10 Tips for Managing Your Brand Online

E-consultancy has a useful list of tips for managing your brand on the web which also makes for a good checklist against which you judge your own site.

I love the first one:

Brand standards online are more than just fonts and colour. A website is an immersive experience of your brand, and your standards should cover everything which contributes to that experience.

This is so true, but in my experience is the one thing that many people working in and around the web just don't get.

Posted on: July 6, 2007 | 1 Comment

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For more related info on this topic please read Marketing your website.

Branding in any domain, let alone the web, is certainly no easy chore. What most people don't realize is that the less effort you put into managing your own brand, is the more your brand gets managed by the public. That can be both a good and bad thing.

Verne — the key concept that I would like to convey to stakeholders is that because of the interactive nature of the web, online branding is so much more than how you present yourself visually.

Because the quality of the user experience is harder to measure, it often gets overlooked.

However, I would argue that whether a user has a positive of negative experience on your web site is far more important than whether you are following your corporate style guidelines.

This is what separates online from offline branding and what a lot of people who are responsible for the brand still do not understand properly.

I couldn't agree more that the web presents some unique caveats when it comes to managing a brand. This is why it's so crucial to have 'usability' as part of any new-age marketer's vocabulary. Though arguably, a user's experience with your brand across any medium, web or not, is equally difficult to measure, and equally commonly overlooked. I'd almost say that the web makes it just a bit easier to gauge our customers' experience with the constant development of new apps and tracking tools.

With regards to your last point, I agree that creating a positive user experience for your brand is the #1 priority, but that's not to say that style guides should be abandoned to do so. If you find you have to do this, you're probably employing the wrong style guides to begin with. :)

Too many projects that I have worked on have strayed from the original brand standards. The site is completed using the provided specifications, and then is handed over to an internal team for maintenance. That is when some sites slowly start to revert and are no longer cohesive in their branding design guidelines.

All brands have to start somewhere - the concept has to be 'born'. It's that moment of insight, that fantastic "Eureka Moment" when you envision a great idea for a product or company ... or the equally exciting moment when you realise that your existing product is developing in a way that can be carefully managed into a compelling brand.

When you commit to a brand, all of your planets need to be in alignment; in other words, the product itself and any product extensions; all of your marketing efforts, from your phone greeting to your latest website design or redesign.

The payoff is that people can articulate who you are and what your brand values are ... and they can do it in an instant.

People often think that branding is "for other people and other products". If you are in business, that is a cop out. If you can brand a burger or if you can brand the City of Adelaide (my home town), then you can brand just about anything.

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