Why You Should Build an Online Brand
Is building an online brand essential? Perhaps you don’t see why you should bother building an online brand for your small business or yourself. Having a strong brand can create a lot of opportunities for you. And there are a lot of benefits and advantages that come with building one.
A Strong Brand Attracts More Clients and Customers
One benefit of a strong brand is a steady stream of ideal clients. The stronger your online brand is, the more customers will be coming directly to you outside of any marketing you may be doing. They’re going to be organically coming to you because of your online brand. This is the concept of brand awareness.
A Strong Brand has Strong Awareness.
So the stronger your online brand, the more mindshare you take up in your customers’ minds. An example of this is if you were driving around your city and all of a sudden you remembered you needed a pharmacy. There are a lot of pharmacies out there. Which one do you choose?
There are small, local pharmacies. But the first one you’re going to think about is Walgreens because of their mindshare that they have in your head. You’re just going to do a simple search of Walgreens nearby, “closest Walgreens to me,” and that’s because of brand awareness. They are the brand that comes to mind.
There’s a company near me that does mold and water remediation. So if you had fire damage, water damage, or mold damage in your home, they’ll come out and clean it. I don’t live in a house. I live in a condo. I never had any need for this company and its services. But they are in my mind because of the brand they’ve built and their awareness in the marketplace.
What this means is that if I ever do need that service, perhaps for my office. I discover mold everywhere. Or there’s a fire, and I need somebody to deal with the water damage after the firefighters put out the fire. The first company I’m going to think of is ServPro. I’m going to do a search for my local ServPro vendor provider because they’re top of mind, even though I’ve never needed them before.
A Strong Brand Leads to Partnership Opportunities
You have a product. Someone else has a different product, but it’s in the same kind of industry or the same kind of market. Well, now you can partner to collaborate on some marketing because of your online presence. You’ll both gain more significant mindshare.
Other businesses and vendors won’t partner with you if you have a weak brand. Only if you have a strong brand will you be a valuable asset to them. Two strong brands running a shared campaign can generate synergy that will benefit them both.
A Strong Brand Creates Credibility
Another reason for building a solid online brand is greater credibility, whether it’s for your business or for your personal brand.
Here’s an example. You go to Amazon to buy something. Fifty or 100 other listings of the same products show up. The description, the images, and the pricing are all very similar.
Which product do you buy?
You’re going to buy the one that has the most purchases and the most reviews. Why is that? Because it has greater credibility. Even if one sells for one dollar and the other for much more, you’ll more than likely do what we all do. Choose the one with 5000 sales over the one that only has 100.
It’s the credibility of the product that convinces someone to make that purchase decision. So when you have a strong brand, you’re adding credibility to your personal brand or business. And that will lead to higher sales, just like it does for all those vendors on Amazon.
Strong Brands Get More Recognition
Another benefit of a strong brand is recognition and leadership opportunities to help you in your industry and your business overall. If you were recognized as a market leader or a prestigious company within that industry, you opened yourself up to opportunities you may not be thinking about.
Whether it’s getting on a podcast, getting interviewed for a trade publication, or being a speaker at a trade show, all these things help build awareness and recognition for your brand.
It will work like a feedback loop. You continue to build up awareness not only within the industry but to your clientele, to your customers, to the marketplace because of the notoriety that your business has achieved.
Strong Brands have Higher Perceived Value
And lastly, we have a higher perceived value. So what does this do for your business? Let’s take two restaurants, for example. They sell the same type of food. They’re in the same city. They’re located in similar neighborhoods.
But one has a more substantial online presence. There’s a lot of buzz going on with them. People post pictures online of their experience at the restaurant. The owners have built up a following online and a solid online brand.
People know them because of their food, their decor, and other people visiting the location. The restaurant is able to charge more for the exact same food than their competitor. All the buzz they have online, the following, their online presence has built a perception of value in the public’s minds. So because they have higher perceived value, they can charge more, and people will gladly pay it.
The Importance of a Personal Brand
What about building a personal brand?
Let’s say you are a graphic designer. You have no interest in building your own agency or building your own company, or doing freelance work. You want to work in a Fortune 500 company doing their graphic design. All you want is a job.
There’s one opening. And two candidates. You both have similar education, training, and accreditations. You’re both proficient in the software.
But the other applicant has a solid online brand. They have a large following on social media. Instead of just posting random stuff, the other person showcased their work and built a name, a brand for themselves.
Why should that matter to the business? It’s the fact that it shows that people like this person’s designs enough to follow them online.
And it validates that they should hire that person. The hiring manager will ensure that the person with the strong personal brand understands what people like and how to create designs that people will be attracted to.
So even if you don’t own a business, you can use social media and your online brand to push you in the direction you want to go in life.
Building a solid online brand can be a powerful strategy for any business and for many individuals. If you have questions or need some help, give us a call.