Branding is creating something that immediately identifies you or your company. Think of the golden arches of McDonald’s or the Nike ‘swoosh.’ Whenever you see either of those symbols, you know instantly who it is.
What identifies a brand can be anything. It could be a name, logo, motto, symbol, design, jingle, etc. Usually it’s a combination of many. Most people think that ‘brands’ are only for huge multi-national corporations that everybody knows, but this isn’t true at all. Everybody needs a brand, even if you’re just a tiny website or a small business.
The point of branding is to get your fans and prospects to see you as a solution to their problem. It’s about creating an image in their mind of what your company or website’s all about. Branding is part of carving out your unique niche in the market.
Why You Should Care About Branding
The main reason you should care about branding is that you’re already doing it even if you don’t realize it. Your brand is a natural extension of your reputation. As soon as you’re open for business, the branding begins. The only difference is that if you’re not actively building your brand, you’re not in control of it.
Branding is important mainly because of the recognition it creates. Something as small and insignificant as a little logo can communicate powerfully to millions of people. You can see examples of it everywhere – when you see the Starbucks symbol from down the street, you can smell the coffee brewing already.
Brands also create loyalty. Look at all of the clothing brands that have massive followings. Some brands do nothing more than print T-shirts with their name on it and people shell out lots of cash to buy them.
Your brand creates a lasting impression in the minds of your fans. This is how they remember you, and they attach all of their experiences with your company to this symbol or design.
How To Do Branding The Right Way
If you have any customers at all, you’re already branding but you may not realize it. It’s important to take control of your brand and here are some ways to do it.
Online branding is a little bit different from offline. Since the Internet is all about information, good online branding involves establishing yourself as an expert in your niche. You want people to see you as a trusted source of accurate and helpful information. Think of it this way – no matter what you’re selling online, you’ll be known for the information you provide.
You can boost your brand by offering only quality goods and services. This is especially important if you’re trying to build a long-term relationship with a subscriber list or fan base. If you try to pass off a garbage product on them even once, this can really ruin your reputation. When people see your brand, they should think, ‘This is a site that never lets me down.’
Finally, you can grow your brand online by making connections and building relationships. This is especially important with the rise of social media and social networking sites. Get out there and socialize so that you can let people see what a friendly and helpful soul you are.