Marketing

Published on July 23rd, 2012 | by admin

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Branding Your Online Business

“Branding is very important for any business to be successful.” – You’ve heard it so many times already, no doubt about it. I myself believe in the statement, especially since I have been building online businesses for two years now. (Yes, I know I am still young to be thinking about businesses and all that, but hey, it’s like a hobby to me – you can’t stop me.)

Without a recognizable brand, an online business would be like one person belonging to a big group, and everyone in that group is wearing the same outfit. Yes, they would be noticed, but they would receive the same amount of attention from other people – and that amount of attention would be divided into the number of people in the group! Now let us recreate the situation. Suppose all of them are wearing red shirts and black pants, except for one who is wearing an all-white attire. They go to a place at the same time and they stay with each other. People would notice them, yes, BUT more attention would go to the one wearing white! The group would stay in people’s minds, but the person in white would be likely more remembered. That is exactly why branding is very important – to be noticed and to stick into people’s minds.

It Starts with the Name

Any online business should have an easy-to-remember name. Having a catchy website/company name will pay off in the end because 1) your visitors would be likely to remember your site, and 2) if people were to choose between a company with a bad name and a company with a great name, they would go with the latter (of course, without checking which one is better in terms of delivery of service).

Imagine if you had a website called asdfkjljew.com. How in the world would that stick into people’s minds? Your goal of being remembered cannot be accomplished anymore. Even if you are doing a great job in completing client work or delivering your products, it would be rare for a customer to return to your website because chances are, they have forgotten about your domain name!

Here are some tips to help you choose a name for your online business:

Avoid generic names. “Very Professional Designs”, “Make Money Blog”, and “Best Networking Site” can be more of descriptions than business names!
Don’t buy unpronounceable domain names. Asdfjljew.com, bglsfrpp.com, and the like would NOT stick into your customers minds. TRUST ME.
Try combining the service/product you’re offering and a nice adjective or noun. “Design Robot”, “The Money Machine”, “Cool Social”, and other similar names would do well in terms of branding.
Graphics and Unique Layouts Help in Branding

Some of you know that I had the custom design of this blog made before I officially launched it. Why? I didn’t want the visitors to think that this is just another of those internet marketing blogs which would die in a month or so. I strongly believe (and I know a lot of other entrepreneurs also do) that graphics and unique designs REALLY help in branding your online business.

Logo

A logo is very important; it is like the face of your business. Imagine if McDonalds didn’t have the Golden Arches. We would be having a hard time recognizing a McDonalds store from afar! When getting a logo done, make sure that you hire the best designer you could find and let the logo encompass what your online business is all about.

Take Net Strife’s logo as an example. Obviously the “NS” represents Net Strife. What do the box and the arrows around it represent? As you can see, there are four arrows and each point to a different direction. The box represents internet marketing itself, and the arrows are the directions where a marketer could go. There are many paths to take, and they may lead to your success or failure.
Make sure that your own logo also has a meaning. Do not ask your designer to create a random logo that looks “nice” or “cool” or “cute”!

Website Design

Spend a few minutes to look at Yahoo!, Live.com, TIME.com, and other prominent websites. What do they have in common? They have UNIQUE and ORIGINAL designs. They’re not using a free cookie-cutter template that can be downloaded from several sites. They invested time and money in order to have designs which stand out from the crowd and stay in their audience’s minds.

If you ever want to run a successful and recognized online business, then make it to a point that you have a design which sets you apart from websites that offer similar products! Now, it is really easy to say that getting a unique design would let you stand out, but finding the person to create the design that would let you stand out is not so easy.

I myself have spent countless hours finding an excellent designer. I have checked numerous portfolios but I always found something that I disliked about a design. Sure, sure, you may now throw your tomatoes at your perfectionist guy here. ;) Anyway, here are some of my tips that will help you pick the right designer:

Check most of his work. If you can check all, then better. By doing so, you can get a feel of how the person creates designs and his personal style.

– Ask yourself: Is the price okay, considering the skill level of the designer? Since you’re the one checking the portfolio, see if the height of the price is at par with the height of the designer’s skill.

– Know the designer’s terms. There are some designers who are not willing to make revisions once the design is done. I detest those kind of people, really. It’s because I am not getting what I want for the money that I paid for. As for payment terms, there are designers who would ask for 50% payment upfront, and some are comfortable with getting paid after the job is complete.
– Make sure you agree with all his terms before you “sign” a contract!
Make sure you’re comfortable with the turnaround time. Some designers take a week to accomplish a task, while some only use up three days or so. Just be sure that you’re okay with the turnaround time before you pay him or her.

Summary

Online businesses which have a recognizable brand would have a higher success rate than businesses which do not stand out. The business name and the layout play a big role in branding. Make sure you brand your business well to achieve the success you’re aiming for!


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