The following is an article that has been put together to as a primer to the idea of branding in general and online branding in particular. We are presenting below the results of our review of the relevant literature (reference list at the end). It is useful to small business owners who are looking to enhance their business’ brand on the web.
*“BRAND” DEFINED AND PRACTICED
Legal perspective: A brand is a trademark. It can be defined as a name, sign, symbol, device, or a combination thereof, intended to identify and differentiate the goods and services of one seller from those of other sellers, or group of sellers, within the same category. The owner or licensee of a trademark (brand) has the right to exclude others from using that trademark by being the first to use it within the marketplace and registering that trademark with the relevant country’s patent and trademark office.
Business perspective: A brand is a tool by which the company promotes goods and services to secure future earnings. As viewed by consumers a brand is the promise and delivery of an experience throughout every point of contact. When managed properly brands create sustainable long-term value for the organization.
In practice: A brand is an experience living at the intersection of promise and expectation. Here’s how it works. A company expresses its brand as a promise, both overt and implied. That promise lives in consumers’ hearts and minds as an expectation. When brand promise and consumers’ expectations reflect one another, the brand holds tremendous value for both parties. It is through this co-creation (consumer and brand) that true brand value is created. Yet, business and consumer each see their brand from their own point-of-view. Brand expression versus brand image, seller versus buyer.
Branding on the Web
There are many aspects that come together to showcase your brand online. It is a complicated game to be learnt over time and mastered by trying out various combinations and permutations. Here are a few steps to be kept in mind to enhance your brand identity on the web:
Haven’t you heard content is key? If not, well it is. Content writing is an art- it s a fairly new idea that has come about for success on the web. The content has to be relevant and constantly updated to be on top of the Google’s eyes.
Here are the questions to be kept in mind:
- Why – Know the business case and objectives. Why are you embarking on this project?
- What – What is the message?
- Who – Who is the audience?
- Where – Where will the message be read (location, device, context)?
- How – How should we present/structure the content?
- When – Timing of the process to create and publish the content.
Logo Design should be consistent and relevant. It should be catchy and something that lasts in the minds of the audience. A logo is basically a visual representation of your company name. Think of examples like Coca Cola, McDonalds, KFC etc- these words automatically brings to your mind their logos. It is a very important part of your branding strategy.
Make sure that fonts and colors on your site complement your brand. Should be consistent and pleasant. Even the fonts should be decided carefully to facilitate easy reading.
Call to Action
“Call to Action” is a crucial part in the user experience part of a website. It is what invites a user to act on something. It is like a bait you put out which the user is expected to bite, which leads to an action of relevance. It could be a “Download US” or “Enter to Win” or “View our Catalogue” button which could lead to a landing page.
Get rid of Cluster
Avoid cluttering the website. Keep it simple and relevant. Quantity does not mean quality. Always keep it light and neat.
Have a blog in which your active employees can contribute to. Set a framework within which the employees can contribute. Keep a monitoring mechanism which filters and allows relevant content to go on the blog. Blogs get good preference if active and continuously updated.