Building a brand online is a long-run process that can take months (usually years) to successfully execute. Unlike a traditional physical product, a brand is nothing more than a concept – powered by the fuel of human interaction. It’s important to have a few things down before you begin promoting yourself on online media outlets.
What’s Your Brand All About?
You should be able to answer this question in five seconds and in one sentence. The most powerful brands online can be simply defined according to their goals and core values. A few examples are:
Fitbit – Wearables that leverage technology to help people stay healthy.
Whole Foods – Natural products, natural ingredients, minimally processed, locally sourced food.
Neil Patel (Personal Brands Exist too!) – Online marketing expert who leverages his expertise to add value to top US companies.
Lack of an identity can kill a potentially life changing brand (see: Yahoo). If you are asked what your brand is, you should be able to answer the question in five seconds. More importantly, your viewership should also be able to quickly understand what the brand is all about.
What’s Your Brand Look Like?
Often, an entity’s appearance can denote its personality. What kind of colors do you want associated with your brand? Shape? Logos? These things all play into how the end consumer will perceive you and your brand.
Your brand’s appearance is the visual aspect of your brand’s identity. A great way to understand the diverse array of appearances possible for a brand is to choose a business area (let’s say retail groceries) and take a look at how businesses are branding themselves in the space. You’ll get a much different vibe from Target then you would a Whole Foods. A targeted website is one of the first things you should invest in because that is what is giving your potential customers their first impression of your brand.
Who is your Audience?
Your audience is just as important as your brand’s core identity. Knowing your audience can help you make many key decisions about your brand and how you want to position it. Let’s say you’re selling video games to teens.
You can choose to target the parents because they have purchasing power in the household.
You can also choose to target children because they can be influencers in purchase decisions.
Why do you want to attract those people?
Nintendo tends to target their focus onto children and parents. They position their brand as a family-friendly, wholesome, and fun.
However, Microsoft (Xbox) tends to target teens more than parents. They position their brand as one that provides a cool, edgy, and powerful gaming experience.
Whoever you decide to target with your brand, you want to make sure there is solid reasoning behind it, often a reason that adds to the bottom line.
Final Step – Stay Consistent Over Time
Once you have your brand crafted, you want to make sure you stay consistent over time with the core values and identity of your brand. There is nothing more dangerous to a brand than inconsistency.
If you do want to change the look of your brand, you will have to do so slowly to avoid confusing your audience.