Building a brand online is not an easy task and branding is a process requiring a long-term commitment, marketing skills, public relations expertise, passion and dedication. A brand is a combination of symbols and values that will eventually lead to a successful business.
You need to convince your clients that you offer quality, that they can benefit from your services, therefore you need to brand your company, services, and products to differentiate them from those of the competitors and gain public awareness.
To understand what makes people loyal to a brand and how successful brands are created, let’s take a look at a few factors influencing brand development.
Quality Brands Deliver Quality Products
Online or offline, the main trait of a good brand is quality. Quality underlines the benefits of the brand and delivers the things customers expect. Quality means: don’t make promises you cannot keep, or your competitors will take advantage of your mistakes. Don’t promise the best product on the market if the one you deliver is of inferior quality.
Online, when you present you product, don’t steal pictures from your competitors, don’t copy their web content trying to achieve a higher web positioning. This leads us to the second factor influencing online brand development: positioning.
Positioning a Brand Online Is a Permanent Process
Strong brands do not need to make too many efforts to gain public awareness. They do not need to pay huge amounts for SEO and web optimization. Why? Because they already HAVE a strong position on the market, both online and offline. Take a look any SONY, Coca-Cola, Mercedes etc. Yet, these brands do have a strong web presence, they do care about their image and do provide quality content and information for the web users and their clients.
A new brand can achieve such a position in time, through several means: brand name, logo, slogan, web design and content, service standards and quality products, online and offline advertising. For small brands, this is a complex, time- consuming process, but the time and money invested are worth.
Reposition Your Brand to Satisfy New Market Trends
In case you need to change your market position or to adapt your products and services to new market trends, what you need to do is reposition your brand. Every time you perform an important modification within your brand you need to employ public relations experts to help you promote the changes.
Communicate Your Brand Clearly
Communications play a major role in building up a brand. Make sure to communicate your values and company philosophy clearly and consistently. Clear communication develops the brand’s personality.
Plan ahead, think what you are going to do on a long-term basis. You cannot build up a brand overnight: delivering a message to gain customer loyalty takes time. Probably you will not see results immediately, but if you plan your branding for the future you can be sure your efforts will be rewarded.
Build Your Brand Internally
Make sure your staff is familiar with the brand and the values you want to promote. That means all your employees: from a driver to a sales manager. They represent your brand as well, they reflect your brand when they interact with clients and the public opinion.
About the Author
Mihaela Ernst (Lica) used to work as a military journalist for the Romanian Ministry of Defense. Representing Romania she was a member of the NATO Military Audio -Visual Working Group in 2002, and from 2003 she’s worked as a PR for my-tronic GmbH Germany. She is the founder of Pamil Visions: online public relations and branding.
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