Online Branding Is Critical for The Success Of Every Business

The Importance of Branding

You may already realize online branding is one of the most critical aspects for your business. It makes no difference if your business is B2B, retail, big or small. When you use an effective branding strategy, you achieve a significant edge in a highly competitive market. The best way to define the term branding is as the promise you have made to your customers. Online branding informs your customers as to what they will receive from your services and products while differentiating you from your competitors. Your brand is a reflection of who you are, who you want to be and the perceptions of your target audience.

The Innovation of Branding

The innovation of your brand is the defining factor in how you are perceived online. This can be as reliable, experienced, knowledgeable, etc. Your product perception will be low or high cost, low or high quality and low or high value. It is impossible to be everything for everyone. Your brand must reflect the desires of your target customers and your perceptions of what your brand represents. It is critical to understand your brand is responsible for the success and growth of your company regardless of what you are selling. Your customers need to understand your brand and your mission. This is a lot more than simply the colors you have chosen for your brand. The process of brand development begins with conducting research. Your brand values must be strategically developed and communicated to your target audience to be effective. A brand can be associated with the latest fashions or how to reduce car insurance. There are four critical components to effective branding.

The Competitive Advantage of the Brand

You will be competing for your resources, the attention of your audience, talent and funding whether you are for or non-profit. To be successful in your category you have to have a good strategy to implement and an organizational plan. Your goals require a detailed plan for outlining specific measures and actions. You can outmaneuver your competition by reaching these goals. When this is accomplished correctly, your brand will properly represent your company. This will promote initiatives and strategic areas to improve your company, aid in growth and set you on a path for the future.

Brands are a Stable Asset

Companies will always succeed and fail; some products will not achieve success and every day technology changes. Despite this, a strong brand has the ability to continue moving forward through all the inevitable changes. Your brand should be the most sustainable asset of your company. When your brand is combined with your overall strategy, it becomes the principle for decision making and organization. There are numerous brands that have been in existence for more than 100 years, are immediately recognized by consumers and have an astronomically high value. These facts become even more impressive when you consider the life of the typical corporation is only 25 years. Your brand is your company’s most stable asset.

The Economic Value of the Brand

Every business is segregated into tangible and intangible assets. Your brand is an intangible asset. A study revealed the brand of the company is responsible for over a third of the shareholder value. The greatest values of most companies are intangible. The most prominent asset is the brand. The brand for Coca-Cola is responsible for in excess of 54 percent of the stock market value for the company. Just the brand name is valued at $67 million. The value of a brand is a critical asset. The brand of the Red Cross enables the organization to attract both volunteers and donations. Your brand is exceptionally important for your company because of the unique impact on the consumers. Your online brand is the key to your business because it attracts and influences partners, employees and your target audience. Your brand can create awareness for organizations and consumers, cut through the clutter of the marketplace, attract and develop relationships mutually beneficial for the public, suppliers and customers to help everyone reach their individual goals.

The Expectations of the Brand

The basis for the world you live in is promises. The promise of the airline mechanic is to be thorough, check the aircraft numerous times and ensure the safety of the passengers. Restaurants promise to provide a clean environment and prepare fresh food. The consumer believes their children will be protected and educated during the course of the school day. These promises are not usually bound by legal repercussions. They are a vow based on the ethical and moral code of the business owner. When you opened your business, you assured your customers you would do exactly what you promised. This is an agreement encompassing your services, products and company. Your branding is based on any promises you made to your target audience. The promise of your brand tells your audience what you believe in, who you are and why your product is valuable and unique. When you make the effort to fulfill your promises throughout the relationship, you are helping your business grow and succeed. When these promises are not kept, the reputation of you company is in jeopardy. This often results in failure because your brand has suffered. Keeping the promise of your brand results in the affection and loyalty of your customers

The Bottom Line

People see the promises made by brands every day. Even purchasing a soda from a vending machine engages the promise of the brand. Despite the numerous options available, the consumer will choose their drink based on their past experiences with the brand. The selection has the expectation of receiving exactly what the consumer was prepared to receive. This involves the process of awareness, desire, interest and satisfaction. Many of the greatest influencers are not directly related to the service or product. The influencers are the association the person has with the specific brand. This makes your online brand identity, promises and advertising crucial for the success of your business.

