For many companies, creating a strong brand resides near the top of marketing objectives. A strong brand can raise awareness, build consumer relations, increase sales, and differentiate itself from the competition. In a sense, you might say that a strong brand creates a shortcut in the mind of the consumer. Once achieved, this type of association with a phrase or category simplifies decision making.
While traditional branding may take decades, online branding has been know to happen in a fraction of the time. The viral convenience of the web allows everyone to tweet, share, post, and more with social media. Facebook fan pages provide an outlet for advocates, forum discussions create a dialogue to engage in, and much of all this happens in real-time.
Brand Strategy 101
It starts with determining your brand’s objectives. Determining just who your brand is, a persona of sorts, creates a foundation and metric to measure by. Is it the best tasting, cheapest, or premium product or service of a category? Once you have an objective, identify who would be your target audience. Selecting a type or demographic works better than the ol’ shotgun approach every time. Targeting also results in better communications and creative that results in better messages, as opposed to trying to appeal all of the people all of the time. Following that, figuring out your brand barriers so you can deal with any issues allows for better marketing. There’s always something; strengths, vulnerabilities, opportunities, threats, political, economic, technological, or social.
A brand is about customer perception, and creating the necessary influence positions the brand in the mind of the consumer. Adding benefits and/or value create brand equity. The assets which provide brand equity in traditional marketing are fairly different than online branding, although there is some overlap. With the traditional way of branding, your strategy may include public relations, advertising, and traditional marketing like pricing strategies, retention plans, and more. Don’t forget your 4 P’s.
Online Branding Essentials
Online branding includes a few key components, those being; display advertising (banners), search marketing (PPC), social media (or SMM, for social media marketing), search engine optimization (SEO), and online reputation management (like online PR meets SEO). Each of these tools can leverage your brand, but when used in combination effectively, its a powerful marketing strategy that can rival traditional marketing.
Online Branding Strategy
The online brand promise, which was conceived while defining the objective, is where the journey begins. It could be anything from convenience or entertainment to selection or value. The important thing to remember is this is your mantra and almost every marketing or branding effort shoud support your brand promise. The promise builds on an experience which helps meet the objective, and build brand equity, if you deliver.
While online branding strategies vary per business, from hotels, clothing, electronics, financials products, entertainment or another vertical, the core of the online branding strategy is still broken down to advertising, social media, seo, and online pr.
Read a summary on reactorr’s online branding services and how it can drive your online marketing efforts.