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What is Web Branding Anyway?

Aug 11, 2008
The whole idea behind web branding will find several differing viewpoints. For some experts the basis of web branding is a means of identifying your site by providing an image association. This is typically accomplished through a logo that is used liberally on your site as well as through all forms of advertising.

This viewpoint is valid, but may be better understood as impressions. This would be the number of occasions that a person is exposed to your brand.

There is a second understanding of branding that seems to be understood by those under twenty-five, but is less understood by those who stand to gain the most benefit from the process of branding. Web branding is essentially the emotional connection you can create between your product and the consumer.

Do you remember the Smuckers commercials. The kindly, grandfatherly voice of Mason Adams took us down memory lane. Even if we never experienced a moment of what was seen on screen we had an emotional connection with a jar of jelly.

The repeated use of Mason's voice along with recurring themes allowed an entire generation to identify in a positive way with a product. This is the essence of positive branding.

Restaurants across the world find an immediate reaction from patrons when the decor is solidly Coke in theme. There is a connection to a better time and a happier place that may have little to do with a soda, but what that soda has come to represent.

The branding of the product is ultimately more important than a simple slogan - it takes the consumer to a special place of identity with the product. There is an emotional connection that is undeniable.

The websites that seem to do the best job at branding may not even be ecommerce sites. Many personal sites do a much better job of eliciting emotional responses from visitors than business sites.

Far too often business sites work so hard to be professional they lose sight of how to be personal with their customers. Sometimes a website can come across as simply a tribute to the business. It's perceived as if you simply gave yourself a trophy for a job well done. The visitor may be left feeling as if the business succeeded only in impressing itself.

The history of commercials provide many examples of how themed advertisements help brand a product, but for business websites it may be more about expressing your own personality. This can happen when a blog is used or a series of personality driven newsletters make their way to opt-in subscribers.

Branding always leave an impression, but impressions don't always brand your product.
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