Brand Management 101

In online business it can be tricky to truly protect your brand.

So you’ve got a business idea, and you’ve toiled for hours over that lengthy business plan. You’ve ticked every box, assessed your competitors and you’re ready to go. But do you have a website? Without one, you could be heading for a branding disaster.

A popular misconception about branding is that it’s all about your logo and making your business look pretty. While yes, your brand is certainly the face of your business, it is so much more than a stylish minimalist logo in greyscale. Branding can make or break your business, and it’s down to you to manage your branding effectively.

As with all things business, it helps to take a leaf out of the main players’ tactics book. Google is a shining example of a business who manage their brand well: from endearing “scribbles” on their homepage to a well-thought-out domain name strategy, Google tick all the boxes.

So what should be on your branding tick list?

  • A domain name strategy. There are now almost 1,000 web address endings available to register online, including .ninja and .wtf. Designed to provide alternatives to the standard .coms and .nets of the web, these domain names have proved popular with both startups and old-timers alike. Before you consider registering your very own yourbrand.guru web address, though, you should snap up all of the top level domain names (.com, .org, .net etc) which relate to your brand before someone else goes ahead and reserves them. Winning ownership of a pre-registered domain name can prove costly and lengthy; make sure you register yours now.
  • A strong social media presence. Online business is big business, and you can guarantee that even if your brand doesn’t have an online presence there’ll be conversation both positive and negative about your brand online. Once you decide on your brand DNA – that is, just who your brand really is – you’ll need to manage this persona and there’s no place better to do this than via social media. You can interact with your customers, mediate with them and react quickly when they have an issue, and highlight any organic praise you get all in a few simple mouse clicks.
  • A killer logo. While it’s not the be all and end all in business, your business should take time and care developing an appropriate logo. Remember, this visual will represent your brand across all print and online channels; a great logo becomes synonymous with the business and can be used as a standalone symbol: think the Nike swoosh.
  • An engaging website. Your website is the home of your brand’s personality; treat it as the most important element of your branding. Make sure it’s powered by a robust hosting solution – our SSD VPS servers are lightning fast without breaking the bank – and be sure your content is optimised to boost your search engine ranking and engage with visitors. Just as with your social media channels, the personality of your brand should shine through in all of your website copy, and be consistent within any customer-facing environment. This means your sales and customer service teams have to get up close and personal with your brand as they embody your brand persona when interacting with customers.

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