Creating a brand for your online business is one of the most important things you need to do to guarantee your success. Without a brand you’re just one of the crowd making it nearly impossible to compete in this huge Internet marketplace.
You brand is defined by your business, not the other way around. Consider the Pepsi brand. They didn’t come up with the name first and then create a variety of soft drinks, sporting goods, camping gear and other name brand merchandise. First they came up with their initial product – the soda itself. Then they decided on a marketing message – If you drank their soft drink it would give you “pep”, hence the name Pepsi.
Next they chose a target audience and selected colors and a logo that would appeal to that audience, something that would automatically think of Pepsi Cola every time they saw it. Over the years that logo has evolved but it never veers far from the original, and over the years the brand has also involved to include thousands of Pepsi products and off-shoot companies.
When discovering a brand for you blog take a lesson from Pepsi. What is the initial product or service you want to promote? Who is your target audience and what is the best way to get that audience’s attention and “brand” your company in their mind?
But most important, you should consider your long-term goals, like Pepsi did. It’s unlikely you’ll make enough money to achieve your financial goals if you only promote one single product. Needs change, trends come and go, and products evolve along with technology. Unless the product you’re promoting will have world wide appeal – forever – it only makes good business sense to realize you’ll need to diversify to meet the ever changing needs of the marketplace.
To build a brand though your essential message must always stay the same. In Pepsi’s case that message is fun, pep, refreshment, parties and good times. Their message also defines their target audience – people who want to have fun, people who need pep or refreshments, and people who enjoy parties and good times.
Right now, as you’re planning your first blog, you may not have thought that far into the future. But most successful online businesses only start with a single blog. Eventually they add a website and maybe an online store. They include a marketing satellite location, so to speak, in some of the key social networks.
All of this various sites, blogs and off-site locations need to reflect your brand so it’s important to choose a name for your business that can be carried over from place to place. Maybe you’ve already chosen a good name and you’re ready to buy a domain name, but before you do it’s best to look toward the future. Will you be able to use that name across all of these different platforms?
The reason you need to take time now to discover your brand before your blog is because you will, eventually, need to brand your business if you want to be noticed in the Internet marketplace. And again, Pepsi is a perfect example. You don’t come to the Internet looking for a website that sells soft drinks, you go directly to the Pepsi website and plop down your money.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!