7 Reasons Why Branding Matters

Despite what you might think, branding isn’t reserved just for Apple, Google, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, and and it’s not just your logo or mission statement. Branding is important for your company. It defines who you are and what do you do; how you see yourself and how do you want to be seen; where do you want to be and how will you get there; and what makes your business unique out of all the others. Branding requires your attention since it can also increase the value of your company, help you grow, make it easier to connect with customers and determine your success. If you’re still unconvinced, here are seven reasons why branding matters in business.

1. Makes Companies Relatable

When people first heard Apple’s “Think Different” ads they were immediately able to identify themselves with the brand because they shared that vision. Even if most people at the time didn’t own an iMac, or didn’t want one for that matter, they could still relate to the brand message. Since a company is something artificial and distant, branding brings it closer to people, shapes their opinion and how they perceive it.

2. Delivers a United Message

Branding connects all aspects of a company. For example, a creative professionals from Studio X achieve this by developing brand strategies that combine physical features (interior and graphic design) with virtual architecture (web design and development). This consistent presence delivers a united message across all channels of communication. Everyone involved with your company, from clients to partners, will have a clear understanding of what your business represents.

3. Supports Marketing Efforts

Marketing plays an important role in building your brand. It allows you to gain visibility with key demographics and creates brand awareness. As your brand awareness grows, marketing can rely on that recognition to support its own efforts. This mutual dependency between branding and marketing will allow your business to grow. Once you start dominating one specific market, the reputation of your brand will make it easier to market yourself to target a completely different audience.

4. Drives a Premium Price Point

Brand awareness can increase the value of the products or services you sell. As people start associating your brand with quality and it starts trending, what you sell becomes more desirable to your audience. This allows you to increase the price of your products. Quality brands are able to put a price on their brand name because people are willing to pay extra to be associated with it. That’s one of the main reasons why Starbucks coffee is more expensive than regular java at your local coffee shop.

5. Encourages Employee Endorsement

A company can improve the extent of its reach if it encourages employee endorsement. Branding helps with this since employees will tend to be more productive and promote the company when speaking to others. By feeling the value of your brand, they associate themselves with its message. This makes them more likely to endorse a positive experience about your brand, and can even turn employees into brand ambassadors that regularly share the company message at their own free will.

6. Creates Trust Among Customers

A strong brand is centered around its customers. When you have your customers (and their desires) in mind first, and profit second, it creates trust among them and marks you as a professional. As customers perceive a company’s intentions as sincere, authentic and transparent, they will transfer those feelings to the products or services you offer. They will believe that what you offer has enough power to improve their lives, and that justifies their decision to buy from you, instead of the competition.

7. Builds a Loyal Customer Base

Branding can inspire loyalty among your customers. After they convert from prospects, customers will ultimately shape their future feeling towards your brand through their experience. If you do introduce the feelings of trust, they are far more likely to make a purchase again.

Not only that, but great branding values customer loyalty and will look to reward it. In turn, your loyal customers will want to repay for your care by promoting your brand. They will become brand ambassadors and will spread a good word about your company, even remaining loyal during bad times.

Tracey Clayton is a working mom of three girls, passionate about traveling, marketing and everything tech related. Her motto is: “Live the life you love; love the life you live.”

How to Keep Your Company On-Brand at all Times

Working toward brand excellence is so important as a small business owner, and this is something that you should be striving for every day when running a business. There are some excellent ways of enhancing and boosting your brand, and there are plenty of things you can do to help you make the company a little more on-brand as much as possible.

The best way of impressing your customers and taking your business further is to make sure you are always on-brand. Your company will have an ethos, and a way of doing things, and your daily activities must exude this at all times. So, these are some of the best ideas you can use that will help keep the company on-brand at all times!

