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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Finding the Perfect Branding Agency

Branding agencies are sometimes called marketing agencies or advertising agencies (ad agency). Although in some respects, these terms can be used interchangeably, if you really want to brand your product, you need something different than an ad agency.

Ad agencies usually are contracted by large corporations to develop a consistent or fluid advertising campaign. Print ads may differ depending on the audience of the magazine, but the message is the same. Marketing and ad agencies help you to get your company and brand known. In some cases, they do create logos, slogans, and overall themes, but you really have to be careful when finding the perfect branding agency because you need a team that is capable of taking your product or “mark” to a very high level. And it takes a talented group of people to hone-in on the “intangible” worth of your label.

Pin Point Brand MarketingIt is important to remember that a brand is not necessarily a physical item. The product or service is there but the brand stands for much more than the actual item. It might stand for old fashioned values, it might exude luxury, or it may mean trust. Not all ad agencies are qualified to nurture and advance that which they cannot see. This is why you need a true branding agency.

Now let’s look at points of consideration when finding the perfect branding agency.

  1. Find out what companies took other entities or brands to exponential levels. Also make sure the branding agency is in tune with modern times. Just because the same company exists that made some of the most iconic brands household names fifty or a hundred years ago does not necessarily mean they have a finger on today’s pulse. Look for recent accomplishments.
  2. Don’t assume that because you are very small that a large branding agency will not take your account. They may be interested in something new and may very well have the right person to make your brand successful. Likewise, do not assume that smaller agencies, even individuals, do not have the resources to help you. They might in fact have access to outsourcing that can make your brand a household name.
  3. You should not limit your choices by requiring that the branding agency have experience in your field of endeavor. It is the concept that you are looking for, and talented people can learn what they need to do the job.
  4. Although your budget will ultimately play an import factor in finding the perfect branding agency, try not to choose a company based solely on the numbers.
  5. Brand agencies need to understand the importance of the internet. Whether your potential brand is an online enterprise or you are launching something that is not internet-driven, the branding agency must be able to work with all types of media. A website is particularly important because often in today’s market, it is what makes or breaks your brand. An unprofessional website, a poorly laid-out design, no contact info, and any number of other negative factors will destroy a brand instantly. Potential customers are not forgiving, and within seconds, they develop an opinion based on what they see.

Finally, the perfect branding agency must able to identify your brand: that is to find the intrinsic value, that which is perceived, and then develop it to the point of hysteria or great need in the marketplace.

Corporate Branding Explained

Corporate branding is when a company’s logo or products are instantly recognizable. Probably one of the best examples of this is the Coca-Cola® bottle. You can be on any continent of the world, in any country and Coke is there. Their logo, their curved bottle, the red colors, and the name is one everyone knows. What is most incredible is that even very small children ask for Coke. And not only is the drink itself recognizable, but in the US and Canada, their image of Santa Claus is an icon. Their songs and jingles from years ago are still familiar to people. This is what real corporate branding is about.

Further, corporate branding does not have to be one product. It can be several similar products branded under the same umbrella but different from the company name. An example of this are LYSOL® products owned by Reckitt Benckiser. corporate brandingNo-one knows the corporation’s name even though it is a major, international conglomerate. But if a new Lysol product was launched tomorrow, it would gain instant recognition because Lysol has been a trusted brand for generations. It was popular as a bathroom cleaner and when germs became an issue in society, the disinfectant wipes were created. People bought them not because the wipes worked, but because the name Lysol was a familiar household name.

Another point that is interesting about corporate branding is that the product does not have to be the focus of the brand. Yes, the product is the key, but the brand may be known for something else. Take a look at this statement from BMW’s website for the MINI brand.

“MINI is part of a lifestyle that is cosmopolitan and confident, ready for everything.” The car is not sold because it is cheaper, it is not sold because it is smaller. On the contrary, its appeal is the lifestyle. The brand epitomizes a specific lifestyle. If it was just an economical car with good gas mileage, it would not be the icon it is.

Mini Cars

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Nike Soccer: Brand Marketing

This is a prime example of a typical Nike branding commercial. It has quite a few standard characteristics that just seem to do very well for the brand.

  1. Celebrity Athletes
  2. Not a huge focus on any specific product
  3. Extreme/Eyecatching performance – mostly taken from a non-competitive arena.
  4. The Nike Swoosh as a “The End” marker.

I love these, I really do!

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Swisscom – 2008 Rebranding

SwissCom LogoHere’s a great example of a rebranding done for Swisscom – the biggest name in the telecom-market in Switzerland. Great work, as usual, by London-based branding agency Moving Brands.Make sure to check out the video after the jump, too!

Swisscom, one of the leading brands and a market leader in Switzerland (with more than 60% average share of market), is perceived as one of the most trusted brands by Swiss people. The Swisscom re-brand is the final step to a major restructuring of the whole Swisscom organisation which will see the previous group companies Swisscom Fixnet, Swisscom Mobile and Swisscom Solutions cease to exist. These companies will be replaced by Swisscom (Switzerland) Ltd with the divisions Residential Customers, Small & Medium-Sized Enterprises and Corporate Business. Swisscom’s fixed-line, mobile communications infrastructures and IT platforms are to be merged into a single division as part of the same process.

The pitch process began in the first half of 2007, and from the outset, and in light of the organisational re-structuring that was on the horizon, we argued strongly that what was at that stage merely a ‘corporate design’ brief, needed to in fact be elevated to a complete and audacious ‘brand renewal’ brief.

Following an initial round of pitches, we then found ourselves on a shortlist of several agencies from across Switzerland and Europe. The Moving Brands concept was selected for implementation by the Swisscom board of directors in November 2007.

Our concept for Swisscom centres on creating just a cross-platform, dynamic identity. This will form a strong and clearly defined single axis around which every element of the Swisscom organisation can then move.

The new Swisscom identity, developed by ourselves with Swiss typographer Bruno Maag, will be launched in the first quarter of next year. It will be ‘an innovation for Switzerland and the industry.’

To see more of the design please go to

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