What is Business Branding? – Business Branding in the Online World

Strong business branding is extremely important, because it helps customers to clearly identify what you are about. It will differentiate you from your competitors and, by practicing what you preach, will create a desire within your customers to be associated with your business. They’ll want to ‘belong’ to your brand.Business branding is not just about portraying an image through clever marketing though. If you try to portray an image that isn’t true, then your customers will see through that. You really need to find out what you, as a business, are all about. Then consistently and clearly portray that brand, making sure that your staff, website and product or service do the same.What is your ‘brand’? What are your values? And what does your business stand for?Your customer service people, apart from your existing customers, are the most critical ambassadors of your brand. Therefore it is vital that they are extremely clear about what you represent as a business. For this reason, if you haven’t already, you will need to develop a Business Philosophy. These are thoughtfully planned Values and Vision statements that clearly enforce what you stand for, and why you exist as a business. Although the obvious answer would be ‘to make money’, some deeper reasons, depending on your business, could be; to make people feel great, to promote an adventurous life, to make life easier, to provide quality entertainment, to provide real business solutions, etc.Maintaining Brand ConsistencyOnce you have defined your brand, you must establish consistency of your key brand message throughout your website, in all customer interactions (phone and email) and within your product or service itself. Simply setting standards is not enough, you need to constantly evaluate the image that your business is portraying to the public, and ensure that it is in line with your business brand values.Allow staff to give you feedback about any inconstancies within your business and be sure to take their advice. If your brand stands for one thing and a customer sees another, you will be in danger of damaging your reputation. The best way to lead is by example. If your brand projects a friendly image that claims to care about people, but you treat your staff poorly, then your reputation (and sales) will suffer. Stay true to your brand.Understanding Cultural DifferencesAs more and more business move on to the Internet, we are fast becoming a global economy. Your customers could come from any walk of life and it’s important when building a brand that you think about cultural differences. Words and phrases that mean one thing in your country might not translate to the same meaning somewhere else. The things that you value and consider good, might be the complete opposite in another country. Your brand should be extremely clear, but broad enough for you to grow globally.

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