  • Never Compromise

You must never compromise from what makes your business and brand what it is. You will have plenty of business ideals that you want to make sure are important parts of the business every day. Never compromise on your beliefs, your plans for the company, or how you want the business to come across. It is important that you stick to your beliefs and ideals, and always make sure they are a focal point of the business, as this is one of the great ways of staying on-brand.

  • Keep Your Marketing Consistent

Another way of ensuring that you keep the company on-brand at all times is to make sure your marketing is as consistent as possible. The best way to keep the business branding on the right track is to make sure you improve your customer service, and that the marketing has the right focus. Too many companies seem to have a disjointed marketing strategy, and this can be detrimental to the company.

  • Cohesive Content

One of the most important things when it comes to staying on-brand is making sure you have cohesive content. So much of the time, your content can feel disjointed and not representative of the way you want your brand to come across. This is the sort of situation in which you need to use sites like https://www.templafy.com to get the correct sort of document and content management. This is so important in ensuring you are able to keep things cohesive and on-brand.

  • It’s Easy to Describe Your Brand

You know when you have kept everything on-brand when it is easy to summarize your brand in just a few short words. This is the most important thing to remember, and you need to put yourself in the place of your customers. Can your brand be summed up in just a few words? If the answer is no, then you need to make sure you work on improving your brand identity and make sure you better understand how to get back on-brand.

This is such an important thing for your business, and you have to do what you can to ensure your company is going to improve and thrive as a result. There are so many things to consider when trying to keep your business on-brand as much as possible.

Careers in the Music Industry – From Live Events to Movie Soundtracks

Fancy leaping into the world of music? There are some great careers to explore, and you don’t need to have a particular set of qualifications to make it work for you. The most important thing is a love of music, some connections (or the ability to make connections quickly), a little bit of business sense, and a firm grasp of the career you want. This article will be looking at a few of the job options in music and a little bit of what they entail. From live events to commercials.

Record Label – long gone are the days where a record label had to be heavily funded and behind giant golden doors. You can now start a record label with around $25 online. Due to music become very digital, purchasing an online record label (with all the right documents) means you can sign bands up to your label and help them aggregate their music via digital channels. Of course you will need to be clear about the division of rights and revenue, but that will be part and parcel of your success.

Band Management – This one can often get a little muddy, as a band manager you become so close to the band sometimes you aren’t really able to keep a clear grasp on what is best for them regarding deals. You will be their go-to person, handle their scheduling, focus on long-term goals, and be the mediator between labels and the band. With the bands best interested always at the forefront of your mind.

Tour Manager – You will be the person in charge of where, when and how many locations. Handling both small, medium and grand scale tours for the band. Ensuring that each venue has the appropriate gear and if not, using places like plant-tours.com to cover any gaps. You will get to travel a lot but work hard too.

PR – behind every successful band is a public relations machine. Ensuring that everything they do, and anything that the release is picked up by the press, both local and eventually national. Part and parcel of this will also be fending off the less good news and spinning it into something the band can use to their advantage. Creating press kits, writing press releases and gaining contacts by the masses is how you’ll spend your days.

Booking Agent – A cross between a manager and a tour manager. Booking agents are responsible for getting their act scheduled in good venues, on high impact evenings with great support, and nicely paid. This job is about your connections, your ability to negotiate and who is on your books. Planning and organization will be your strong points.

Music Publisher – Incredibly lucrative if done well. You’ll sign multiple songwriters of high quality, and pitch their lyrics to labels, and artists. You might also be signing bands or solo artists in a bid to get their tracks in movies, on TV programmes, and in commercials. Cutting a deal involving residual revenue per play can make this a delightful deal indeed. You’ll have a keen ear for talent and a relentless spirit to make this a success.

Why Live Events Are So Good For Your Business

A smart business owner looks for every opportunity to help grow, legitimize, and lionize their brand. But the truth is that many small business owners overlook one of the biggest stages they could hope to stand on. We’re talking about live events like conferences, trade shows, and speaking opportunities. They should start becoming a key feature of your annual marketing plans and here is why.

