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by Samantha Noble on 13th April 2012
BrightonSEO takes place today and not only am I in attendance, but I’m also speaking too. The event has only been running for a few years, but it’s quickly become one of the most popular SEO conferences in the UK .
Due to its huge success, and Kelvin Newman’s dedication, over 1,000 tickets were sold out just 12 minutes after they were released this year!
My talk at the conference was entitled (Re-) Launching a Brand Online Effectively and in case you missed it or wanted to recap on some of the areas covered, I wanted to summarise the presentation in a blog post for you here on the Koozai site.
Although the presentation is titled (Re-) Launching a Brand Online Effectively, a lot of the elements of the presentation can and should be used for existing brands.
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What is a Brand?
This is a question that all businesses should ask themselves; and it should start to transform the way they think. A quote from ‘The Brand Gap’ by Marty Neumeier says:
“A brand is not what YOU say it is”
“A brand is what THEY say it is”
These quotes give me greater belief that brands are associated with people’s feelings. People will perceive brands in different ways, depending on various factors including personal as well as other people’s experiences.
Let’s take IKEA, a very well known brand all over the UK, as an example.
When guys look at IKEA, it may remind them of being in the car park trying to fit a wardrobe into their car, knowing full well that they have to put it together when they get home!
When ladies look at IKEA, they may think of it as a great place to go out for a whole day, browsing each aisle in turn, before heading off to the café for some Swedish meatballs!
Brands tie back into people’s feelings and this is what we all need to remember.
I spent some time looking at different brands to see how they have structured products and services that fall beneath them. There were three main structures that I want to share:
One Name Fits All
Virgin have chosen the One Name Fits All approach for all their brands and properties. This ensures they are future proof and that their brand is well protected.
The Family of Brands
Nestle works well with the Family of Brands approach. Their brand name is featured prominently on the majority of their products. This gives the product that added trust, as we are all familiar with the Nestle brand. If they launch a new product and put their brand logo on the packaging, it gives it instant credibility.
The Unrelated Brands
Coca Cola have a lot of products within their brand umbrella, but most individuals would not be aware that the products are actually owned by Coca Cola. For example, Glaceau Vitamin Water is a Coca Cola brand. It is aimed at a healthy product market which doesn’t necessarily fit with the Coca Cola brand. As Coca Cola is predominately seen as a high sugar product, they would not necessarily want to draw correlation between the two products and hence the unrelated brand approach.
There are a number of things to consider during the research stage if you are planning on launching or re-launching a product or service online.
When we were re-branding to Koozai back in May 2011, we spent a lot of time researching our competitors to draw up a list of what we liked and disliked.
A lot of companies in the digital industry have the industry type within their brand name. However, when we came across Guava we really liked what they had done with their name as it stood out from the crowd. What we didn’t like was that Guava is the name of a fruit, so brand confusion could set in.
To take it one step further, we wanted something unique so there could be no confusion. That meant whenever our new brand name was mentioned, we wanted to know it was about us and not another company.
Once we had worked out our likes and dislikes, we engaged with a branding agency to work with us on the project. This gave us an extra resource to pull on, and they brought a wealth of expertise to the re-branding exercise. Before selecting an agency to work with, make sure that you have seen examples of their previous work and that you are confident they can achieve your goal. My biggest tip if you decide to use a branding agency is to give them a clear brief so that everyone involved on the project is working to the same goal and objectives.
Your Brand Name
Even if you are not changing your brand name, there are a number of things that you should review to ensure that potential customers find you easily, but most importantly, that your brand name is protected.
If you don’t own all the TLDs and social properties for your brand name, you are leaving yourself at risk of someone else registering them. Using a service like Knowem, you can pay a few hundred pounds and secure up to 300 social properties (if they are available) and this saves you a huge amount of time rather than doing them all yourself.
The most important part of a company or brand is your name, and if possible, you should always ensure that you protect it. My main tip for this section is to use a trademark specialist to assist you with the process. For a small fee, you can be comfortable in the knowledge that someone who is familiar with trademarking is working with you to ensure that you are being trademarked in the right classes and locations. It can take up to three months to get a trademark approved, so you need to be patient and factor this time within your planning.
The following steps should be taken when you are in the planning stage and are getting ready for launch:
Once you dominate Page 1 for your brand name, when anyone searches for you, you’ll be safe in knowledge that you control everything they see on the first page of the search results.
Once you have decided on a date to go live with your launch or re-launch, try and stick to it. It is always good to have a deadline in place for everyone to work towards. On the launch day, here are a few tips and actions to follow:
If you are changing your brand name, the following pointers should also be followed.
I hope you found the presentation, slides and blog post useful and if you have any questions please get in touch!