The internet market is bulldozed by the presence of social media networks. Brands worth little presence on the internet are spending the big bucks chasing Facebook and Twitter because they feel that these social media will help them be counted among the big boys. Let’s draw up an analogy from the everyday life that we lead. Think that you are very popular among your family and friends. You are the cynosure of all eyes at parties and talk invariably revolves around you and how you live your life. In the same frame, stencil in the fact that you are unemployed. Will that serve your purpose or look good on your social presence?
The same goes for brands with little brand value on the internet but come attached with big dreams of social media domination. You cannot do that without building up a brand that people identify with. Social media networks will help you promote your brand; it will not actually help you develop the brand. Social brands are those that have a strong presence on social media platforms and engage in interactions and discussions with online users. Wait, isn’t that what every brand online tries to do? Then why are some brands more successful while others remain under the long shadow despite such vociferous exposure? The answer is simple: people fail to identify with such brands.
Look at the defining ads on TV. Why do you feel influenced by these brands? It is because you are indentifying with them. They are getting down from their ivory towers and engaging you in a very personal, intimate way. Can your brand do that? Here are some values that you need to have in order to engage people like a Coca Cola or a Pizza Hut:
Expertise: There are several players in an arena to keep the play going. What is missing is a ring leader to take the play forward. You need to step up to the plate. You need expertise, that quality that everyone claims to have but few actually do. When you have expertise in a particular domain, you will emerge as the leader, no matter how much time it takes or how many times you are put down. People like to listen to someone who knows what they are talking about. Can you be that voice?
Authority: This borrows from the first one. A brand with authority is usually the one everyone listens to. That brand is like the guide, showing the path ahead. Authority brings with it responsibility and commitment. You have to think long-term and think beyond your own little profits. Look at Facebook. It is trying to bring internet access to every single person in the world. Imaging the vision: apparently devoid of profit making or other ulterior motives! Now think of a time when the remotest corners of the world know the internet to be synonymous with Facebook. Will there be a bigger brand presence? That is authority for you.
Trustworthiness: In times of trouble, you turn to someone you trust. In happier times, you will surely return to this trusted friend. Brands have to build that trust factor among people. Making brands synonymous with the product or service. “Give me a Coke!” is what most say when they want a cola. That is the trust that Coca Cola has managed to cultivate among people, taking it to a completely new level of audience engagement. You may not be able to replicate that overnight, but a walk in the right direction will take you places with your online branding.
As you can understand, all these requirements demand people-centric skills. You need people to pull in more people. Experts tell us that the next level of online branding is to put real people in the limelight. But you cannot simply put up anyone on the brand pedestal! Here are some traits that you need in people that you prop up to represent your brand:
Experts: Professionals who are experts in their fields can be the best brand builders. Do you have a writer with years of experience on your team and a writing course that you offer as a service? Bring the two together and you will definitely benefit from the brand building that will be done through this blending
Spokespersons: Brand ambassadors need to be excellent spokespersons. The person must be able to communicate and interact with audiences, cutting across demographic divides. This will help the brand immensely.
Likeability: The people who will hold the key to your brand must have a general positive vibe going for them. An executive may be excellent in his job, but if he’s not a people’s person, he is not your face of the brand.
Integrity: This should be prized and honored above all! A person with a clean track record is your only option for a good brand ambassador. That factor of sincerity and integrity rubs off on your brand as well.
We have some wonderful professionals who represent our company at various events, doing wonders for our brand value! Have you tried it yet? Pipe in your thoughts here.