Get the team spirit on the rise

If you have a team alongside you, then getting them out there representing their brand has all kinds of benefits. For one, you are having it represented by the people who it best and choosing the right charismatic characters can help you make even more of an impact on event attendees, with a little training. What’s more, it can actually improve the team’s motivation and engagement with their work. Having the opportunity to meet others and to prove that they are on the side of the brand can make them actually feel like members of a team, rather than just employees.

Find new ways to convert new people

When you’re looking for new people to convert, the quality of your leads matters as much, if not more, than the quantity of your leads. You could be wasting huge amounts of time and resources trying to convert people who simply aren’t interested. At trade shows and other live events relevant to your business, you are getting in touch directly with those most likely to be interested. It’s a whole new way to begin the conversion process. Just make sure that you establish a way to keep in touch with those you meet so that you can continue the process further down the line, whether by arranging a meeting, getting new signups to your email newsletter, or simply by sending a follow-up email.

Expose the brand in a new dimension

Besides getting the opportunity to connect personally with members of your target market, you can do a lot more the broader strategy of your brand. Showcasing your brand at an event, whether it’s a launch or a booth at a trade show is a way of saying “we have arrived.” It gives a level of exposure that can make the brand much more recognizable. Just ensure that you’re taking steps to actually expose it. You need the right items for your conference, including booth design materials that make your corner fit your aesthetic and custom lanyards or wristbands that help individual members of the team wear and show off their affiliation. Don’t be afraid of saturating your people and your space with brand imagery. You may need it to stand out amongst your competitors.

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Stand amongst your peers

Exposure isn’t the only thing that a conference or trade show can offer your brand. It can also lend it a sense of trustworthiness. Consumers are becoming a lot savvier and less willing to part with their money to do business with companies that they don’t know. By establishing a physical presence and showing that you don’t only exist in the online world, you can help establish and legitimize your place within the industry. Keep building trust by ensuring that you’re talking one-on-one to potential clients in plenty of detail. Be honest, don’t be afraid to let them down by giving a sub-optimal answer if it’s the truthful one. This might be a marketing opportunity, but it’s also a conversation and if you want to be effective, you have to be able to sustain that sense of trust all the way through it.

Use it as a focus group study

Don’t be afraid to have some questions of your own for the event attendees, either. As mentioned, trade shows and conferences attract only those members of the market most interested in what you have to offer. This includes not just consumers and businesses, but also journalists and bloggers. Take the opportunity to get the scoop and gain some insight that can help you craft future strategies for the business. The event survey is far from uncommon, however. If you don’t make yours a little more creative, it might be hard to collect as much data as you would like.

Find partnerships

Besides standing out from your competitors, you can also use this opportunity to stand alongside them. You can start building bridges with others in the industry or in related fields of work. Business partnerships can have all kinds of benefits. You can score referrals from one another. You can use each other’s platforms to help give a boost to any marketing or branding efforts. You may even have a joint project down the line. Use trade shows and conferences as an opportunity to network and build the foundation of friends that can help your business reach new goals in the future.

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Bring the online and offline worlds together

As mentioned, live events help give an online business a sense of trustworthiness by showing the market that you do, indeed, exist and a real-world presence. However, they can also serve as great material for you to build your online marketing on, too. For instance, you can livestream your conference content or tweet out photos and stories from the event as it’s happening. You can also take some of the conversations you have had and turn them into a case study or a point of future discussion. Above all else, it shows that your business is willing to learn and stay on the top of its game by incorporating recent events and information into its branding and marketing materials which only improves your image.

Even if you don’t believe your business is yet big enough to stand on that tallest of platforms, there is too much to gain to not make use of them. They can help you both share and gain insights. They can help you reach customers, clients, and partners you might never have met otherwise. They cement your brand’s place in the industry. Start attending events and you will see the benefits immediately.

Entrepreneurial Success – Learn as You Grow Approach

Have you ever noticed how much business people and entrepreneurs love to talk about their success?

