The Internet has brought many innovations to companies, but a number of challenges as well. One of these is how exactly a company should build and promote its image online—something that is more commonly known as Internet branding.
Branding in the digital age is one of the most challenging things that a company can face, regardless of the size. While a franchise marketing company can provide the basis for brand cohesion across different franchises operating under the same umbrella, Internet branding is special. Anything can affect the online branding of a company, from cultural shifts to trends, and these impressions can often change overnight.
For this reason, it’s important for companies to maintain a strong brand presence online, both to assure their target demographic of their commitment to their vision and mission, and to maintain company and image cohesion. But how exactly can they do that?
An online vision and mission
Internet branding relies on two things: the efforts of the company to promote itself online, and how well it reacts to user impression and feedback. It’s crucial to keep in mind that access to large stores of information goes both ways—if the company can see detailed insights about the customers its marketing to, the customers can trace the actions of a brand to a specific end.
That is why authenticity (and more importantly, a vision and mission) is so important for Internet branding. Not only does this give the company a tagline to be remembered and judged by, but it also helps association for both old and new customers. Sticking to a brand statement online isn’t only sincere, but shows respect for the audiences that choose to engage with the brand.
Vision and mission can also help when it comes to internal cohesion when it comes to employees. It becomes easier to remember the purpose of their work and the end goal that they’re trying to reach with a cohesive vision and mission, and internet branding reinforces that for both employer and employee.
Company image and cohesion
Closely building on that is the concept of company cohesion: where a brand is self-aware enough to respond to shifts in market and consumer trends, adapting when the situation calls for it and successfully weathering trends and shifts. This is a little trickier to pull off successfully since the Web can be quite fickle when it comes to the actual changes it expects of a brand, but not impossible.
The best way to go about this is to formulate a style guide of sorts—a brand image to follow at every stage of the company’s lifespan, from operations to marketing. One of the best (or worst) things that a company can accrue is a reputation, and if properly leveraged, it can definitely help in maintaining brand and company cohesion.
In essence, it’s about staying consistent regardless of the channels you are promoting your brand on. This not only helps in making your customer base more loyal and engaged; it can also present your brand as a proof of concept that you have values based on history that you will stick with.