3 Common Branding Mistakes of the Digital Age
From Dan Schawbel:
Most professionals and business owners who use social media don’t have a grasp on branding. They didn’t go to school to learn it and it’s not their strength. Branding is how you define yourself with the goal of being distinct……
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Most professionals and business owners who use social media don’t have a grasp on branding. They didn’t go to school to learn it and it’s not their strength.
Branding is how you define yourself with the goal of being distinct from other people or companies. Your name, your picture and your content define who you are online and they make up your digital trail that people can follow if they’re interested in you. Since there are so many people online vying for attention and success, it’s become harder to build a unique and interesting brand.
It’s easy to make mistakes online because you get so wrapped up in connecting with new customers and technology, both of which are changing constantly. By taking a step back and analyzing your current strategy, you can be more effective, save time and stand out in the sea of Internet clutter. Here are the three most common branding mistakes I see companies commit:
1. They aim too broadly. People, as well as companies, are notorious for biting off more than they can chew. They want to be everything to everyone because they view that as the path to a larger market and more money. What ends up happening is that they become nothing to no one and can’t compete with their market. There’s a reason why many successful companies will sell one high quality product, make it successful and then branch out. If your shoes are selling (take Nike for instance), then it’s much easier to use that brand to expand to socks and shirts. You will have the money, the brand and the customer base to pull it off. If you try and do too much early on, you won’t have the resources and will end up going out of business.
2. They clam up. A new study shows that more than 25 percent of global companies have a closed wall on Facebook, meaning users can’t post questions or feedback. These companies operate their brand like it is 2003. Customers want to interact with brands they enjoy and when they do, they spread your brand. By ignoring customers, you’re closing your doors to customer engagement, retention and brand awareness opportunities. When customers post on your wall, or like your page, their networks are notified about it. This is free marketing if you’re open to it. Companies like Intel and Sodexo have a rule that they will respond to all comments on social networks within 24 hours of posting. This is important because it encourages people to post, knowing they will actually get a response from a respectable company.
3. They don’t have a vision. Many entrepreneurs start a business without a true vision. They are passionate or just want to make money but there’s no higher meaning to what they do. This is a major issue because a true vision will attract top talent to work at your company and it will give you something to strive for. As an entrepreneur, your vision will keep you motivated to work hard day in and day out to achieve your dreams.
Dan Schawbel is the managing partner of Millennial Branding, a Gen-Y research and management-consulting firm. Subscribe to his updates at Facebook.com/DanSchawbel.
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