Brand identity and how to be a brand online
A brand is a permanent voice or message that your company communicates to the public. A brand never changes. It should always be consistent and clear. Never back down on your statement or views. A brand should be likeable, and people can relate to and like it. Having a pleasant voice allows you to build trust and stand out with the public. People will know you, trust you, and come to you for who you are.
The brand is not just promotional. Advertising campaigns come and go, depending on what’s hot at the time. But your brand is always your brand. Your message will always be the same; your attitude towards your potential customers will always be the same. And this is what makes you proud and is your brand.
Not only can you show your brand in the real world, you can also do it in the virtual world. You do this for:
o Have a website
o Telling the world your message
or be consistent
or be receptive
Let’s look at each of these individually.
You want to create a website because the Internet is a huge market. It is not enough to have a website on the Internet; you need to brand yourself online. What does this mean? It means that you need to build your website and promote it. You can’t just assume traffic will come because you’ve built a website. No. Traffic comes from promoting yourself in the real and virtual world.
So first of all, you want to create a website that is clean, clear, concise, but also nice. Maybe warm, (if your message is warm), and introduce yourself. Tell them who you are and what you are about. Let them build trust with you. If people get a little bit of information about you, it’s amazing how far it goes. Have photos of yourself, if not on the front page, then somewhere. People relate to people. Too many websites are cold and full of facts. People can’t relate to sites like that and look for warm and responsive websites.
Ok, now that you have created your website, you need to tell the world a message. What is? By now you should have an idea of what your brand is.
Are you known for marketing? Are you known for having the best customer service? Are you known for having the best hot sauce? Are you known for always having a smile? Are you known for always being ready with a joke? Are you an animal lover? Are you known for always telling the truth?
Whatever your brand (your message to the world) is, this is where you write what you want your potential customers or readers to know about you. Your website is where you tell the world who you are and what you stand for. Are you known for being quality editors? So tell the world, that’s your message!
Also be sure to show how nice your company, or yourself, is. You do this by showing what you are doing in the community and what matters to you. Volunteer, help your neighborhood, you’ll be amazed what a difference it makes. It makes you feel good. But also be sure to tell the world about it.
So how do you tell the world? Easy, advertise everything. Write articles, display them on your site and publish them everywhere. There are so many free places to submit articles too, it’s great advertising.
And press releases, too many people don’t use them. But only use press release sites if you have serious things to say. They don’t want ads. Plaster your site everywhere. Go to forums that are in your market and post your message or information there. Keep in mind that what you write may be there forever, so always be consistent and concise. Keep your message or your brand the same; don’t go back on your word. Never.
Your message will be documented everywhere and you don’t want to get caught as a liar. Always be consistent. And stand up for what you believe or what your message is to the world. People can identify with your passion. My final tip on branding is to be responsive. People like people. As easy as that. No one likes to email someone, or call a company and get a recording, or worse, no answer. Be sure to reply to everyone and in a timely manner.
If you post something on a forum, come back and check for a response weekly. Or if you get an email, make sure you answer that question within 48 hours (unless it’s just spam, then delete it). And if you can give them a phone number that they can call and get a real person, great! They will be surprised and call back.
People will deal with a company or person that they like and can identify with. Your customers will come back because they like your brand, they like what you are offering to the world. You want to make sure you answer them, whether for better or worse. And by doing this, you are creating a relationship with these people. You are creating a brand identity.