Brand Your Business With A Web Presence

Understanding branding is important. Branding is, in reality, the identity you project to the public, to your clients or customers, and to your vendors. Your brand speaks loudly about who you are and how you see your business relationships with those who matter most. Deciding on a branding concept is important, a decision that should not be taken on lightly.

A number of years ago I was hired by a real estate developer to design an identity package for a new sub-division. In an early meeting I asked the development team what they called their development. I was met with blank stares. They had not considered what to call their venture. We spent the next three days debating the pros and cons of several names and marketing concepts. In the end a decision was made and a marketing identity was developed. This all happened before there was a viable internet.

Recently, I was hired by a client to develop a web presence for a start-up travel consultant. My client, I'll call her Connie, worked as a travel agent for nearly 20 years, developing a solid client base. Connie focused on luxury travel to exotic destinations. She became an expert on Australia and the South Seas. She had extensive contacts among travel wholesalers. She was now ready to strike out on her own as an independent travel consultant. Connie, like my earlier real estate developer client, came to me without a clear concept of exactly what and how she might present her new venture to her existing client base and to attract new clients as well.

She had a vague idea that she wanted a name that referenced Australia. We knocked around terms like Tucker, Dreamtime, Red Center, Outback, Walkabout, Kangaroo, and many more. Some we eliminated because they were already being used such as Outback. In the end we settled on Yellow Kangaroo Vacations (a pseudonym) and found that was available as a URL. She asked me to secure the name and she began working on copy for the site.

Two days later Connie called me asking, "Does my business name have to be the same as my URL?" Here we were, face to face with the branding issue. We settled on a name, found a suitable domain name, and agreed to go forward. Then came the second thoughts. I told Connie that while it was not absolutely necessary for her business name to match her domain name, it would be far better for her brand if she kept them the same. I argued that she was working to establish a presence for both her old and new clients, one that would be consistent, easy to remember, and flexible enough to allow her business to grow into the name. In the end, Connie decided that the two should match and I breathed a sigh of relief.

In conclusion, branding is important for business success. You don't have to spend a fortune on establishing a brand but you must, absolutely must, invest time and effort in creating the branding idea.

Roger is a principal at Roger Passman Photography and RNS Graphic Design He works with clients to establish an overall look that leads to business success.

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