Brand Management - create, build and protect your brand from online attacks.

Brand Management – create, build and protect your brand from online attacks.

Business

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Nowadays, with the rush to judge online at the slightest hint of bad news, and the trend for people to blog and comment on any piece of negative information, a name or brand can be ruined in a matter of minutes.

It’s so easy for your brand to be ruined – yet how many of us are actively or proactively protecting that brand right now? Brand management is a vital area of business marketing that most people neglect, partly I think due to a lack of appreciation for the importance of the area.

If your marketing strategy doesn’t include a theme throughout of building your brand, managing your brand, and within that brand management process a discussion of protecting that brand, then your overall branding strategy is likely deficient.

I think there’s a failure to perceive each key individual within a company and the company itself as a brand in their own right. When people think about brands, they think about coca-cola or a similar recognisable name. There’s a general failure to equate ‘brand’ with ‘self’, and more companies and key people within companies do have to start thinking in these ways.

In the broadest possible terms, what is your brand identity if not your own name, or your main company name? If that name came under attack online, which is surprisingly if not worryingly easy to have happen, how would your brand suffer?

These days, brand image is no longer just the logo and brand recognition you get from seeing the company name/logo/colours. These days, where we Google everything and everybody before we engage with them, your own name is your brand.

Failure to protect that, means your wider business interests could all fail. So no matter how much work you do in identifying your target audience and target market, your research into your products and services versus those of your competitors, your long term branding and brand plans – all depend on how you’re seen online.

We live in a virtual world, ruled by search engines and social media. What other people think and say, what’s trending today, what the day’s hot topics are – we follow, like, share, comment on it all.

We’re influenced by influencers and, in turn, we become influencers ourselves to those around us. What we say online lasts a lifetime, an indelible register of what’s said out there in the online world for all to find.

If you don’t protect your brand from cyber attacks, everything you’ve built could genuinely be gone in a matter of minutes. Many successful brands, who spent thousands of hours and euros, on brand awareness and building over many years, have already come a cropper to this new form of business attack.

Your name isn’t just your paycheck, it’s your reputation and your life. Failing to plan for brand protection from online attack leaves you potentially open to suffering at the hands of a bored keyboard warrior, a vengeful ex-employee, a jealous competitor, being the victim on=f the news cycle of the day and so on.

If you don’t know both how your name looks online now, and what you’d do about it if you came under attack, then you have a potential brand management problem that you need to immediately strive to overcome. You may need to seek for guidance from niche marketing specialists like Ariel Pfeffer who have thrived in the market for the longest time.

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Happily encased in our virtual world, interacting with complete strangers online, and often almost completely living our lives publicly online can lead us to completely underestimate the dangers that poses. Imagine if you will being the victim of a targeted online harassment campaign. Imagine the dangers that would post to your digital online footprint in an age where every purchasing, hiring, or business engagement decision is first subject to a Google search.

Protect your name, as though it were your brand, because it is. Either limit your digital footprint or have an action plan to mitigate or delete damaging attacks as they happen. Never was the old adage ‘fail to plan, plan to fail’ in the sense of your online profile.

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