the ones that immediately catch your eye?
If you are like me then you probably have a few favourites and quite possibly they are all produced by the same manufacturer – they are of a certain brand.
Think about that brand – what does it stand for? What does it mean to you when you see that brand logo for example?
You may well find yourself thinking things such as: great taste, good quality, crunchy, satisfying, low in sugar, ideal for the whole family, etc. These are the words that you associate with that brand and that is why you prefer that particular brand.
Why You Need A brand
Let’s discuss the importance of having a brand in the first place. A brand enables you to distinguish yourself from your competition and is a way for you to communicate your business and what you stand for effectively to your customer.
For a new customer your brand will play a vital role in communicating why they should do business with you rather than someone else.
For existing customers your brand will take on a deeper meaning and will back up all that your products and services provide.
What Is A Brand?
Philip Kotler a world expert in marketing has defined a brand as:
“a name, term, sign symbol or a combination of these, that identifies the maker or seller of the product”
So what is it about your business that you want people to identify you with? Here are some ideas:
- easy to understand
- personal service
- taking you by the hand
- over deliver
- concise instructions
- instant delivery
Think about your own business. What is it that you excel at? What is your unique selling point? What do you want to convey to your customer so that you are perceived as the better choice so that they decide to do business with you rather than your competitor?
If you don’t have a brand then you will get lost in the sea of other marketers online.
Website Branding Action Steps
Your web site is the ideal place to market your brand. When people visit your site what message do you want to deliver? Here are some ideas on what you can do to create your own online brand using your web site.
Of course I will assume that you have decided what your brand message is and what you stand for. If not do it now!
1. Your Name
Is your business name helping your brand definition? Is the name of your web site consistent with your message?
Colours send a message to your visitor – choose wisely! What experience do you want your visitor to have? Exhilarating or calming for example?
Make sure that you get a logo developed that will back up your brand identity. Use this logo in your header and also as a favicon. You might also consider using it in your email campaign.
4. Tag Line
How can you sum up your brand in words using a short phrase? This is your tag line. Use it on your header and as a description for your web site.
The most important part of branding is that you are consistent throughout. This means that everything must be consistent with your brand message. Your posts, products, services, communication, free gifts, etc.
Make a decision today to build a brand for your online business. Stand out from the rest! This is important if you want to have an actual business as it enables people to recognize you as an independent business with your own values and ways of doing things.
Your brand should sum up everything a customer could find valuable about your business.