Branding 101

27th April, 2016 by

3 essential tips for building your brand online.

Creating a strong brand is vital for all businesses, both online and off. It’s becoming increasingly important, however, for brands who do business over the internet to have their brand identity nailed down, and to get it right. Because it’s such a flooded marketplace online, businesses can struggle to be noticed within a sea of similar organisations.

So how do you make sure your brand stands out?

Before you go to market it’s essential for your business to form its brand DNA. This will constitute who your brand is and what it’s all about; your brand’s personality, from its social concerns to its sense of humour. Today’s buyers are more concerned than ever about a business’s sense of social responsibility, and are less bothered about getting something for a rock bottom price. This has been proven by research into Generation Z, the up-and-coming consumers of today and tomorrow who have grown up entirely on the internet and are likely to be your primary target market if you’re looking to make waves in the land of ecommerce.

There are three key parts to your branding task:

Get to know your audience

Before you can decide on just what makes your brand unique and appealing, you need to get up close and personal with the audience you’re facing. Identifying and understanding your customers goes a long way towards engaging with them and ensuring they do business with you. Knowing your customers also means they’ll do business with you and they’ll come back for more, bringing their associates along with them. Never underestimate the power of word-of-mouth recommendations.

Do your homework on just who is interested in your brand. If you’re not yet actively trading, take a look at a business who offers a product or service which is similar to yours, and gather as much data on their customers as possible. This will give you an insight into who is interested in your product, and from there you can begin building a persona which will engage your audience.

Create brand ambassadors

Whilst knowing your audience is certainly key to branding success, so is knowing your internal audience: your brand ambassadors. Even if your business is small and you only have a handful of employees, each of those people has the potential to make a huge difference to your brand by spreading the word. Make sure your employees know your product and your brand inside out, and ensure that they’re completely happy with it. If they’re dissatisfied with the way your business works, or if they think your product or service isn’t satisfactory in any way, they’re less likely to fully get behind your brand. They’ll be less likely to recommend you to their own contemporaries, and less likely to defend your brand reputation when required.

Nurture your workforce, and know that when they’re fully happy with your brand and product it’s ready to go.

Have a story

Branding in the 21st century is all about the story. Where did your business come from? What does it stand for? These questions are vital in understanding your brand DNA, and engaging with the customers who will take your business from the small time to the world stage. Knowing and believing in your own story is important; there’s a wealth of information about all businesses online nowadays, and you don’t want to get caught out for telling lies about your corporate social responsibility. Get involved in local projects and give back to your community; it’s all a positive for your brand personality.

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