They don't stand out from their competition, and on the Web, that's a disaster. As a result, the effort, time, energy and money spent marketing is twice as long and hard.
You've got to find a memorable brand that says in a blink who you are and what you do. And you've got to use that brand everywhere on the web, especially on a blog, on Twitter, Facebook, and other sites. (Photo credit: Shutterstock – now there's a great brand name!)
With a good brand and powerful Internet tools like a business blog, you get big results. Your name and your business stay top of mind when someone is ready to hire or buy.
Finding a great name is one of the hardest things to do. In my opinion, the best way is to brainstorm with a colleague or friend. You may have your nose too close to the blackboard and not see a great branding name.
The next hardest thing is to find an available domain name.
Here are a couple of things to think about. Of course, ideally you would think this through before you start a blog, but sometimes finding a great brand name takes time. It's never too late to start afresh.
Branding Mistake #1:
Trying to market to everyone. Not clearly identifying specific problems and a target population. How can you find a clever name if you don't know who you're trying to attract?
Branding Mistake #2:
Not knowing what's already being said in your field. Not doing enough keyword research, blog research, customer research. How can you avoid being "me too" if you don't know what's already being done?
Branding Mistake #3:
Focusing on the features rather than customer-oriented benefits, that is focusing on the “what” rather than “why this really matters.” What problem does your business solve? What are the pain points experienced by your target audience? What are their hot buttons that move them into action?
Branding Mistake #4:
Naming with common cliches and worn out buzz words, i.e., not "thinking outside the box." Be careful when using catch words because they can quickly go out of fashion.
Branding Mistake #5:
Not leveraging the Web adequately (email sigs, twitter, etc.). Once you have a name, use it everywhere. I like it when people use their brand name WITH their personal names, for example, Patsi Krakoff, aka The Blogs Squad. I don't like to reply to Tweeters with a company name because it's so impersonal.
Branding Mistake #6:
Leaving money on the table by not leveraging branded content, i.e., not repurposing content in various sites and forms (audio, video, article directories). A blog post can turn into a series of posts, can turn into an article, a special report, a teleseminar, a Camtasia video, etc.
What good's a brand if it's not everywhere? These days it doesn't take a geek to be visible everywhere on the 'Net. It does, however, take a little time, and knowledge of key tools that can save you time.
What are other branding mistakes do you see on blogs and on the Web? My pet peeve is when people use company names on sites where you're supposed to be having a conversation. WTH? I don't want to talk with "GetFit" but I'll talk with "JoetheFitnessGuy." What about you?