This title from The Economist highlights a crucial feature of a brand: It is inseparable from the personality of its creator. It represents a vision and a belief. And it is a consolidation of the owner’s personal business sense after years of experience.
Rounding up all this information into one coherent image is what forms the foundation of a brand, but it does not receive that label until it has been acknowledged by a customer base. One advantage of the digital age is the ability to make brand ownership possible in an instant. Float your idea to social networks under your name and it’s yours.
Online corporate branding, however, requires more care when it comes to defining a company’s identity. Your company’s identity will define your core business and value-added services. From the get-go, you want to attract the right people and have word-of-mouth – a/k/a the internet – to diffuse positive information about your brand.
Vision is not 20/20
Over time, a brand could be torn apart by conflicting ideas. Business partners may not agree on key ventures; your personal tastes could change. There are legitimate reasons why a brand could stray from its original concept, but this cannot be worsened by false perceptions held by potential and current customers.
Initially, the key to getting people to appreciate your brand is to send the right message – something that explains who you are, what you do, and how seriously you take your responsibility to your customers. However, your online reputation could send your brand into an identity crisis, particularly when under attacked by your detractors or competitors. Impostors abound on the internet, waiting to use your online presence for their shady ends. Displeased customers or baseless competitors could poison future clients against you by publishing hyperbolic complaints that are not even required to be true.
In the internet melee, the vision you have for your brand could be buried. Resuscitating your corporate brand will take some strong online marketing.
Growth, Not Just Survival
Having your brand survive the digital wilderness is a combination of both brawn and cunning. Online reputation management will clear the path your customers take to find you. Strong branding will give you muscle to weather storms of competition and fickle markets. To achieve this, your SEO strategies must include a significant social media presence, effective content diffusion, and a capitalization on various internet channels that aim to beef up your online presence.
Social media is the public relations darling these days. Search results are no longer the only race to run. You have to build your brand, and not just by paying off link blasters or SEO companies that will guarantee rankings. The heart of your brand is in the content you produce, which may be the precise thing that goes viral, where the internet crowd will do all the work, publicizing it all on its own.