This is a continuation of Branding Basics: What It Is and Who You Are posted on August 25, 2015.
If your goal is to develop an online community that is built around your brand, then it follows you need a brand for that community to gather around. Fortunately, branding is all about attraction. You brand your business and its products and services precisely because you want to develop an audience that will become fans of your business philosophy. Furthermore, they will become fans because of the way that philosophy affects the development of the products and services you provide. Another way of putting this is to say that the audience you attract builds your brand as much as your brand builds that audience. At its essence, the process is symbiosis at work.
In order to develop this symbiosis, you need to attract the correct audience. While it seems to be evident that a business will only attract an audience that likes what it does, if the business does not have clear idea ahead of time about who this audience might be, the whole process falls apart. It’s a classic case of garbage in, garbage out. In this case, however, it’s confusion in, confusion out. The business is confused, so the potential audience for that business’ production is confused as well. If you understand who your potential audience is, or even who they might be, you stand a greater chance of attracting the proper audience to develop your brand.
Once you have a handle on who your audience is, you have to get a handle on how to approach that audience. The good news is that deciding on the proper approach is an easy step to take. You see, there is no difference between your online presence and your offline presence. Both presences are governed by the same rules of conduct and common sense. Many marketers make the mistake of assuming that the online world of commerce is a fairyland that has no connection with “reality”. Nothing could be further from the truth. Business and marketing principles apply whether the transaction is physical or electronic.
What this means is that you deal with your online community in the exact same way that you deal with your offline community. You provide both with the highest level of service that you can. You insure that your products or services are the best they can possible be and you provide both audiences with the best possible information that you can produce. When you do so, you will find that your success in the online world is matched by your success in the online world.