Branding is extremely important for any business, be it an SME, an entrepreneurial venture or a big corporation. Big corporations and multinationals are well aware of the importance of branding and have created and cultivated strong brands worth fortunes over the decades of their operations. It is high time that online and small business also learn the value of branding, start implementing it with meticulous care in their strategy to reap the benefits of the concept.
With the advent of online businesses and easy loans available for SMEs and entrepreneurial firms, there are a plethora of organizations out there, each trying their best to provide the best advantage to their customers. However, for customers, what matters the most is the kind of promise that the organization is making to them, and if the promise will be upheld time and again. Therefore, in totality, branding is the sum total of the perceptions that the customers have about the organizational offering. This organizational offering entails not just the product itself, but also the services, the logo and packaging, the reputational management and the kind of marketing efforts entailed to bring the product to the customers.
Online businesses which are starting off their operations need to understand that branding is not a short term project which can reap benefits for the organization in ‘x number of years’. Instead, branding is a journey which strengthens the organizational offering over time; it is not a gimmick. Branding doesn’t only bring a product on the top of consumers’ minds but also ensures that the online business gets a loyal customer as well as employee base. The ways in which an online business can start off branding are as follows:
- Businesses need to realize that their brand should relate to their target market, share the unique offer and promise in an easy way, and should reflect the organizational values.
- Once businesses have aligned on what their brand stands for, they need to create a coherent communication strategy which can highlight their name, their logo, their product offering, their promises to the customers in an effective way.
- Once the communication strategy is finalized, the online business owner needs to ensure that the communication is done in a coherent manner across all mediums of communication. For example, the messaging on the website, social media, the messaging from the customer representatives, the messaging in advertisements, all need to be aligned and coherent.
- Online businesses also need to ensure that they are delivering on to their promise every single time. Their production, their supply chain, their marketing and communication channels, all need to perform in alignment for the core promise to be delivered to the customer.
- Online businesses can also make use of sponsored content, interactive channels, and constant communication to keep in touch with their customers to gain an understanding of their wants so they can keep them satisfied.
Online businesses should always be on the lookout for ways to strengthen their brands and to ensure that their brands are fulfilling the promises both offline and online.