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Web Branding - Not The What, But The Who

Nov 28, 2007
The boardroom was filled with noise as the top executives met. The CEO had planned this meeting for weeks, but no one was sure what was going to be discussed, so nervous conversation blossomed throughout the room.

"Good afternoon," the CEO said as he took his seat and a hush settled over the room. "I want to thank you all for coming today. Let's get to business."

The executives began looking to one another still confused as to what might be happening.

"I want to spend our time today coming to grips with who we are as a company," the CEO said as he took off his suit coat, draped it over the back of the leather chair and walked to the white board - marker in hand.

Most of the executives thought their boss was pulling a practical joking on his employees, but he just stood in front of the whiteboard waiting for someone to speak.

"We sell computers," one man ventured to the nervous chuckles of a few brave executives.

The ice was broken, but it wasn't that the boss wanted. "Yes, I know that's what we sell, but who are we?"

"We are supplies of computers and related components," another ventured.

"Very good, but you've just told me what we do, yet again. Who are we?"

Most of the executives were at a loss to figure out what their boss wanted, finally a third man spoke, "We are a computer company whose purpose is to not just sell computers, but to assist nontraditional college students in returning to college to get a degree."

"Very good. And how do you know this to be true?" the CEO asked with a smile.

"Because I wouldn't be here if it weren't for the scholarship I received from this company," the young man replied.

What this boss was attempting to get his executives to consider was the best way to brand the company. After all, there are lots of companies that can sell computers, but the executives of this fictitious company didn't seem to have a clue what they were apart from the role of computer salesmen.

Web branding is about finding out who you are as a business apart from the products you sell. What is the heart of your business? Web branding insists there must be more to your business than selling a product.

This is the process whereby your personality and passion can come through, but you must crack open the nut that reads 'business' and find out what is inside.

As a business owner you likely have something you care about in tandem with your business. How does that factor into your business principles, goals and customer service?

Keep peeling back the layers until you are so content with who you are as a business that it becomes as nature as breathing to take that information and brand your business as something more than a generic online store selling a generic online product.

Who are you? You'd be surprised how many customers are curious.
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