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The Key To Online Branding

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Author: Akhil Shahani

Branding is the process of building a favorable image for your product or enterprise. It differentiates your identity from others in this increasingly competitive world and is a key component of most business' strategy.

To build a strong brand presence, your communication needs to be global. Hence the internet is a vital facilitator in any branding exercise since it has the power to deepen the relationship between your enterprise and your customers worldwide.

In this piece we'll talk about how you can integrate your website into your overall branding strategy.

The ultimate goal is to ensure that the name of your product, service or website finds a special place in the mind of your customers. How will you achieve this?

Have an attractive storefront: If you sell online, use images to your advantage. Employ an innovative website model with a focus on display backed by a description of your product. Visitors to your site are more likely to remember your product if they see pictures.

Choose a catchy domain name: This point needs your attention. Visitors recognize you by this name, hence choose a unique name that is easy to remember. It need not necessarily relate to the products that you sell, but must leave an impression. For example, Amazon doesn't relate to books or any other products that they sell, but it sure conveys a certain image. Incidentally, if your company has a long name, consider shortening it for use as the name of the website. Remember that many successful brands are three-letter acronyms such as IBM, CNN and BBC.

Design a memorable logo: By this we don't mean that you have to commission a complex work of art at great cost. Think of eBay, Google or Yahoo. All these companies have distinctive logos that most people are able to describe from memory. A logo creates a lasting impression in the mind of your consumers and brings worldwide recognition. Display your logo at all important locations on your site to enhance brand recall. A tagline as part of the logo may be a good idea, provided it reflects your business. Think of Wal-Mart's tagline "Always low prices. Always."

Consider the following values before actually developing or refining the website.

Be consistent: A complete branding exercise requires targeting customers through various channels (radio, newspaper ads, event management, etc). Your message should be consistent across all channels. Only then will your identity be established uniformly in the minds of the audience.

Be creative: Branding is all about originality. So, you need to come up with new ideas to become a favorite. Think of ways in which you can differentiate yourself from your competitors. Can you be novel, without being wacky?

Reflect your qualities: The product or service that you offer is the real hero, and the website must reflect its personality. Sometimes the website has little resemblance to the other important business elements and this only serves to confuse the customer. Projecting the qualities of the product, service or company in a consistent manner will help people remember them.

Talk about yourself: The About Us section must also be an integral part of the branding effort. Think of what information will interest visitors, and compose this section accordingly. Generally, a brief description of origin, founders, size and important business milestones is appropriate.

Include a copyright statement: Your exclusive rights to your brands, trademarks and other intellectual property must be stated on the website. Not only does that give you legal protection but also another opportunity to remind the customers about who owns the brand. This is particularly important in cases where product brands are much better known than the company they belong to, and are often used in a generic sense.

A brand is quite often the most valuable property that a company may have. An online branding strategy goes a long way in cashing in on that value.

About the author: Hi, I am Akhil Shahani, a serial entrepreneur who wants to help you succeed. Over the years I have run many successful businesses & made many mistakes on the way. I have created to help you benefit from all I've learned on my journey. Please visit us & download our special 'Freebie of the Month' as a thank you for your visit.

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