Building Your Brand – Who You Are Talking To vs What You Are Talking About

What comes to mind when you hear Levi’s, Nike, Starbucks, McDonald’s or Canon? Chances are you already know who they are and what they are all about. These brands have become household names that everyone knows and trusts. Branding is an essential ingredient in running a successful business – online or offline.

What is branding?

“Branding is the expression of the essential truth or value of an organization, product, or service. It is communication of characteristics, values, and attributes that clarify what this particular brand is and is not.

A brand will help encourage someone to buy a product, and it directly supports whatever sales or marketing activities are in play, but the brand does not explicitly say “buy me”. Instead, it says “This is what I am. This is why I exist. If you agree, if you like me, you can buy me, support me, and recommend me to your friends.” (source:

Branding is designed for identity optimization. It differentiates you from the rest of the pack even if you are speaking to the same target market. It establishes what your site is and what it is not.

Branding is strategic. Marketing is tactical.
– James Heaton (

Branding is beyond just trying to figure out what topics to write about. Developing a distinct brand for your website is key to establishing your unique voice. Your voice will resonate and draw the market that will want to be identified and be associated with you. You have to know who you want to talk to and connect with them. Once you establish a strong identity and a unique point of view for your business and your website, you can be more strategic in planning out the type of content you will be publishing for your target market. Next thing to work on is to find out what your target market is interested in and create a content strategy that will address those needs. Content is key. What you talk about will determine how much attention you can get from your audience. It should be worth hearing and more importantly, worth sharing.

Building your authority site begins with your identity – your brand, your voice. Once you have that down pat you can proceed to develop a focused branding and marketing strategy leveraging on all your social and multimedia channels to help you establish your site not only as a resource that can be trusted but as an authority worth listening to.

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