Branding 101

Building Brand

So what is involved in building a good online brand? There are a lot of conflicting views in this area but the primary strength in brand seems to rest in the product or business concept. The best brands seem to have a unique or powerful idea that allows them to develop and grow. We see this in some of the most popular and successful brands. For instance, Apple has a strong brand value that is linked with its quality and computer efficiency. Apple is unique because it uses its own technology and many people identify with this technology because they feel that it is less difficult to use than Android or Microsoft. So building brand in some sense comes down to researching a unique concept that provide a value position that distinguishes the company from its competition.

So its not just about analyzing trends and patterns in the market and looking for popular products which sell.  For instance, if you setup a marketplace that sells parts for Apple, you still have to distinguish your brand in order that consumers will trust you and buy from you.  This is brand value and awareness. There are some basic logical methods which one can follow to develop their brand. This process begins simply by looking at what you like and what you want to offer consumers. If you like football then you should consider this an idea worth exploring for brand consideration.  If you are planning on being a reseller of football gear or apparel, you will face stiff competition and you will need to build a brand that distinguishes you. This is question that is steeped in intrinsic value.  Why do you buy Apple instead of Dell?  You have to apply this same question to what you are planning?  Why would someone buy football apparel or gear from you rather than a store like Dick's Sporting Goods?  The answer can be have several parts but it mainly centers on credibility and value of the brand. Dicks's offers a value that you have not devised yet which will be your brand.

Now, this is not meant to scare you away from selling, but it means that you need to develop a brand that is competitive with Dicks. That could be a number of things such as personalized service, quality, made in America, etc.  Once you have devised a brand value, you now need to attach this to your brand identity. For example, if you go with American quality and made in America you can create an identity based on this such as:

All American Football Company
Made in America - Played in America

While its not perfect it gets the point across. You now have a basic brand identity that offers several value positions such as made in America, patriotism, etc. 

You should not land on one idea and get stuck on it. Continue brainstorming concepts you like and listing them. You might be surprised by what you can create. I often think about one of my favorite brands that was built simply by combining two likable ideas. 

What in the world does Beef Jerky have to do with Big Foot? Absolutely nothing. Don’t tell Jack Links that because they have one of the most successful brands of beef jerky due to their commercials “Messing with Sasquatch”. With all the hype on TV with shows such as "Finding Big Foot", it is surprising that more businesses have not adopted the Big Guy for marketing.  Big Foot also has a long history of entertainment, intrigue, mystery, and myth. Ideas such as this are great because it combines the likability of one thing and combines it with your product line.  

So our brand development starts first with an idea that you like or something that appeals to you. Then using this idea, you need to identify a unique value position. Then you are going to link that position with your company and products. Once you have your brand you will be able to develop the content of your site such as pages, blogs, and product descriptions around your unique value position. 

This is just a simple approach to branding and we will discuss branding in more detail as we build our eCommerce. For now, you should take some time and really think about your product or service and what you will offer as your value position. This will provide you with a great start for your brand development.