How to Brand Online?
You know now why is important to brand online: because the Web is an open scene for a Global audience. You also know that, if you start branding online, you are not going to be the only one doing it. Yet don’t give up the thought. Embrace the challenge and be confident in your strengths. There are ways and means to become a world-renowned brand! The Web is your scene too!
Start by determining the realistic value of your product or service. Not the possible financial gain, but the benefits that it might bring to the clients. These benefits are what PRs call “values” and you are going to define them and use them repeatedly, till your customers will remember and recognize them as attributes of your brand. The benefits will so become brand-positioning points. I have to underline that you should focus on the benefits first and the financial value after, because the benefits determine the financial value. A product is nothing till the client decides it is something. You can build the most modern machinery, with the best technologies. If you don’t talk about what makes this product revolutionary and how this product will make the lives of the consumers better, no one will care about it. And the consumer needs to understand your product. So here comes the most important answer to “how to brand online?”: describe this product from the consumer’s point of view and not from your own.
The question is where you describe this product or service? Well, when in Rome… You are online. That means you should use online branding channels and the most important one is your website. And that’s not so easy as it sounds. Just having a website up and running will neither automatically transform you in a Global power, nor even make your brand known locally. So your website will need to be professionally designed, interactive, accessible (you’ve heard over and over about W3C and section 508 compliance and believe it: a serious business site respects these standards!) and branded. The professionalism and reliability of a company is often judged by the value of a website. Professional companies around the world employ the best web design firms to create websites that meet customers’ expectations in terms of design, navigability, download speed, interactivity and usability.
Way too many firms don’t understand the importance of a branded web page and they end up in anonymity. One-man businesses take over the web, probably because individuals are more motivated to succeed and they understand the online realities better: they research more and they are not afraid to try out new things. The online challenge needs creative thinkers.
If you have a great product but you fail at presenting it properly online, you are out of business. Think that branding appeals first to the senses: the visual sense on the top of all. People react to colors and shapes; and they remember an image easier than a paragraph of text, no matter how relevant or clear. And it is not difficult to use colors and shapes to transmit your message. Navy blue is sober, signifies strength and inspires trustworthiness (banks and insurance companies use this color quite often, as well as other business to business organizations). Lime green is refreshing, inspires creativity, innovation and is quite a popular color for the cosmetic industry (see Garnier or Yves Rocher). And the list could go on. The meaning of colors is pretty important and you should not ignore the power of colors. But is color enough? No.
Shapes come next – and I include here letters as well. They need to be easy memorable and unique. But how? There are already millions of logos on the Web. How to you make one stand out of the crowd? Well, it’s a hard job, but not impossible. I’ll get back to this subject soon. A logo needs quality graphics, quality colors and quality fonts to convince. And that’s what matters for the web design too.
Take a look at this site:
MPAM is probably a reliable business, but are you going to take their word for it? Can a business that was not even able to create a professional web presence help you gain up to $ 2000 per month? And then, because of the poor web design and the cheesy web copy you’ll not trust any word and probably move on, without giving the company the slightest chance.
Believe it or not, web design DOES matter. And that’s the second most important answer to “how to brand online?”.