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Screenshot from – Entrepreneur Post

The majority of these successful businesses and people barely talk about their failure journeys and struggle phases; for most of them, mistakes are swept under the rug and forgotten as quickly as possible. But do you know something? Mistakes can actually give us a chance to learn the basics for those courageous enough to embrace them.

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Screenshot from – medium.com/@brett1211

I love to interview minded people and when they tell me about their wild success journey and all the profits they’ve made, I often ask them to tell me what and when they did wrong. If they can’t name any of their past mistakes or start to sputter, I know immediately that I can discount most of what they’ve just said.

The Problem Persists in Following Someone Else’s Success

No doubt, success stories actually provide inspiration to me, to you, and to all of the entrepreneurs (locally or globally). The wrong side of the story is; continuously listening to others tell you how innovative or great they are can be a problem. How? You may start to believe that they must know the best way of doing something and whatever they did during the journey, was the optimal success path. When you internalize their way as the “right” way, you begin mimicking them instead of striking out on your own and finding a way to improve things.

In a recent conversation, I came through this question, “What is something you wish someone would have told you before starting your first venture?”

For me, the answer is “nothing”!

It doesn’t matter what anyone asked me; I’m the kind of person who believes in performing A/B split testing at every phase and I love experimenting things. I strongly believe what works for one person or organization might not be as productive for others, and on top of that, I would rather learn from my past mistakes instead of following tired advice from someone who has experienced success with their own ways. This is something I like to call a “learn as you grow approach”.

There is No Exact Formula; Don’t Rely on Others’ Suggestions

Having a “learn as you grow” approach means you never assume that someone has figured it all out. But that doesn’t mean that you know all the answers, either. Once you get started, anything can be improved upon, no matter how organized or widely accepted it might be.

After spending excellent 80 years of trade in natural fibers and wool, the 3rd generation of the Wood family actually wanted to expand into the online clothing segment. Everyone seemed to have their opinions about how they should embark it, but they didn’t care how it was supposed to be implemented. They just wanted to do it the most impactful way.

They combined their online branding expertise, their knowledge of logistics and operational efficiencies to develop their own methods while maintaining the ethics of the company.

It worked. A new extensive shape of business is being established for the next generation of Wood family to expand further in the modern era of British culture. Genie Recycling pays you the best price for recycling your unwanted accessories and clothing quickly and simply!

Bottom Line – Can’t we make mistakes? Yes, we may but we should view every mistake and potential defeat as an opportunity; opportunity to improve. This can give us the requisite flexibility and adaptability, to build an organization’s framework that can be easy to adapt changes and grow quickly.

A Learn-as-You-Grow Mentality Helps You Adapt

The fear of failure (also known as – “atychiphobia”) is the primary reason most of the entrepreneurs stipulate the “safer” way of running and organizing their businesses. They tend to follow so called best practices and tested methods to minimize the chances of failure. The question is – Is this approach make them invincible? NO.

Mistakes are inescapable, no matter which avenue you choose. You know the difference; entrepreneurs who love themselves to be guided throughout the process are less likely to adapt.

Imagine an antelope born and raised in a zoo. He learns from an early age when he will be fed and where he can roam. But what happens when he’s turned loose in the wild? He’s eaten!

People who can’t learn as they grow, who can’t challenge the status quo, show resistance to find creative solutions to the problems they face put themselves at an evolutionary disadvantage. The worst part is – they end up becoming part of the digestive process. Thus, they never reach their full potential and their start-ups are never as strong as they could be.

Conclusion

So, what does this mean? Don’t rely on others to guide you, to tell you how to run your business. Instead, adopt the learn as you grow mentality, and embrace every misstep as an awesome way to improve. This way, you’ll become more productive, more efficient, would be able to adapt anything, and creating solutions that are better than the conventional ones. And do you know something? When people ask you about your mistakes/success journey, you’ll proudly talk about the events that helped shape your start-up into something great.

BIO text – Shyam Bhardwaj is a professional SEO consultant and has worked with A-listed agencies including 4Point Digital, White Rabbit Marketing, and The Website Group. You can follow him on Twitter – @shyam_bhardwaj

The Worst Things Don’t Happen At Sea, They Happen Online!

