Brand Marketing: Is it still important in the 21st Century?

Answering whether brand marketing is still important in the 21st century or not really depends on a company’s or individual’s focus. In short, yes, brand marketing is important but to understand the complexity of the question, let’s look at a few other questions that define the worth of brand marketing in the 21st century.

Does the individual want to make money or be famous? A lot of entrepreneurs really just need and want to make an income. Having a brand is the furthest idea from their minds. Plus, brand marketing is a lot work especially if your service is regional. A plumber doesn’t really care whether someone knows his name 300 miles away from where he lives and conducts business. The basic necessity of earning a wage makes brand marketing unimportant but there are still plenty of people who dream of reaching higher heights which makes it undoubtedly vital.

Brand marketing creates a legacy for one’s heirs and pushes the business into perpetuity. For those individuals who have children and grandchildren to support, successful brand marketing is the key to ensuring the life of the business or product. The brand may become very lucrative and even after the creator or founder is gone, it may continue to support other family members.

Brand marketing can mean a lot of money if bought out. When a product or service develops an identity or personality of its own, it is worth much more as a brand, then when someone is just selling a business that depends solely on herself. If you own a design agency and you create all the designs for clients, you could sell your client list, but the business is not worth much without you. But as a brand, it has intangible value which can be quite appealing to a potential buyer. Even having the license to a brand is profitable.

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Choosing a Branding Strategy

Indeed a branding strategy is important when marketing your product. You need to have a clear idea of what your brand represents and to whom the brand is most important. One of the earliest decisions that you will have to make is what name to give your brand. In addition to actually choosing your name, you need to decide whether the name should be indicative of the product. That is to say, is the name a description of the item? The other choice would be to brand a term or a word that is completely made up. Apple computers is an example of this strategy because apples, as fruit, have no bearing on computers, nor does the word represent an acronym or abbreviation of anything associated with the computer world.

Additionally, when choosing a branding strategy you need to look at whether you are better to brand the company, the product, or even yourself. If you are a motivational speaker, for instance, branding yourself makes more sense than branding a book you wrote. How you conduct your seminars, as well as your personality are your unique brand.

If you are a large company with many products, you might brand similar items. Baby care products might be one brand while kitchen cleaners may be another separate brand. But, there are examples of companies whose brand covers more than one niche. Ivory® is one such brand. You can buy personal bars of soap, dish washing liquid, and powder laundry detergent. At the outset, you might wonder who would want to buy skin cream from the same company that sells detergent, but the point is the products are all soap. And the brand promotes the fact that the products are “pure”. And that is how consumers know the brand. As you can see there should be something that ties the products together as a brand.

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Personal Branding on the Web

Nowadays because of the internet, it is much easier to brand yourself than it was years ago. Previously, unless you stayed in the limelight with tours, seminars, writing books, and the like, it was difficult to get people to know you. Proximity was a huge problem and many people were known regionally, but not nationally or even internationally. Today, with the proper strategies and continuous promotion, personal branding on the web is quite possible.

Personal BrandingObviously, there are many ways to brand oneself on the internet. The idea is to keep your name in the forefront, and associate yourself with things that best describe your area of interest or expertise. For example, an accountant can scour reputable business forums and answer questions regarding ledger entries. In addition, many regulars on forums admit to having problems with accounting software. This is a prime opportunity for an accountant to brand herself on the internet.

Another avenue of personal branding on the web is writing a small bio at the end of articles. Whether you post articles on your own sites, or you submit to article directories, your bio should succinctly tell users who you are and what you offer. Try not to use the bio box as a direct sales tool, but rather to get information out about yourself.

E-books are a super way to promote your brand. While they are not as prestigious “real” printed books, they nevertheless, show people that you are a contender in your field. By giving away useful information, you keep your name out there.

Small things can help your personal branding on the web. For example:

  • Create a branding page on your website. This could be your “about” page.
  • Do not use the words “about the author”. Use “about so-and-so” – your own name. Make sure the title of the page, that which people see at the very top left of the browser, has your name. You want the search engines to pick up your name, not the word “author”
  • Use keywords to describe your area of expertise, your talents, and your name in your SEO efforts. When someone searches “CMA accounting guru”, you want your name to be first.

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HotForWords – Personal Branding

The woman behind HotForWords, a Youtube phenomenon, has taken her youtube channel and turned it into a money-making internet brand. Not too long ago – she started using her carefully built brand for advertising reasons. Here’s a video of her talking about how to do a first “online date’ – linking back to and getting serious cash in return.

She deserves it. Her brand is ready for… some profits! :)

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