Category: Branding


So I will admit it – I broke the number one rule of online marketing. That rule, is consistency. I have let my blog fall to the wayside. Just like any online marketing plan, it isn’t a “set it and forget it” situation. It requires consistent care and feeding.

So stay tuned as I promise to be more consistent with my marketing news and suggestions.

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At the ICANN board meeting in Singapore today, a vote that was held that will change how future domain names will be created. Anyone can now create a new generic top level domain (TLD)…as long as you have $185K. The Board vote was 13 approving, 1 opposed, and 2 abstaining. Applications for new gTLDs will be accepted from 12 January 2012 to 12 April 2012.

What does this mean? General Motors can now create a “.gm” domain. Coke can have a “.coke” domain. The possibilities are endless. There are many arguments both for and against this new plan. Some argue that banks and other financial institutions could use a branded domain to help avoid fraud. Luxury brands could use a branded domain to help ensure customers are purchasing real goods and help reduce counterfeit products. Both are valid arguments.

Personally, I this will not work in the long run. First, only big companies will have the money to purchase a “vanity domain” (which is what it really is), ultimately pushing out competition from smaller companies. Honestly, I am curious as to how the board came up with the $185K price tag.

Second, I am curious how search engines like Google, Bing, and the like will rate these new domains in organic search. I would think they would automatically get a high page rank, since it is what I would consider a “qualified” domain. In my opinion, this is the same as an uber-expensive PPC campaign that is mixed in with organic results. These new domains won’t have to go through all the traditional tried-and-true SEO best practices, which will again, push small businesses further down in organic results. Google just finished attempting to level the playing field after the JC Penny mess that took place this past Christmas season.

ICANN said they will work hard to address all the concerns that have been brought to their attention.  I certainly hope they do.

Social Media Stupidity

We have all watched the events that are unfolding in Egypt with a wide variety of emotions. Sadness, frustration, anger…the list goes on and on. Kenneth Cole looked at it a different way – with a mix of PR and sarcasm…and stupidity.

Kenneth Cole Tweet

Kenneth Cole Tweet

Now, in full disclosure, I have always liked the Kenneth Cole brand. Also, I am far from the “P.C. police.” However, there are certain things you just don’t make light of; the 9-11 terror attacks, slavery and the holocaust, to name a few. What is going on in Egypt should be added to that list.

Social media has played a large part in the uprising in Egypt. It has been one of the primary ways to get two-way information. Additionally, many companies use Twitter to promote their brands. The combination of the two here? I have to disagree. It was definitely in poor taste.

Now some may say that he was crazy like a fox. That there is no such thing as bad PR. Not sure if I really agree. I think this is a perfect example of how social media can backfire. Ultimately, I believe this will hurt his brand.

Yesterday on Fox and Friends, a segment highlighted three “mompreneurs” that started their business at home while raising their young children. One thing all three mentioned was building their brand.

It is important that companies consider their brand when developing an online marketing campaign. A brand is how the public will perceive your company. It goes beyond the service or product you provide. Who are you? What is your company all about? Do you care about your local community? This all goes in to building your brand.

So, don’t just think about advertising and marketing. Think about how the public considers your company and what your brand is all about. If you are having trouble with these steps, then consider hiring a consultant that can help you build your brand in addition to finding the right words for your web content to make sure your message is spot on!

Branding Reinvented

In today’s age of SEO, social media and instant information, the concept of “branding” has definitely been reinvented and redefined. When a company or individual works to develop a brand strategy, it should not be taken lightly. It is often considered the most difficult step in developing a marketing plan. After all, this is how you will be presenting yourself and your business to the world. This is how your or your company will be identified by the public at large. There are, however, a few steps you can take to help start the process, so it feels less daunting.

Identify Your Audience

First and foremost, you need to identify your target audience. This will help you in a number of ways. It will help to identify the best ways to reach your audience, which can vary widely depending on the market. For example, a manufacturing plant manager will find relevant market information differently than an engineer. Additionally, it will begin to help set your marketing budget, which will now be realistically based on the best ways to reach that audience instead of just throwing darts at the board.

Look at What is Working

Work to become familiar with what avenues reach your target audience and “learn the lingo.” Understand how industry professionals communicate with each other and utilize that when developing your brand.

Put Your Best Foot Forward

Regardless of where you are working to communicate to your audience, make sure you put your best foot forward. Establish yourself as a knowledgeable and professional individual in your industry. Attend industry and networking events. Always keep business cards with you and develop your “elevator pitch.” You never know when you could make that perfect professional connection!