How to Build a Bad Ass Brand in 5 Easy Steps

Firstly, let me say, Iím excited to be here with a group of such talented women. Secondly, the the two sentence intro on me is that Iíve been doing SEO, ppc and analytics in the forex industry and for myself at lvlogic for a little over 3 years. I can often be found hanging out at the bar with several of the guys from IM-NY talking shop over a ketel one on the rocks or a nice glass of wine. The bar is also where I met Lisa (running theme possibly) and after several drinks, a few games of craps and some tequila and eggs, she asked me to be a chicklet. So, here is everything you ever wanted to know about how to build a brand in 5 easy steps (more or less).

As a new business starting out, getting market share can be an overwhelming task. You need more than just an out of the box website and big dreams. You need a game plan.

How to make one is what we are going to discuss through research and development of a story that sells, how to rank for your brand name and what to do next.

Remember, you may not be Coca-Cola, but that doesnít mean you shouldnít think about branding your product from the start.

1. Competitive Research

Competitive Research

I know what you are thinking Ė why am I doing competitive research? I am branding my product not trying to get links. Competitive research is one of the most, if not the’ most important (and often overlooked) steps when you start any online project.

Figure out who the competition is and what they are doing. Learn the key terms for your niche and make a list of who is ranking for them. Once you discover who your key competitors are, figure out what terms they are ranking for (I recommend using www.compete.com) and what you can do better.

The keywords give you direction and online are an important ingredient in branding. Knowing where your competitors are getting their traffic shows you what is in the mind of potential visitors. Gear your site to these queries and you position yourself, over time, in the minds of your potential customers. If they always see you everytime they search for what you offer you become associated with the terms and all they suggest to the searchers.

2. What is your story?

Now that you have completed Step 1 and found out who your competition is and what your future clients think about when looking for your niche, you should have an idea of what stories the competition is telling and to a degree what your clients are looking for. Remember consumers buy the stories behind the product, not the product itself. You as a new brand are at a clear advantage here. You have a birdís eye view of your competition and where they are succeeding and where they are faltering. Now figure out what your story is and how to sell it better than anyone else.

3. Create your content

Content is King!

As we all know, in the online world content is king (and Google is the emperor, but thatís another article). Build content based around the key terms in your niche and become an authority. This will take time, work and resources, but it will pay off. Do not try and make one page that adddresses all the keywords. Make individual pages for each keyword (or at most three keywords a page). This gives you more pages – which adds to the size of the site and the impact it will have in Google, as well as possibly pushing you up in search results for many keywords – thus grabbing clients who are looking for your products through different perspectives.

It is good to remember that people rarely share how they get information, but they do share the information.

4. Rank for your brand name

Make sure you rank highly for your brand name. If your name is something generic that will be near impossible to rank for, change it. No, seriously, change your companyís name now. It will be cheaper to re-file some paperwork than it will be to lose out on all those sales because no one can find your site.

Whether you are a small company (and even if you are a large company) you should also be taking advantage of social media and using it to help dominate the SERPs for your brand name and brand specific products. Create and interlink various social media profiles like linkedin, naymz, squidoo, and myspace.

When choosing a name remember to consider something easy to remember and that Google likes domain names that are a reflection of the search term. In other words, you can rank well with a domain that is the same as a search term (try doing searches and see the domain name there should be a listing that matches keyword and domain).

5. Promote brand loyalists

Babyís love Brands

Create frequent visitor/buyer discounts and rewards programs. This is where the cell phone companies have it backwards. They offer all kinds of promotions to new customers to try to entice them to make the switch over rather than creating customer loyalty programs to keep clients. This is why most people have no brand loyalty when it comes to cell phones and they often leave when their contract is up because another brand is offering them the best new phones free if the jump ship. Donít let this happen to your brand. Keep customers happy.

This all seems fairly straight forward and it is. It just takes time and commitment, which if you have, it will pay off.

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6 Responses to “How to Build a Bad Ass Brand in 5 Easy Steps”

  1. ha ha, running theme meeting me in the bar, don’t know what you are talking about ;p lol..

    Excellent first post Lauren.

    Ranking for your brand term, oh god have I seen some difficult, I mean challenging issues with this. One of my current clients have the same name as a Greek God, damn those SERPs are packed with freakin wikipedia and all sorts.

    Also worth mentioning is it you decide to come up with some fancy shmanzy brand name such as flickr, make sure you buy the feckin domain spelt corrently (ehm I mean incorrectly) as well. Agh…I’m sure they are fine now, but bet they lost shed loads of traffic before the brand was well known enough..

    =)

  2. lol i’m sure. I’m actually never in bars drinking, it’s a ll just a viscous rumor

    That’s a great point. If your brand name is a common (or not so common) misspelling, buy the common spelling. Paying a little more up front can save you a ton later on.

    Although having your company called ‘Apollo’ sounds pretty cool, unless you’re the theater, you aren’t getting anywhere near the front page

  3. Julie Joyce says:

    Excellent first post Lauren…about your “promote brand loyalists” point, do you have any suggestions for how to do this for a company that doesn’t offer traditional B2C products?

  4. Promoting your brand loyalists is more than just give aways and loyalty programs (which is something cell phone companies do a TERRIBLE job at – but that is another rant/post altogether)
    By talking to your customers, whether it is B2B or if you are a publishing site that thrives on ad revenue, rather than at them you can help to create loyalists
    Graywolf actually wrote a post about social media for B2B that has some good takeaways that can be applied for creating brand loyalists.
    For example, if you make stereo manuals, you can write a simplified post on your site that is called, ‘Stereo manuals for dummies.’ Incorporate tons of pics, try to use it as link bait, and if you consistently write these how-to articles for boring topics, you will create loyal users.

  5. Great article, some key points that i will bear in mind, especially about brand loyalists.

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