Branding can be a tricky concept to master – more than just your company’s name, it encompasses everything that people feel when they think of your company based on their previous interactions. Over time branding grows into something like a collective consciousness, one that includes the general perceptions of everyone who has ever done business with you.
Whether you’re looking to establish your business online or give that collective perception an overhaul, keep these five branding misconceptions in mind:
Branding is Just About “Getting Your Name Out There”
While name recognition is a big part of branding, also consider the kind of traits & emotions you want to evoke along with that recognition. Is your brand a fast-paced startup or a time-tested family business?
If the images and messaging in your branding campaign are incongruent with what your company represents, even the best branding campaigns will fall flat.
To get real results, incorporate your brand’s unique style into every aspect of your online business. The backbone will always be your website design, but your ads, web copy, emails, printed material etc. must also be consistent. Many projects in our web design portfolio include full rebranding or brand updates.
Rebranding Can Quickly Change Customer Perceptions
If you are a very large and established company, a rebrand is not going to do much to change entrenched perceptions – at least not quickly. However, the same can be said for small business owners who have a reputation within the community.
A “new image” may get some people to take a second look, but if they find the same business practices with a shiny new name, expect your rebranding efforts to be less than successful.
Display Ad Campaigns are All You Need for Branding
While it’s true that the majority of online branding campaigns utilize display advertising, that need not be the only tool in your branding toolbox. Consider:
- PPC Advertising for your brand name: it will most likely improve quality scores on your account, and be a very inexpensive way to get people curious about your brand to visit your site.
- Press Releases: Putting out newsworthy stories about your company will build recognition and awareness, plus there’s the potential for local media attention and even greater exposure.
- Social Media Campaigns: Fun brand-themed contests can spread the message about your company and give you great testimonials to share from current customers.
In short – get creative! Branding campaigns are about growing an audience of your best prospects & customers, so think of ways to engage them and get the word out.
Small Businesses Should Mimic Big Brands to be Taken Seriously
In the new online world where startups can skyrocket to prominence in the space of only a few weeks, there’s no reason to mimic any established brand.
People respond best to authenticity.
For most industries, it’s enough to have proof that your company does the job well and is engaged with your core market. That expertise and proof goes a long way to building trust in your brand regardless of how long it’s been around.
Negative Online Reviews Can Only Hurt Your Brand
Far from being a death knell, negative reviews are an excellent opportunity to boost your brand image. People understand that mistakes happen, and no company is 100% perfect.
While everyone can boast excellent customer service when everything is going well, few can attest to the same when problems arise.
People online who are dissatisfied are much more likely to keep buying from a company who does everything to make it right. Plus, people who are watching the problem unfold will look at how you respond and decide whether or not your company is worth doing business with based on your response.
However, that doesn’t mean you should have the entire interaction through social media or some other public channel. Often it’s enough to monitor social media and use it to direct customers to private response channels after apologizing for the mix up.
The only way negative online reviews can hurt your brand is if you ignore them. Today’s consumers expect online complaints to be addressed, especially when sent via the company’s social media channels.