Online Marketing: What Is Your Brand?

If you’re reading this, I assume you’re already somewhat familiar with the term ‘brand’ and how it relates to business. However, the question is: What is your brand?
For many, the answer to this question would be something along the lines of ‘my company’s brand’, ‘the product’s brand’, or simply ‘the brand’. While all of these answers are correct, you might be surprised to learn that there is more than one answer. In fact, there is a whole school of thought that suggests answering this question with a simple ‘We don’t have a brand’ might not be the best idea at all.
Before we get started, it is important to note that a brand cannot be created solely by a company or product. In other words, your brand doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Instead, your brand is defined by the way you and your team members represent it. Therefore, it is imperative to establish and embrace a brand culture that is unique to your organization. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to let the world know about it.

The Importance Of Identity

To put it simply, your brand is what consumers perceive when they think of your company or product. For decades, companies and marketers have examined the importance of identity and established benchmarks to measure its value. In the 1990s, psychologists conducted a study that ranked the importance of brand identity between life satisfaction and career success. So, it seems that having a clear and distinct identity is not only valuable within your organization, but also when seeking employment opportunities.

For years, marketers have used the acronym TRIZ (or Theory of Relativity, Interchangeability, and the Zeroth Law) to describe the process of establishing and defining a brand. Essentially, these theories serve as a guide to creating a brand identity that is unique to your company and that will stand out among the masses. In today’s world, the internet enables customers to discover your company and your product at lightning speed. As a result, having a brand that stands out is a must.

The Different Forms Of Brand Identity

While most people think of a brand when discussing the products or companies they love or hate, establishing a brand doesn’t always mean promoting a single item or service. In fact, there are multiple forms of brand identity, which can be represented by a logo, slogan, tagline, or website theme. Depending on your marketing preferences and objectives, you might decide to focus on one area of branding or another. Nonetheless, it is important to remember that no one area of branding provides the full story. Instead, each form of branding serves as a piece of the puzzle that is your company’s identity.

The Evolution Of Branding

Over the years, marketing departments have used various tactics to establish and communicate a brand. While direct marketing through postal mail may have been the standard practice in the past, today’s world marks the triumph of digital marketing. Email marketing, social media, SEO, and other forms of digital marketing have enabled marketers to target the right audience and to engage them into action, such as making a purchase or seeking further information.

Since the 1950s, the marketing department has been the center of activity for firms, serving as a hub for communication, coordination, and the generation of new ideas. Today, marketing is more important than ever before. In fact, a recent survey from HubSpot reveals that 79% of businesses are actively engaging with customers through social media. What’s more, 64% are taking advantage of SEO and pay-per-click advertising, and 58% are using email marketing.

Creating A Brand Culture

Like any other area of your business, establishing a brand takes time and effort. In particular, you’ll want to make sure that the people working for you embrace the same values and have the same attitude toward the brand. Fortunately, you can start small and expand your efforts as you grow. In fact, the more you engage with your employees, the better they will understand and appreciate your efforts to establish a brand for the company.

To get started, create a working group with employees from various departments, such as sales, marketing, and customer support. Take this opportunity to discuss what your brand is and the importance of embracing it. Moreover, you can request that they come up with ideas for a new logo or slogan, as well as other areas of branding. In addition, you might want to consider setting some guidelines for how marketing should interact with the public. For example, you could ask that all marketing departments adopt a consistent tone and approach. Alternatively, you could establish separate work groups for digital marketing, email marketing, and social media. This will help ensure that your efforts are coordinated and that your company’s message is consistent.

Marketing To Multiple Audiences

In today’s world, marketing is more important than ever before. However, the traditional practices of marketing, such as newspaper ads and magazine spreads, simply won’t cut it anymore. Instead, you must engage with your audience wherever they are, whether that’s a web audience or a mobile audience. In other words, traditional advertising is ineffective, and it’s time for a change. Fortunately, the internet provides multiple opportunities to reach your audience. For example, you could establish a blog and engage with your readers through articles and videos. Or, you could set up a YouTube channel and use videos to showcase your products or explain industry terms in a meaningful way.

The Importance Of Measurement

The first step to establishing a brand is defining it. To do that, you’ll want to examine a variety of metrics, including brand awareness, credibility, and satisfaction. Once you have that data, you can create benchmarks against which to measure your efforts and determine if you’ve reached your goal. In addition, you can consider using a brand audit to evaluate the performance of your current brand identity. A brand audit will help you identify strengths and weaknesses, enabling you to establish benchmarks and improve upon your efforts. Finally, a brand score, which combines brand awareness with credibility and satisfaction, will provide you with a single number that summarizes your brand’s performance.

The metrics and data will vary depending upon your marketing preferences. However, the general idea behind all of this is to provide you with the metrics that enable you to measure the success of your branding exercise.

At this point, you might be wondering: Why should I bother with all of this? After all, isn’t a brand just something that a company builds? While that may be true, as we’ve established, a brand is much more than that. Moreover, a company without a brand has no identity and no opportunity to stand out among the masses. As marketers, we have the power to create a brand for our clients—brands give us the opportunity to do that and more.