Branding visual
What is a brand?

If you ask Google, it gives you this word diarrhea:

“A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.”

Investopedia tells us that:

“The term brand refers to a business and marketing concept that helps people identify a particular company, product, or individual.”

Ugh. Get out of here tryna sound so smart.

Listen people, it’s not that hard.

A brand is simply a personality. That’s it.

Whether you’re a person or a business, we all have a brand image that we’re trying to cultivate and maintain.

In order for your brand to be trustworthy, it needs to be consistent. Your personality has to remain the same throughout all avenues, whether it be radio and tv ads, email, blog posts, social media, in-store customer experience, even down to the packaging.

If even one of these factors is out of sync, your message will seem “off” to your audience, and thus your brand building will be greatly diminished.

The Puzzle Pieces of Online Brand Management (and How to Connect Them)

Your Website

Not only does your website need to be optimized for SEO, including keywords and longtails for “how,” “why,” and “what” queries, it also needs to be optimized for the lexicon of your target market.

Why it Matters

Do you speak the language of your customer?

Can you phrase their problems using their language?

Can you provide answers to those problems using their language?

Can you throw in a call-to-action with that same language?

It’s not about throwing around buzzwords that you think your target audience will respond to. That’s very obvious and off-putting. (And insulting to your customer’s intelligence.)

It’s about engaging with them in their “native” tongue.

How do you learn their “native” tongue?

Read what they’re reading, go where they go, spend time on their forums and websites.

When you’re trying to build a brand that you want people to connect to, you need to put in the work of first understanding how they think and talk.

When to Be Worried

If your website isn’t optimized for mobile, or if your homepage looks like you’ve unironically time-traveled back to 2003, then you’ve got a problem.

What sites do your prospects visit?

What do those pages look like?

How easy is your site to navigate, how instinctual is it?

Are you asking prospects for feedback? (Hint: ALWAYS ask for feedback. Don’t; be afraid of it, embrace it. Bounce rates are simply a metric that you can learn from.)

Social Networks

Where does your ideal customer hang out?

Are they on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok?

How do they prefer to communicate with the world?

Why it Matters

You can influence positive word-of-mouth advertising by engaging your prospective customers through their preferred social media, but only if you do it in the right way.

That is, speaking their language, and being completely honest with them.

Social media is tightrope-tricky, but can score your business huge points if you work it right.

Think about Wendy’s; they’re crushing it. That’s because they’re brave enough to be real with their audience.

They draw a line in the sand with every tweet. Who would have ever associated Wendy’s with “sass” before Twitter? Nobody. They didn’t ask for permission to be real, they just went and did it. And they’ve been reaping rewards in the form of free advertisement and word-of-mouth ever since.

What social media platforms are your competitors leveraging?

How is their engagement going?

What has worked for them in the past, and what hasn’t? And, most importantly, what AREN’T they doing that you COULD do?

A good place to view all the best (worst) brand faceplants on social media is the subreddit r/fellowkids. (It’s insightful, hilarious, and cringeworthy.)

When to Be Worried

If your business has no social media presence, be worried.

Your competitors already have social media, which means they’re way ahead of you.

But it’s not too late to catch up.


If you’re spread too thin across too many platforms, then you should pull back on the reins.

You don’t have to be on every social media platform.

Which sites get you the most engagement? Focus on those first.

If your business isn’t very visual, then dump Instagram. Put your efforts into the platforms that matter most, and forget the rest.

Choose to be exceptional on one platform instead of mediocre on multiple.

Online Reviews

What are people saying about your product?

Are you collecting testimonials?

Why it Matters

Happy customers are usually willing to provide positive testimonials.

It’s a win-win. They get the chance to be spotlighted on another platform, and your business gets a glowing review. There is no downside.

People in the research stage of their buying process highly value reviews from other customers, and if you know that you provide a good service, then let your customers sing.

When to Be Worried

If you’ve never asked your customers for reviews, now’s the time.

If there are any unaddressed reviews on Yelp or negative posts on Twitter, take the time and correct them.

People love seeing a company own up to its mistakes. This shows humility, honesty, and transparency. (And increased conversions, hint hint.)

Local Listings

Yes we live in a flat world where pretty much anyone can buy anything from anywhere, but it’s important to not forget about advertising locally.

According to Google, a whopping 66% of people prefer ads specific to their location.

Why it Matters

People trust Yelp reviews because they come from their community.

Facebook groups centered around city activities drive word-of-mouth advertising.

Google tells people when you’re open and where you’re located and what people think of their experience after interacting with you.

Radio, television, and direct mail marketing are not dead; they are alive and well. But since so many companies consider those industries dead, hello competitive advantage, meet your company. (And boom goes the dynamite.)

When to Be Worried

If any of your local listings are out-of-date or inaccurate.

That is unprofessional and lazy. Get those hours and location updated pronto.

Your website, your social media, your local listings, and your customer reviews all need to speak the same language; and that is the language of your target market.

Brand building means uniformly building your brand across all channels and avenues; using the same personality and lexicon throughout.

Be true to your brand, and your brand will ring true to your audience.