An effective branding strategy is an essential component in building a credible and trustworthy online business presence. At their best, branding solutions increase the perceived value of a product or service to customers, making it more likely that they’ll choose your brand over competing ones.
The increasing pace of globalisation has created a more competitive environment in which products no longer compete purely on the basis of their individual strengths. Today, the perceived advantage of their branding, and the improved credibility it implies, has become almost as important a factor.
Brand Building – The New Competitive Advantage
One of the major benefits of careful brand development lies in the fact that a recognisable and known brand can enjoy a significant competitive advantage over unknown products. With the product lifecycle becoming ever shorter in this fast-paced world, corporate credibility that carries over to the product has become a priority.
Numerous branding companies have come into being whose sole purpose is to create, manage and enhance personal brand building campaigns for their clients. With intelligent management, it’s possible for even an internet brand to achieve the kind of brand credibility that distinguishes the top performing products of the off-line world.
The Branding Challenge
One of the greatest challenges inherent in the process of branding your product lies in achieving a balance between the short term goals of the product, and the long term goals of the brand. Developing a stable brand requires a far different approach than merely selling as much of a given product as possible.
A branding company that specialises in the process may make the communication of relevant goals, both long and short term, more effective. They may also be necessary to integrate brand and business goals, which may even conflict with each other at certain points.
On a more prosaic level, the immediacy of the online sphere means that brand damage can happen within moments. Bad reviews and legitimate complaints, as well as malicious use of brand identity or information, can all cause significant damage to the image of your brand. And poor image can have a surprisingly sudden negative impact on sales.
Most brand leaders therefore include an online brand monitoring program in their overall strategy. This takes advantage of the fact that, while online immediacy can cause rapid damage to your brand, it can also allow you to take limiting action immediately.
According to the Aberdeen Group, best-in-class companies using online brand monitoring to detect negative impacts on branding are 12.5 times more likely to experience year-on-year increases in shareholder equity.