If your name was Coca Cola, Guinness or McDonald’s, then you could certainly describe yourself as a brand. The vast majority of your audience will have a clear picture in their mind about who you are and what you do. You would then promote yourself and your activities within that framework, with perhaps an occasional tweak to the overall picture.
For most businesses this process is always an ongoing one. Their name and what they stand for is not clearly identified in the minds of all – or even a majority – of their potential customers. As time passes, this is also likely to remain true, as new prospects enter their sphere of influence. Here’s a simple example: people reach an age where fashion might be replaced at number one in their activity list with areas concerned with their first home or starting a family. Equally, the younger folk who need a cheap-as-chips car to take them around town graduate to a more stylish choice of models as their financial situation improves.
Therefore, as you promote your business, products or services through your range of online marketing activities, from web content to social media, and elsewhere, part of the message you wish to communicate concerns clearly branding your company in the minds of its potential customers. It pays to take time to think what images and impressions you wish all your current and potential users to have in their mind whenever they see or recognise a reference to your business.
Elements of this image might concern exclusivity or a mass-market appeal, high quality or best value, might be about enhancing their lifestyle (and the attached self-image) or solving simple and everyday problems. No matter what it is that you wish people to know, understand, and believe about your company, one of the goals of any promotional activity you undertake should be to both establish and enhance this image or impression. If you achieve this, whenever people are needing the products you offer, or could benefit from the services you provide, your “brand” then pops into their mind. It’s your equivalent of those situations where the thirsty are more likely to ask for a Coke or Guinness in a bar than a cola or stout!