Branding not simply about a visual icon connected to your company. It is sad that so many graphic design and advertising firms still adhere to the old ideas of branding, insisting that the logo is the brand and all that matters. I have worked in marketing long enough to recognize a growing trend toward branding that is comprehensive and not just limited to a visual logo stuck to the bottom of a flier.
The internet has changed how and where we do business and with that how we market to our potential clients. Gone are the days of using print media as a primary source of advertising. That is not to say there is no place for it but as the internet has opened a truly global market it take more than an advertisement in a local paper to build your brand.
Internet shoppers make decisions in seconds and that can determine your success, or failure. While a visually appealing logo, or brand, can draw in your visitors, it can also send them away in confusion. Developing the right media-mix is a vital component to help ensure your brand is not only visually appealing, but recognized and captivating as well. When a prospect sees your logo online, they should be able to instantly associate it with you, your company, your product or service, your customer loyalty, and so on.
Your logo, or your brand, must reflect you and your business. Within seconds a potential client should be able to discover what it is you have to offer and give the impression that you know what you are doing and providing services that they want to choose you to deliver. High visibility across several media types and platforms can help achieve the recognition you desire and the traffic you need.
However, there is much more involved in branding than good visuals. Particularly in this exploding era of web 2.0. creating a powerful web presence is a vital ingredient of your branding strategy. Develop the right media mix along-side the traditional marketing and branding strategies and you will hold the key to building a powerful brand.
A good media mix should include:
Creative visual design solutions means using color and content as well as your website to promote your brand and attract customers while generating sales. Incorporating the same colors across all your media helps to solidify an association with your brand. What drink to you think of when you see red? Blue? Color association can help you get your brand noticed.
Web development is a no-brainer. A few years ago I creating websites for local businesses. One potential client told me that he thought the web wouldn’t last. That was around 1991. Today his business is closed, and here I sit. He could not compete with other similar businesses that embraced the internet. Hopefully that mentality has gone the way of the 8-track tape, However,if you still don’t think you need a website to compete in today’s market, well, good luck, I hope it works out for you.
Viral marketing is simply like it sounds. As with a virus that spreads almost uncontrollably, viral marketing produces recognizable brands. Use of social networking, link-backs, podcasting, blogs, forums, and other online resources will play a vital role in getting you and your brand to the top-level of the search engines.
Television commercials and print media advertising, while thought of by many as too traditional, can play a vital part in your campaign. Take a little time and look at that flier you got in the mail, those business cards, that television show or commercial. These traditional media all have a commonality, a website URL and email address.
Promotional films such as infomercials can play an important and necessary part in gaining recognition for your brand. Try using your video at a kiosk in a mall to drive traffic to your business website, for example.
Corporate video production when used in conjunction with other advertising promotions can help further solidify your brand. The internet is evolving. People want more visual and video content. Use this to your advantage.
Direct marketing such as emails or paper and ink advertisements can also impact your brand. You would not want your brand associated with spam, would you. Likewise, you do not want that paper and ink flier ending up in the trash before it is even read. Careful planning can provide good results with direct marketing. Newspaper readership is on the decline but it can still be a good source for inexpensive advertising. Magazine ads have been proven to pull traffic. if your product or service lends itself to such venues, you owe it to yourself to utilize them.
Outdoor advertising works. If you have an easy to recognize brand you can use it in outdoor advertising such as billboards. Keep it simple and you may suddenly realize an increase in traffic almost overnight.Once your logo is gaining recognition, placing it on billboards and other signage can help to solidify the brand as well as drive traffic to your website. This creates a cycle and promotes word-of-mouth referrals, the best advertising of all.
Some advertising businesses have begun to recognize the need for developing creative design solutions for their clients that involve critical and systematic thinking. By understanding the needs and priorities of your customers, these agencies are in a unique a position to fully utilize all the available media to promote you and solidify your brand.
So if you want to develop a brand that insures customer loyalty, you must develop a complete package. Keep your focus on the customer as the prime objective. Organize your marketing around the way people of today discover and purchase products and services. This means using paper and ink as well as real-world visuals in addition to your multi-media internet marketing efforts to build your brand.
For over 20 years I have been working and playing online. I am an internet marketer, and certified teacher and as such I find that people are constantly asking how to do ____.