Branding has always been the anchor of business. That is how it is now, and that is how it has always been ten, twenty, even fifty years ago. Think of your business as a fishing boat, and having found a spot where you can get plenty of fish, you would want to stay there and make the most out of it. But of course, wait long enough and there will come a time when you would have to reinvent yourself and refocus your branding, metaphorically raising that anchor and moving on to better fishing grounds.
Fishing analogies aside, branding remains to be one of the biggest and most crucial puzzles that marketers are faced with, especially at a time when fads can change in as fast as week and technology becomes obsolete at a ridiculously rapid pace. It’s a constant struggle to remain relevant and to keep up with all the changes that may sink an unfortunately unprepared company. As of now, everyone would agree that the internet is the path of modern branding, and the only question now is how best to do it.
The revolution of modern branding.
- Don’t be selfish. Let’s face it; there are probably a few businesses and companies in the world preceding the internet that are still up and running today. The difference that divides these into two groups, however, is that some companies embrace all the advancements that come with modern branding while the others burrow deeper into their “established niche”. The latter are the type of brands that advocate statements like “With all due respect, marketers don’t care who you are as an individual,” and are honestly the ones who won’t last for much longer.
- There’s easier communication, but more competition. In 2011 in America alone, around 6,516,000 new businesses were created, a staggering number in all respects. Of course, most of which are admittedly doomed to failure, but a small percentage of it will survive to thrive in the overly competitive world of business. That is a small measure of how many companies are trying to make it big on the internet, and you are one of them. Remember the tradeoffs, and in this case, it’s convenience for competition.
- Get with the times. If you want to be successful with your online branding there is no other option but to familiarize yourself with all the tools, software, and websites that are at your disposal. Yes, you won’t be able to master them all; yes, they churn out new versions of these every minute; and yes, it can be overwhelming. No, it is sadly not an excuse to fall behind. Information is a powerful tool, and it is better to have and not need than the other way around.
Who am I? Search for yourself.
This statement can actually be taken literally as well as figuratively, because online and offline, understanding yourself is one of the keys to successful branding. Find your own voice and speak out using this instead of going around copying strategies that do not really fit well with who you are. As for the literal aspect, you’d be surprised at how much information you can gain from a simple Google search—how you rank in SEO, what sites are next to you in the search results, what keywords give you the best chances, etc.—and you can use these in order to bring on changes that matter.
When it comes to a single person running his career and not a business, there is also a term called personal branding. From the name, it’s a concept which basically packages a person, his abilities, and his entire career into a “personal brand”. This being a world full of arguments and discourse, there are of course some people who assert that personal branding is nonsense and those who think otherwise. Whatever the case may be, the most important thing is to know who you are and be able to share this with your potential clients.
It’s still branding, only online.
In the end, online branding is fundamentally the same as what branding was many years ago. Trends may have changed and gadgets may have become cooler, but everything is still about the business and how to build trust and strong relationships between the business and its customers. Moving all the way back to the fishing analogy, you’re still very much in the same boat; you just have a new anchor and a bigger ocean to fish in.