One of my modules at University was branding, and the importance that branding had on a company, large or small. The tasks was to create a brand book for our own restaurant, we had to design the logo, name and everything in between.
It really highlighted the importance of branding, your target audience must be able to recognise your company at the mention of a name, a picture or a colour. This creates brand loyalty, trust and recognition; a huge impact on your profits and company development. When a consumer sees your logo, or hears your name it should evoke the feelings, ideas and beliefs in them about what you want your company to stand for. (and all good ones, we hope). Research reveals that most consumers, when choosing between similar products, buy based on reputation, which is established through successful branding.
Branding is achieved through company name, logo, slogans, colours, fonts and symbols.
The internet has had a huge impact on branding and reputation. Offline branding is within the companies control, and the control and management of their reputation is in their hands. When it comes to the internet, this control is shared (or more owned) by the reciever, it is a pull, and not a push, medium. The audience decides what they think of your company and once they have decided this, will have no qualms about sharing their feelings with the entire world wide web, and there is not much you can do about it. They will talk 24/7, every single day and managing this can be a bit of a pain. Power relationships are changed – smaller interest groups can present their case as well as large organizations – an activist group’s power is increased while a corporation’s ability to resist is decreased.
However, it is not all bad; The Internet can be used for proactive reputation management – websites are often the first point of contact, so companies can monitor opinion and engage in dialogue. New technology can help you trawl the web to identify what is being said about your organization, and social media platforms have allowed large companies to talk to their entire target audience, the most influential and the least influential.
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