What lies behind the phenomenon of consumers paying much more for an Apple Notebook that for a comparable equivalent of another IT brand? Why do customers prefer to drink Coca-Cola instead of one of their cheaper no-name alternatives? Why do youngsters insist on purchasing the new Levis instead of a pair of jeans that comes half as pricy in an unknown retail store? The answer seems to be complex yet easy: branding. The phenomenon of branding that often includes a certain name, logo or company slogan that serves as ‘the’ symbol of identification for a business. Every entrepreneur would agree that a well-informed branding strategy equals success. Ideally the brand of a company immediately associates its value, benefits and good reputation.
But if branding is that easy and successful, why does not everybody effectively use it? One might distinguish different kinds of branding that work for different kinds of businesses and markets. Some companies count on highly skilled PR specialists that establish and advertize a businesses’ brand and get paid for their services in return. Other entrepreneurs try to get known in the underground scene, conducting low-budget branding campaigns according to alternative strategies. Again others test their luck on social network sites such as Twitter or Facebook in order to establish a brand name. In order to avoid confusion about the manifold branding possibilities and strategies, here are four useful advices on how to brand your company successfully.
The first tip when it comes to self-branding is to establish your own web presence in form of a homepage or a blog. Ever heard of Search Engine Optimization? SEO is a process that improves your online presence by making sure that whoever googles your enterprise name will discover your company website as first hit. Make sure that your web space contains your company’s important information. You should further extend your online presence by joining at least one social networking site. This guarantees your availability for different demographic groups. It is very essential that you claim your own domain name before somebody else uses it.
Step two in successful self-branding implies that you present yourself as ‘the’ expert in your business field. Try to always convey the image of high expertise of your company in its own field. You should underline degrees of expertise of your employees and yourself but not exaggerate. Listing useless information will not add to your reputation but confuse targets.
A third very significant point when it comes to branding is the attempt to establish reliability as a source. Attention on your business in public media sources such as newspaper, radio or TV will serve as a branding assistant. Contact journalists in order to be mentioned in articles or even interviews and make sure that you always prepare. Give cautious and well-informed information to the public that will promote your business.
Last but not least, a fourth advice is to foster the awareness on your brand via networking. You can either establish an online network with help of platforms such as LinkedIn or you network in person, calling potential clients or engage in business meetings and fares. The following four key steps of networking might assist you:
- Mutualism: The business relationships you establish should be mutual and companies should benefit from your help and vice versa.
- Giving: Do not immediately ask for a return of favors as a business relationship often builds on trust in your unlimited support.
- Targeting: Concentrate networking efforts mostly on contacts that operate in your business field and might benefit your company in the future.
- Reconnecting: Take care of the established contacts and put effort in not losing touch with them in case unexpected events require their help.