Branding is defined by American Marketing Association as a “name, team, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers.” It is one of the cornerstones of success in a competitive business and is usually achieved by enjoying a good rapport with the clients. A common technique of product differentiation, branding allows the goods and services produced by a certain firm to stand out in comparison to the rest. Depictive of a firms’ marketing policy, brand names also assume strategic importance as a minor error can prove detrimental to the business prospects of a firm. A brand name and its accompanying logo form the recognition of the company must aptly represent the company’s ideology.
Branding is very important in the competitive environment, which we are facing today. It is the interface between the producers and consumers. As this interface dictates a lot of decisions concerning the consumer choice, it is important for a firm to portray what it believes in, its ideology in its brand name or symbol.
To understand it better, let us use an example. For example, because of your hectic schedule you have to pick up a shampoo before you rush to work as the super market would be closed by the time you are back from home. In this hurry, supposing you don’t have too much, you are bound to pick up a name from the shelves, which your eye sight or ears are used to. The probability of choosing a well marketed brand is much higher than an obscure shampoo brand. It is not enough to have a brand name, but it is important to market it well, as it creates some space in the mind of the consumers. The obscure shampoo could be even better than the branded shampoo but its marketing betrayed its production merit.
Hence, in the complex and dynamic world of competition, a firm has to produce goods, which are not only score high in consumer satisfaction but also in terms of creating a space in the mind of the consumer through intelligent marketing.
How to do branding online?
With most of the business shifting to online portals and websites to attract maximum eyeballs from all over the world. This global nature of business has epitomized the role of branding and proper marketing. There are three main strategies, which can be used by large firms, small and medium enterprises and local enterprises, respectively. Large firms, who have a relatively more capital at their disposal for marketing, can use reputed websites such as Google, Facebook, YouTube and Yahoo to market its brand. As the aforementioned portals and websites are highly reputed and credible, any brand displayed on their portal is often able to garner positive glance of the perspective consumers. Once the firms or the brand gains credibility, it can further its endeavour by using video websites to employ multimedia marketing methods. However, multimedia marketing on online video sharing websites such as YouTube often tends to rub the perspective clients the wrong way. On a personal account, as a consumer, I often get irritated when I come across slightly improper or excessively loud video advertisement on YouTube.
Small and medium enterprises can indulge in online marketing by the means of creation of extremely attractive and consumer friendly websites. They could increase their traffic by providing certain information, which might interest its target audience. For example, if a tyre company wishes to indulge in online marketing for its brand, it can offer more information about the tyre industry, the manufacturing process, the engineering behind it, etc. This would not only lead to higher traffic on the website but also be the best way to advertise its brand. Lastly, for local firms, local newspaper, weather, city portal and websites relevant to the people in the vicinity could be great platform to indulge in marketing. Other possible ways would be sponsoring websites and blogs, which provide information helpful to the local population. This creates a sense of goodwill among the consumers along with marketing the brand or creation of the brand.