Successful branding in the age of the Internet
Any marketer will tell you that the Internet has changed the way we perceive brands. No longer is a successful brand identity derived from a well-placed television ad or a glossy magazine article, but instead a more all-encompassing approach led by the Internet and social media. To create truly successful branding in the age of the Internet, companies need to create a meaningful voice across all their channels.
Creating this meaningful voice online doesn’t happen overnight. It needs to be established over time with meaningful content creation that takes into consideration all the channels that matter to your customers. Once you’ve established your voice across these channels, track your responses and interactions.
Achieving this level of consistency for your brand across all channels can be a big job. It more than likely means that you will need to have a dedicated individual (or team) monitoring your social activities, with a meaningful content creation strategy.
So, how is your brand doing online? Before you can start your content creation strategy and your shiny branding campaign, you will need to define your brand. In order to define your brand, we recommend starting with these steps:
1. What are your strengths? – Figure out what your strengths are using a simple survey. Poll your followers on Facebook and Twitter and find out what your’re good at, and what maybe you’re not so good at. Ask your customers the tough questions, and you’ll get the right answers.
2. Who are you talking to? – Find out how you’re generally perceived on the web – some simple social analytics tools will help you measure your online sentiment.
3. What are your goals? – What are your most important products or services? Where do you want your company to be in five years? What is your mission statement? By asking yourself these questions, you will get a clear idea of how to position your brand, and across which social channels.
4. What is your essence? – What do people feel when they interact with your brand? Do they feel happy? Sad? Nostalgic? The essence can also be described as the heart and soul of your brand. This is your personality. Let it shine.
5. What is your positioning? – To understand your positioning, you need to understand your target demographic. Who are speaking to, and how are you speaking to them? What are you promising to your customers through your messaging, and are you staying true to your word? Create a positioning statement that clearly defines your audience, and then make a promise to your customers about where you stand. Always refer back to your positioning statement for a clear indication of where you’ve come from. This will increase brand loyalty, and increase customer confidence in your brand.
Defining your brand should take into consideration where you’re at as a company, and a clear outline of what your goals are. Everything you present to your customers should be well thought out, and taken into consideration to ensure that you are reaching people not only at the right time, but more importantly at the right place. By reaching people with your strong brand identity through the right social channel, you will create meaningful interactions that increase brand sentiment and consumer loyalty.
Working with an agency is a great place to begin developing your brand strategy and identity. By having a dedicated team that considers every aspect of your brands positioning and identity, you will set your self up with a strong brand identity for life, and turn regular customers into brand ambassadors.