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Branding: Growing Companies from the Ground Up

The early branding of a small or developing company is vital to its business success.  Doing this expresses what exactly your company has to offer. The inaccurate branding of a new business can increase the difficulty for the people to understand why the business exists in the first place. Companies that are just starting out along with small businesses tend to put branding in the backseat to the other aspects of a company such as funding and product development. Doing this is a mistake because a company’s brand is one of the key factors to its success. Dollar for dollar, it is just as crucial compared to any other beginning steps of a new or small business.

The brand your company creates in its face to the world. branding starts with the company name and how that name is expressed visually through a logo that portrays what the company is/does. A brand is also how your demographic customers look at your company then they associate an amount of inherent value on your business. A company’s brand is sort of like a secret promise. It is part of the fundamental principles that can be understood by any individual or company that comes into contact with your business.

Some people may ask “where” I put my brand out there or “how”. The secret is wherever you believe your company can portray themselves accurately. Small or startup businesses that have Social Medias need to also keep in mind that the brand of your business is everywhere. The importance of branding cannot be overlooked and has been proven time again that the success of a small or startup business can rely on its branding to help mature them. A business must stand behind while protecting your brand from outside sources or other companies.

Google+ Hangouts: Why you Need Them.

While most people have a basic understanding of social media — many of those choosing to use the dominating power — Facebook, the word of Google+ is slowly but surely spreading through the masses. Google+ offers users an all-encompassing experience that seems seamless and omniscient.  The interface is simple, sleek and efficient. While it appears that Google+ is only denting the traffic of Facebook users (only measuring to about 13% of the number of users compare to Facebook), it is now seeing the kind of results one would expect from a Google product.

One of the main reasons why Google+ will soon capture a wide audience is the hangout feature. This tool allows you to have video conferences with people in your circles, providing a service that many users adore. Families can convene online from coast to coast with ease. Shop owners can give presentations to customers outside of store hours, increasing brand loyalty and doing so in a way that doesn’t conflict with their busy schedules. Hangouts even allow users to share documents with Google Docs right within the confines of the chat.

If you have not yet developed a Google+ page for your business or even for yourself personally, you’re going to want to. Integrate this feature with your website and utilize the tools to build a brand image with Google. You can also integrate it fluidly with any other Google features that you are currently using. Google Places has even earned a spot, now being referred to as Google+ Local. It will be a way of sharing complete information about your company to the public, allowing them to share, review, rate and interact on a personal level with their networks.

Building a Strong Brand

It seems whenever you search for SEO or SEM, there are those key phrases that pop up like “brand identity” and “brand loyalty,” but what do those phrases actually mean? How can you take your business to the next level by developing that strong brand and utilizing it in internet marketing? Here are three tips to help get you started on your re-branding project or your first branding attempt:

Find your target audience

Don’t think in terms of, “My target audience is everyone! Everyone will love my product and I want to advertise to the general public.” It’s great to have goals for yourself and to strive to become the next amazon.com or Coca-Cola, but another part of being a business owner is basing your goals in reality. If you want your audience to be the entire world, you can get in line behind every other business who wants a household name but maybe hasn’t put enough thought into what target audience they are going to market to. Your target audience should be people who are going to buy your product and will be receptive your re-branding campaign. This will also help later on because you will be able to develop keywords specifically for your niche audience, as opposed to fighting for high bid keywords that are expensive and flooded with competition.

Think to yourself, “Who would read a blog about my products?,” or “Who would want a shirt with my logo on it?” Developing a strong brand encompasses all of these things because it creates a cohesive force that your intended public can get behind. For small businesses, it is important to develop a target audience that is realistic and well-planned. This is crucial to building up your brand image.

Set visual goals and boundaries

Set a clear path for your brand image visually. You want to focus your energy on a strong sense of color coordination and imagery, as opposed to having too many ideas and too many different themes. Budding businesses can either get too crazy with their design or they stay so conservative that they end up looking plain and generic. Do some research on what similar sites are doing and pick another color group or theme that will make you stand out.

Once you have developed your color story and design work, stick with it! There’s nothing worse that you can do for your young business than build an amazing visual brand and lose consistency with it. Give people something they can recognize and relate to when they are visiting your site. Remember that you can and should hire a design expert. We can all whip up a logo in Photoshop, but there is a reason people get paid to do design work. They are the pros and can do the work much more effectively and quickly than if you tried to do it by yourself. It can be the difference between a brand-worthy logo and clip art.

Be well-rounded

You’ve got your target audience and a strong visual presence, now it’s time to build a well-rounded campaign. Does your brand use SEO? Are you building links or using PPC to back up this new identity you’ve created for yourself? Develop a strategy for getting your brand from your website to the people who will shop with you. Create a Facebook and Twitter to keep in touch with your fan-base. Maybe you have viral videos that will add to your brand by giving it a face and humanizing it. People love to relate to their favorite brands, so give them someone or something to relate to. A well-rounded brand will tackle this by conveying one message across different mediums. Create a blog space for yourself; give the customer content that they will find relevant. When they can trust you for good content, they will revisit your site again and again.