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Branded Web Image for Online Entrepreneurs

online branding, brand, brands, traditional branding, branding experts

Introduction

Online or offline, all companies strive to gain brand recognition. This process can be difficult when thousands of similar companies vie to gain customer awareness. As the branding expert David Reyes-Guerra pointed out, the most important thing to remember, both online and offline, is to “Never underestimate the power of design to differentiate”. Yet online branding means more than design.

Online Branding – What Makes it Work?

On the Internet… there are no borders: a brand is global the minute it goes online. But what does it take to create a successful brand?
Creating a brand online is more difficult than it used to be for traditional companies with traditional media means. The online entrepreneurs need to develop their web presence with branding and marketing in mind. They need a memorable name for their business, a relevant logo and an eye-catching web design. And then, let the online press releases promote a good, reliable business.

A web site is a powerful promotional tool and online branding, as traditional branding, has the purpose to create an emotional connection between a business and the audience. A web site should reflect consistently the visual identity of the business, as visitors tend to judge a company based on their experiences with its web site. A clear mission statement defining what a business is all about is as important as a powerful, noteworthy logotype since visitors have no time for riddles and the competition on the Internet is incredible. If visitors cannot find what they are looking for fast and easy, they will follow the next link, pointing to a competitor who understands the importance of a good web presence.

Online Branding – Why Does it Fail?

Nowadays consumers spend online almost as much time as they spend watching TV. No wonder that branding experts encourage entrepreneurs to invest in online branding. Yet, is this enough? Is this what really makes an online brand?

The online brand needs a name, a message and a web site. If one of these three elements is not properly planned, nothing works. A striking name like “Stuttering Fish” will catch attention, make people smile and be remembered. But if there is nothing else behind the name, no message and a poor design, people will forget about it, as they forget many of the jokes they hear.

Many web coders plan the web sites poorly. Lack of or improper Meta tags and non-optimized content will negatively affect the sites’ positioning within the SERP (search engine results page).

Besides, an astonishing web site is not enough if the customer service disappoints. Late answers to inquiries, low quality products or products that fail, are as many reasons to determine people develop negative feelings related to a brand. There are also many other factors indirectly affecting how the consumers perceive a company and its products and services.

Conclusion

Online branding is a difficult process, but it pays off if proper done. It takes time, dedication and experience to promote a brand over the Internet. The acerb competition makes it even more difficult. Therefore it is important that online entrepreneurs put thought into the process before they start selling an image through expensive means such as pay per click or inclusions in paid directories.
Published: 2006-05-25
Author: Mihaela Ernst

About the author or the publisher
Mihaela Ernst (Lica) used to work as a military journalist for the Romanian Ministry of Defense. Representing Romania she was a member of the NATO Military Audio Visual Working Group in 2002, and from 2003 she's worked as a PR for my-tronic GmbH Germany. She is the founder of Pamil Visions: online public relations and branding.
www.pamil-visions.com

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