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This post is about looking at a start-up from an online branding perspective. I’ve picked this particular brand to look at as a case study because it’s at the perfect start-up-stage and also because I’m a little bit curious about how it is going to pan out. Personally, I think it has great potential and I can’t think of anything else that shares the same concept.
The brand is Candy Kittens, an upmarket confectionary brand with a difference. It’s a ‘sexy sweet shop’. The brand was dreamt up by Jamie Lang, who describes the concept saying: “I wanted to have beautiful, sexy, fun, flirty girls alongside the sweets”.
The sweets will launch in Candy Kitten stores later this year, and although the company is still in its start-up phase, and the sweets are currently in the production phase, the brand is already growing at a fast pace.
The concept relies on the stores being the ultimate main focus point, however it is evident that online interest in the brand is very strong even at this early stage, and that online is going to be a really important touch point for consumers.
The brand name already appears within Google Suggest (unpersonalised results), so there is clear search demand for it at the moment:
Even the Google AdWords Keyword Tool indicates that there are around 590 exact match searches and 880 phrase match searches for the term Candy Kittens each month.
No one’s saying these searches directly relate to Jamie’s Candy Kittens brand, but there’s a good chance a strong proportion of them do.
The people that are searching for Jamie’s Candy Kittens brand might be surprised to find that only the first two results on the page directly relate to the brand. That’s the official site and the Facebook page.
This means there is a lot of scope for other content which the brand does not control to end up on the first page of results.
A lot of people are going to have an opinion on this brand, both good and bad, and the danger is that someone’s negative comments online could end up on the first page of Google results in the potential consumers eye-line.
There is also the danger that as the brand grows, their name will get ‘taken’ within many social networks and profile websites, and by the time the brand actually gets round to registering them, it will be too late. This means that the unofficial profiles which use the Candy Kittens name are more likely to appear in search results.
What should Candy Kittens be doing?
To avoid this happening, Candy Kittens should be working to register their brand on every social profile possible. There are over 700 social profiles they could have that hold value in search results, and at the very least they should be looking to have the main ones covered. They should try to include a link back to their website in each of these profiles, and use the same profile image for all of them so they can start building continuity.
The next stage is to link build to all of these profiles. By building links into these profiles, the profiles will be strengthened and more likely to be found by Google and rank in search results.
This kind of activity combined with some cleaver online PR can really give this brand a boost and make sure it stays sweet online!
Following on from safeguarding their brand online, Candy Kittens should also consider enhancing their site on-page with some SEO.
The site would benefit from even basic SEO to get their Meta and Page Titles optimised to stand out and appeal to their users when they see the pages in search results. At the moment their descriptions are cut off and don’t do much to tell the user they have found the right Candy Kittens!
Overall this brand looks like it has great potential and can really do well both in stores and online, it just needs a little push in the right direction!
Candy Kittens team if you want any online marketing advice, feel free to get in touch! You can find me on twitter @Koozai_Tara.
Jamie officially launched the Candy Kittens shop on the 7th of August (2012) and has seem lots of fantastic press coverage from top publications since this date. This blog post ranked 2nd for the term Candy Kittens for quite a while up until the 10th of August when it was pushed down the rankings by top sites such as Hello magazine, heat World and many others (at the time of writing this we ranked 10th). Whilst being in 2nd position around the time of the official launch of the shop (from 6th – 9th of August), my post received 287 page views (261 unique). Although these visits had a rather high bounce rate (91.76%), and spent an average of 3.25 seconds on the page, it just goes to show the importance and value of ensuring your online properties rank well for your brand name.
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