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The Importance Of Branding
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Why is Branding Important?
"Branding" is more than one of those buzzwords that all the high-powered marketers drop into conversation so that you think they're clever. Branding is a very important part of website promotion.

The goal of branding is to end up with the name of your product, service or website foremost in everyone's mind.

Just think of the Cola wars -- Coke and Pepsi both spend an obscene amount of money every year trying to become the dominant brand. Many of their ads don't even try to sell the product -- they simply sell the brand and try to create "brand awareness."

Even the word "branding" has its origins long before the arrival of modern media such as radio, TV and the Internet. Indeed, farmers have, for hundreds of years, "branded" stock with their own indelible logos -- so as to establish an inseparable link between the product and the provider.

Just how powerful this can be as a selling tool becomes in our modern multi-media marketing environment is apparent when you think about such areas as:

  • Cable TV news -- CNN
  • Photocopiers -- Xerox
  • Computers -- IBM
  • Software -- Microsoft
All these companies have established themselves as one of, if not "the", dominant player in their fields. They may have many competitors, and some of those competitors might well have superior products at superior prices -- but none have done such a good job of impressing their brand into people's minds.

From this it can be seen that the power of your brand might even be more important than the quality or price of your product. This is why establishing your brand is so very, very important.

How To Create An Effective Brand Name
One thing you'll notice about many of the most widely known brands is that they're simple and easily remembered, often consisting of just a three-letter acronym such as: IBM, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, BBC, etc.

Others are equally as memorable because they use words we already know such as: Apple, Windows, Brother, Cannon, etc.

However, there are also many more obscure or made-up words used to create brand names. Words such as: Xerox, Compaq, eBay, Yahoo, etc.

This shows that, when it comes to branding, "it ain't what you got, it's the way that you use it" that matters.

When I launched my online news website back in 1997 I chose the brand "" for two reasons:

  1. It was short and easy to remember
  2. It was abstract and unique -- so it would be distinctive there'd be no conflict with others in the same market segment
There may be many factors which affect your own choice of brand name but keep foremost in your mind the need to produce a name that will be easy for others to remember and which won't be confused with similar products, services or websites in your chosen market sector.

The Logo
So that leads us to one of the most important components of your brand -- the way it looks. The most common representation of a brand is its logo.

Just like brand names, the most effective brands have very simple, easily identified logos. A simple rule of thumb is that if you can't look at a logo for just 10 seconds then draw it with pen and paper -- it's too complex.

Good examples of simple but very effective logos are those used by Mercedes, McDonalds, and the Yellow Pages.

If people can't remember what your logo looks like, they won't recognize it and they won't remember your brand.

In its simplest form, your logo can simply be the brand-name itself, usually rendered in a tasteful font using contrasting colors.

And don't underestimate the importance of colors -- some companies have even trademarked the colors they're using as part of their branding!

IBM isn't called "Big Blue" for nothing -- and surely you've heard of "The Golden Arches" that identify McDonalds?

In fact, the whole process of designing the shape and color-scheme for a logo can be so critical that you might want to fork out good money to pay an expert to do the job.

Establishing Your Branding
Once you've decided on a brand name and a suitable logo, the only problem left is that of getting it cemented into the minds of your existing and potential customers.

So how do you establish a strong link in the minds of potential customers between your brand and the product, service or website it represents?

Well there's no simple answer (or everyone would be succeeding) but a general rule of thumb is: the more people see your brand, the more likely they are to remember it.

This is why the Coca Cola logo is literally plastered all around the world. The folks at Coke know that each time you see their red and white logo, their branding will become just a little more burned into your brain.

Quite simply, the best way to reinforce your branding is to make sure that it appears anywhere and everywhere, all the time.

There are two key ways you can go about doing this. One is the expensive option of paid advertising, the other is a somewhat smarter and sometimes far more effective method which I've called "brandware"


Introduction | 2.Search Engines | 3.Getting Ranked | Writing Effective Press Releases | Branding | Using Bulk Email | More to come