Sailors are wrong about the ocean, particularly if you are thinking regarding commercial prospects. Most people think that the idea of the worst things occurring at sea comes from issues like drowning, or boats overturning. Actually, it’s a business warning. It means the worst things that can happen to your company occur on the waters. In the past, this may have been true. After all, one bad storm could have wiped the entire trading prospects of a company. These days that’s not true, and businesses will have more than a few eggs in a variety of different baskets. Businesses are diversified as much as possible to guarantee that one bad problem won’t kill the company.

As true as this is, if you look at the business market it becomes clear that the danger hasn’t disappeared, it’s shifted to a new location. These days, the dangerous waters are actually in the online realm. So, let’s look at some of the problems you can encounter with your business online as well as the best ways to handle them.

When SEO Attacks

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There are a few issues you need to be aware of with SEO for your company. First, there’s the Google penalties. These little nuisances are a lot scarier than they seem, particularly when you discover they have names like Penguin and Panda. The penalties can actually cause your search ranking to plummet through the floor, and this will negatively impact the profitability of your business because no one will be able to find your site.

This is why you need to be careful about the type of SEO tactics that you use. SEO can be tricky, and it’s worth making sure that you don’t oversimplify it to the point where you start using blackhat forms of the service. An example of that would be stuffing content with keywords. Content, on the other hand, is a key way that you can build SEO and increase the ranking of your site the right way.

To do this, you just need to make sure that you are adding content that is relevant, targeted and written or produced to a high-quality level. This can be difficult, and that’s why a number of business owners now use professional writers for articles, video and infographics.

The other issue with SEO is a negative SEO attack. Here, a business that is competing with yours will use SEO to target your company and make sure that negative content surrounding your business appears when customers search your brand. It’s dangerous, it’s damaging, and it’s one of the reasons why you should always keep a check on the buzz around your business online.

This is just a couple of the issues you need to be aware of when marketing your business online Both are easily avoidable so let’s look at a problem that isn’t.

Hacks And Breaks

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In the past, the biggest security threat yo your business would be someone smashing a window in your office or cracking the lock on the door of your building. Today, a hacker can break into your business and take sensitive data or valuable information with just a laptop. They don’t even have to visit your business address to do this. Now, what does this mean for your company with regards to security?

Well first of, you need to make sure that you do have the right insurance services such as risk management. It is crucial that you know how much risk there could be surrounding your business. This will determine the coverage your company needs as well as the price or premium that you will need to pay. Be aware that there are a lot of insurance plans that will not cover loss from a data hack. That’s why you’re going to have to be careful about the type of company coverage that you choose.

Aside from this, you should be explore a few of the security possibilities for your business online. Start off by looking into https. You will notice that this site does use https. What does that mean? Basically, the site is operating with an SSL, and this ensures that all the data transferred through the site is secure. It makes the site far more secure and is recommended for any site that transfers data such as passwords which these days is every single site and blog.

If you don’t want to make this change to protect your company or the interests of your customers, do it to protect your profits. Studies show that 83 percent of users will leave your site if it is labelled as insecure which it will be without an SSL.

Aside from this, you should be using the services of an IT support team. They will make sure that your business is constantly monitored and checked to see if there is an issue with a hack. If there is an issue they will correct it as quickly as possible and make sure that if customer data is lost then at least, you will be aware of it.

Damage To The Brand

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You should also be concerned about the possibility of damaging your business brand online. A variety of issues can damage your business brand online and the first problem to think about is poor customer reviews. Everything these days is susceptible to reviews and if you have a string of bad reviews, slowly but surely your customers will begin to disappear.

As well as customer reviews you need to consider business interactions. These days there is just no excuse for a business not communicating or failing to stay in contact with customers. Using social media, this should be easy, and if it’s taking up too much time, a social media manager can handle this for you, guaranteeing that customers feel connected. If your customers don’t feel like part of your business, they will pursue a relationship with another organization, perhaps one of your main competitors.

We hope you see now that the worst things that impact businesses occur online, not at sea.