There is not much about running a successful business that is easy. And the down economy of the last several years has made that more obvious. Increases in technology and the use of the Internet have created social media sites for marketing. Add to this the fact that companies have to work harder than ever to keep old customers while attracting new ones. the result is that branding and name recognition have never been more important.
When you first hear the word “brand” the image that most often comes to mind is a logo. While it’s true that the majority of us are able to recognize the logos of the companies that we buy from most, it is typically not the deciding factor in why we buy. Having a well-designed logo is good, but its prevalence on the company letterhead, mailings, website, and other promotional material is a much more important part of building your company’s brand and name recognition.
These days everyone is online. It’s the number one place that consumers go to look for products, services, and reviews. Building your brand in the 21st century means having a cohesive online presence. Start with a high-quality, easy to use website. It should be well-designed and provide visitors all the information they need about your company’s mission, purpose, products, and services. Developing a blog is also a good way to set your company apart as experts in your industry. Frequently posting new content to both the website and the blog will help keep them fresh and relevant as well as help increase their ranking on search engines and personalized search .
Next, make sure that you have registered a company account or page on popular social media sites. This includes Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube and any networking/sharing sites that are relevant to your industry. Make sure that the look and feel, including logo, color scheme, taglines, etc., are applied to each entity, so that you have a unified brand.
Even though we live in the age of technology and computers, don’t underestimate the importance of face-to-face interaction and getting involved in the local community. Being a part of local business events –not just attending but planning or speaking — can be a great way to get your name and your company’s name out there. Also, getting involved with local charities and community groups can help broaden your audience and most customers will appreciate your efforts. This will improve your reputation, and therefore your brand image within your community.
Much like your company’s reputation, your brand is developed largely by your customers. You can guide it in the direction that you want it to go but your customers and the way that you interact with them will determine the destination.