Where does my online Brand come from?

online branding
There’s an awful lot talked about this, especially by self-professed online brand expert, even by bloggers selling blogging as an online Brand and online personalities like Instagram models. Just to save any confusion, I am writing here about traditional business operating online such as estate agents, vets, retail stores, Locksmiths and so-forth. Doing business online is from a brand  viewpoint, no different to running a store or a local office. “Your brand is how people perceive you wherever they interact with your business“. Questions about your brand when/if it is established would include: “What does it look like?” “How does it make people feel?” “Will it resonate with its target audience?”   People need to feel confident that you are competent and can be trusted. They also don’t want to be laughed at for having chosen a brand that is inferior in some way.  People buy brands like NIKE to be seen wearing NIKE. Many powerful brands in Auto and clothing are simply selling modest products with expensive labels. They are selling status. You are unlikely to be able to create a NIKE overnight, but in your local community you can achieve a similar status.

What influence can you have over your brand.

When it comes to managing your Brand you have to accept that not everything I within your control, some things can be influence rather than controlled and some are simply beyond you.

Stuff you can control

Look and feel, tagline, positioning (sort of), target audience(sort of). I have marked two of these items as sort of controllable because you may well think you are controlling them, while in-fact, your perception of your positioning and target audience don’t quite match that of the great public out there. This is a very common error for even professionals who fall into the trap of overvaluing their judgement, a major problem for owner operators who habitually think they know it all, after-all how would you take such risks otherwise, and a source of much error due to misinterpretation. Add to all that the fact the entire ecosystem can change dramatically in a year thus changing your demographic and how you are perceived. It is vital therefore to be on top of this issue continually. It is vital that you have a realistic understanding of the demographics of your target audience, that your positioning statement implies you have exactly what this demographic needs and you understand their ways and attitudes well enough that how you look and speak resonates with them.

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