Some of the rules of online branding are simply a web-related extension of the traditional rules of branding, and form the basis for an internet marketing strategy. Things like a simple, relevant company logo, which is used to brand your products, website design, cars, business cards and email signature, and distribution of promotional products like coffee mugs and mouse mats are branding 101. None of these rules have changed, however, the spirit of how people brand themselves, and the company persona they want to put forward, is changing rapidly in a new media world. We look at the branding basics as well as the new rules for branding as part of a web marketing strategy.
Your internet consultancy service and website designer will help you get the basic elements of a brand together, if they don't already exist. Company logos are fairly cheap and easily accessible online, and these can then be applied to your base site, your email communication, your products and physical company property like cars, pens, events and business cards. However, companies are now being encouraged to think more about what their brand actually is - how the brand represents their company to consumers.
1. The first new rules of branding is that personality is in - 'vanilla' strategies have little potential for greatness. Don't be afraid to stand for something as a brand. You can communicate your company point of view through media such as article distribution, press release syndication and viral marketing as well as conventional advertising and internet marketing.
2. The second is that customization is critical for consumers nowadays. If there is a way to personalize your offering to an individual consumer, explore it.
3.The third rule goes along with this, and that is to provide 'Wow' factor wherever you can. You know that your business is doing amazing things - use web marketing strategies like viral marketing to communicate that to your audience.
4. The fourth rule is an oldie, but must be adhered to in new business platforms like the internet - presentation is critical. Ensure that your website design is professional and useable, and your content is clear. It is all too easy for consumers to go elsewhere when there is something they don't like - which brings us to rule five.
5. New consumers show no tolerance for mistakes, and will simply switch brands. All efforts should be put in to avoid negative publicity - all the search engine marketing and e-commerce consulting efforts in the world will find it difficult to help a brand that consumers distrust.
6. Related to the first rule, social responsibility is no longer simply a matter of sponsoring a local football club. Target, Timberland, GE and eBay are some examples of high profile brands that back high profile causes, and make the most of it in their internet marketing efforts.
7. Look to the new cultural trends, and brand accordingly. Be at the forefront, not waiting in the wings.
8. Another important new rule of branding is to always assume the best of your customers. As a society, we are more educated and product savvy than ever before, and appreciate brands that recognize customer wisdom and respond to it. Dell's Ideastorm site, and the Converse Gallery, where consumers make films for the company, are examples.
9. We know that 'vanilla' is out for new brands - make sure you incorporate passion and pace into every branding activity. E-commerce consulting and viral marketing firms can help.
10. Innovate or die is the final rule critical to brand survival. Ask your online marketing agency about new concepts like Web 2.0 and WebTrends, and move away from old strategies.
InetAsia Solutions is a new breed of internet marketing consultancy. InetAsia is the official WebTrends distributor for South East Asia, Hong Kong and Southern China. Services include web analytics, search engine optimization, website design and internet marketing services. Check out our website to find out more about search engine optimization and much more.