Brands are all around us. Every day, we interact with hundreds of brands, most of them are so commonplace that we don’t even notice them anymore. Any business owner looking to build out their brand should start with the following words of advice.
Get a Picture of Your Current State
Before you get too deep into planning the next phase of your brand development, you should begin by getting a clear picture of what your current state is. If you are launching your brand from scratch, think about what other assets or existing brands you have that you can leverage. If you have already established a successful brand or two, you can use the lessons you learned in launching those to help you now. You can also intertwine your brands and use one to promote the other.
If you have launched your current brand and are now looking for how to best build it out, you will need to establish the current state of your brand in as much detail as possible. Of course, you can get an idea of a brand’s success from the amount of revenue that it is generating. Similarly, there is an endless array of metrics that you can easily find out to establish how popular your brand is online.
However, when you are looking to expand and build your brand, many of the most important markers of your success will be things expressed qualitatively rather than quantitatively. If you have a reasonable social media following, for example, you can use this to get opinions directly from your audience. Comparing words is harder than comparing numbers, but you should make use of both types of data to gain the most well-rounded overview of the state of your brand.
Expand Your Online Platforms
Most businesses operating today have, at the very least, a website and a social media presence. Both of these components are important to your overall online presence, and you need to build them out together. However, they require very different approaches and have very different uses.
The purposes and functions of your website will vary according to what your business does specifically. For example, if the website is supporting a retail business, it is likely that the website itself will also allow customers to place orders and make purchases. For other types of business, where online selling isn’t appropriate, the website may well be more about presenting information.
Adding a blog to your website, while ensuring that you regularly update your social media profiles, is an excellent way of gaining more web traffic and, therefore, more opportunities to put your brands in front of a new audience.
Online directories are another important online platform, but one that is often overlooked. Many businesses mistakenly believe that online directories are outdated and no longer used. On the contrary, those who want to see the full range of available business, without being at the mercy of Google’s algorithms, still prefer online directories.
Take a look at Jasmine Directory for an example of an online directory. Founded in Valley Cottage, NY by Robert Gombos and Pecsi Andras in 2009, Jasmine Directory proves that the online directory concept is still alive and well. If you click on the directory’s sections, you will see that it makes it easy to find very specific categories. If this is easy for you to do as a visitor, it speaks well to your chances of being found on the platform. It is well worth taking the time to add your business to some online directories.
Take Every Opportunity to Put Your Brand Out There
One of the keys to getting your brand noticed is to simply make sure that you put it forward at every opportunity. Exposure is a very powerful force. The more that a general audience is exposed to your brand, the more favorably they will view it. Even if people feel negative about your brand, exposure can ultimately soften these feelings.
Where appropriate, consider having some relatively small and cheap merchandise printed up for your business. Being able to leave a couple of pens or business cards with your web address after external meetings is a great way of gaining some easy exposure without having to pay through the nose.
While you should be putting your business out there as much as possible, you also want to make sure that you promote your business appropriately. Don’t put your brand forward alongside any other brands of concepts that you don’t want to be associated with your brand.
Building a brand takes a lot of time and patience. However, if you take a multi-pronged approach, and build out your online platforms simultaneously, you stand a good chance of success. Exposure is the key to building a brand. Exposure doesn’t have to be expensive, but it will need time to take effect. In the meantime, keep promoting your brand and intertwining it with everything you do.
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