Brand Development is a large and complex discipline that involves establishing, promoting and maintaining the image of a brand. The basics of brand development are the same today as they have been for decades, but there are some special considerations relating to how brands are handled online.

Online Brand Development

This includes several factors, such as social media marketing and reputation management. According to a recent survey conducted by advertising company DoubleClick, fifty per cent of consumers will start searching for a product online as much as twelve weeks before they make a purchase. They will start with generic terms for products and services and gradually narrow down their search to include specific brand names or locations. If the top search results for your company include negative reviews or disparaging comments, then you are probably losing prospective customers who are on the verge of making a purchase from you.

Typically this involves a combination of customer service and public relations, as well as SEO. Having web properties that are under your control, such as your own website and social media profiles, appear at the top of the search results should be your first priority. After that, the next step is to try to encourage positive discussions about your brand on sites with user-generated content. If you are on the receiving end of negative reviews, try to resolve the issue amicably with the reviewer.

Embracing Your Brand

It is important to note that you cannot control your brand, only gently guide your consumers and suggest how you want your products and services to be perceived. There is always the possibility that your brand will become popular with a group that you did not expect to like it, or become known for something other than what you wanted to focus on. For example, the Dr Martens brand of footwear started life as a high-quality work shoe and has since become a fashion statement. The brand has embraced this, and achieved a huge amount of success because of that. Successful brands understand the importance of paying attention to their consumers and can react to changing trends and interests quickly.

Today's consumers are more informed and demanding than any group that has come before them. Word of mouth is an incredibly powerful marketing tool today, thanks to the popularity of social media, and the brands that succeed, both locally and globally, are the ones that learn to harness the power of their community.

At Sussex Websites, one of the services that we provide is brand management. We combine effective SEO, social media marketing, web design and online advertising to create a comprehensive digital marketing strategy. If your business does not yet have an in-house brand development team, then you should seriously consider bringing in some experts to take over the job for you. While you focus on the core of your business, we will do the job of delivering your brands message to the right audience.