I’m worried my business’ branding doesn’t work online. What should I do? – StartupSmart

When it comes to branding, it’s simple: continuity is king!


As they say, “Sweeter, sweeter the more you repeater”.


The bigger question is why is your current brand is incapable of working across all media forms?


Branding is quite a science (despite how easy it looks or how many people “slap” them together). It’s undoubtedly the absolute balance of art and science.


A brand is made up of a multitude of different components, but some very simple (and key) ones are typography, a device, colours, shapes and styling.


Each of these helps a consumer decide what your brand’s personality is like.


Are you formal, fun, cheap, expensive, quick, technological, old-fashioned or innovative?


Branding is much more than a simple logo, it’s about the way in which you present your company.


One possible way to have a split personality is to use sub-branding.


This needs to be developed and executed very carefully though and requires strategic thinking and visionary creative. Kellogg’s is probably one of the best examples.


They make quality, trusted cereals such as Cornflakes and Special K but specially brand more children orientated products such as Coco Pops and Fruit Loops with specific sub-brands, which are tailored to the audience.


It must be noted that this requires the overarching brand to have strong awareness and a quality name (especially in the food industry), which Kellogg’s has worked extremely hard at for a very long time.


It also requires a much larger marketing budget as each sub-brand needs as much promotion as the main brand.


The other question that needs to be asked is, “What part of the online space are you looking to engage in?”


If you have a formal brand and you are attracting a high calibre of clientele, then you may find that social media is an area of the online territory that you should be staying clear of.


Social media is certainly not the best option for every business.


If we’re talking about a website or online advertising, then you need to seriously take account of your “tone of voice”. This is another more complex aspect of your branding.


“Tone of voice” is the manner and language by which you speak to your audience – in much the same way as you may speak differently to your good friend than you would to your grandmother!


This can also be a strong separator in terms of the various mediums you engage with.


Branding is crucial to any business but absolutely vital to a start-up business in establishing your positioning in the market.


If your current brand is not speaking to your total audience and not fulfilling all your needs, then begin the process of change sooner rather than later.


And one final tip on branding: While it’s important that it reflects your organization, remember that if you’re not the target market, it’s not important if you like it or not.


It’s business. It’s not about whether it’s your favourite colour or if you like the typeface.


It’s about whether or not it turns on all the right buttons with your consumers.


You don’t want to fall victim to your own personal taste.

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