You are by now already aware that brand building is a fundamental part of building a successful business – on or offline. An effective brand building strategy creates a memorable impression that serves to establish your business as a field or industry leader. These days, even brick and mortar businesses are compelled to have an online presence, so whether you are selling handmade jewelry exclusively online or seeking to expand your professional practice with a new website, it makes sense to use these online tools to build your brand and expand your reach.
Your Domain Name
Even before you create a company website, you’ll choose a domain name, also known as a URL. When you purchase it, choose carefully – it will be the Internet address for your business. Choosing your domain name wisely can give your website a leg up in the SEO process – and can mean the difference between getting noticed by potential customers and coming in on page ten of the search engine results. Use your business name to increase brand power, and consider additional names to increase web traffic using keywords related to your business.
Create a signature file that includes your business name, tagline, and if possible, logo and use it in all of your emails, when posting on blogs and in online forums. A well developed signature file establishes your brand around the Internet and builds it by attracting visitors to your website.
Some business advisers frown upon spending a lot of time and money on logo design, but a quality logo builds online branding instantly and powerfully. Here are some guidelines for using your logo to make the right impression with your online audience:
Be creative in design, select a logo design that is both eye catching and relevant to your business purpose.
Be sure that your logo is professional in design, has a high quality appearance that includes readability and attention to detail.
Select a logo design that sparks interest in your business along with excitement and energy.
Keep in mind that whatever images and thoughts are evoked in the minds of your viewers when they see your logo will be associated with your business automatically, so use this very powerful online brand building tool with care.
Your website is your most important online branding tool. It represents the place where all of the elements of a highly recognizable brand come together. If your business is already running successfully in an offline capacity, you’ll need to extend the elements of your offline strategy to your website, because uniformity is key to avoiding confusion in the minds of your target customers.
Pay special attention to the appearance and readability of the font size and type that you choose for your text, to the colors used in your graphics and page backgrounds, and to any photos and images that you decide to post. Not only do these elements attract or repel visitors in terms of aesthetics, they are a vital part of an effective online branding process. For example, you might favor orange, a color that conveys happiness, but if your website offers professional services, you are better off with a shade of blue that conveys trustworthiness and loyalty.
You may like the look of an ornate font, but if readers have a hard time scanning your pages, the brand building power is lost.
Bringing it all together
Building a powerful online brand for your business is a truly comprehensive effort that requires careful planning and execution. Be sure that the visual elements of your brand are consistent wherever they appear. As you expand your online presence to such areas of the Internet as blogs, social networking sites, article directories and forums, be sure that your logo, colors, contact information and quality of content remain consistent in their representation of your business as a trusted industry leader.