Branding tips for new companies. Learn to brand your company using social media, networking and people skills.

Understanding how to brand yourself, or your company, especially if you’re an entrepreneur or a new company hitting the big times, can seem like difficult work. It’s easy to make mistakes, and mistakes in branding usually leaves you with a burnt spot that takes significant time to fade. This is especially important for freshers who don’t know much about creating powerful or advantageous associations. Here are ten tips that everyone who wants to brand their company like a celebrity needs to know.

1. Promote Yourself

Do you have something that makes you or your company unique? Then let the world know about it! The world is filled with far too many ordinary brands and people. If you have something that gives you the edge, show it off! You may be selling the world’s fanciest homemade leatherwear or you may be creating the cheapest efficient computer software. Gucci, Prada, Wal-Mart and Big Bazaar are all big brands in different levels, you know. As you long as you got it, you flaunt it.

2. Go Online Networking

Join those networking communities. Most companies tell themselves that they’ve got a great product, and should just wait for customers to come to them. If Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook would have waited for you to find him, chances are, you would never even have heard of Facebook, let alone use it. Remember, the best products are not the ones that are the best. They are the ones that are good, and marketed in the best manner.

3. Have a Good Blog

Can you put two sentences together that make sense without making someone sway to sleep? If you can, chances are, you can blog too! Today, blogs are a great way to reach out to people in your interest group. Even if you find it difficult to create a good online impression, don’t fret. The golden goose takes time to hatch. There are two types of blogs that people use. Personal Blogs. And Professional Blogs. Never ever mix them both. Your friends read your personal blog because they’re personal and well, your friends are personal. A regular reader on my blog who’s interested in custom media wouldn’t really care about the little vacation I took last week, well, not unless that trip gave me an excellent business idea.  Keep your friends and associates far from each other if you want to do well in business. Friendship and business just don’t mix. You can discuss your business ideas in professional blogs, and who knows, one day, you may be able to come up with an exciting idea that might get heads bobbing in unison. But in any case, by keeping a professional blog, you can forage useful connections that can help you create far reaching associations and new partnerships with key players from across the globe.

4. Moo in Purple!

Bring home the Purple Cow. Seth Godin has written all about this in his book, The Purple Cow. But you can use one key point that I have learnt from that book. Market your brand with remarkable ideas. If you have something that clearly distinguishes you from the rest of the world, then that makes you special. Come up with outrageous ideas, it can be funny or serious, or just plain outrageous. But that one outrageous factor can become your selling point. “Hey, have you heard of that place that sells little pizza idlis (Indian rice dumpling)?” Now you’ve got a conversation going.

5. Are you in the right place?

Is there anything like coincidences these days? Or are they all a series of opportunities that were created consciously or unconsciously? Celebrities aren’t famous because they were born to be famous. They worked hard to get there. Business tycoons didn’t get that title in one day. They earned it through years of hard work. For any company that needs to build a brand, work your way up by being seen in the right places. Participate in key events and seminars in your line of work, and understand the new innovations that have cropped up while you had your head buried in work. Meet people constantly, and exchange ideas as often as possible. Don’t give all your ideas away though. You just need to skim the surface with your ideas. If you’re ingenious, the surface of your ideas would be enough to impress others.

6. Meet key decision makers outside your field

Here is a case of a typical media person’s disease. When I started my career in media, I met a lot of people from the media. Far too many, actually.  But what could I do with people in my own field? They aren’t going to be my friends for long. They’re all going to be competition as I work my way up, pushing them down, one at a time! Let’s be frank, is there any other way to get to the top? Associates in the same line of work are good to have, but friends, no. Over the years, I started meeting key decision makers from fields that I had little idea about. Now I meet all kinds of decision makers all the time, and we learn about each other’s line of work, and figure if there is any potential in associations, now or in future. This not only helps me in understanding how to work with different fields, but also in creating fruitful associations between different associates of mine. So meeting new people outside your line of work isn’t a bad thing, it can actually help you build a stronger network and make bigger plans by involving more associates and companies into the picture.

7. Create business associates, not friends

Friends are those pals you know since your younger days who’ve been hanging out with you for years because you both have a good bond that’s based on something beyond your professions. Business associates are friends too, but they are ones that you’ve been able to bond with because you both have a common interest in what you both do for a living. So they’re both technically the same, they’re friends. But these friendships are based on completely different things. If a friend from school talks about you with their friend, they’d say, “Oh, that guy, you should have seen him in college, all he wanted to do was get drunk and party every night.” If a business associate who’s now your good friend talks about you with their friend, they’d say, “Oh, that guy, he comes up with the best media strategies. He’s definitely one you should use if you need a media campaign.” You pick the better option for a brand building campaign.

8. Remember that friends don’t sell for you

If you want to brand your company, don’t use your friends. Coaxing friends to sell for you or promote your company can actually lead to disastrous results. You can see an older post of mine to know more about the negative impact of friends in a branding campaign by clicking here.

9. Talk about Brand You

In quite a few meetings that I’ve had with companies that sell products for online mediums, one of the biggest bummers that I have come across is that their marketing teams talk more about their clients than themselves. “…using this product, my client has done this… using this product, we were able to draw the attention of this Big company, blah, blah and more blah…” I get the point, but if you’re one of those that use the name of your clients to sell a product or a service, remember that you’re not leaving your prospective client with anything to remember about you. If you’re good, you don’t need to prove your point all the time by telling a new client about your other clients. Create conversations around you and your brand. If that’s not enough to keep a conversation going, you’ll just have to work harder to create a bigger You.

10. Be Unique. But don’t be yourself unless you’re something big!

Don’t be yourself. You may have heard people say otherwise, but really, don’t be yourself unless you’re someone out there making heads turn like Richard Branson, Vijay Mallya or Donald Trump. Being yourself is a good thing to win dates or hook up with potential partners, but in business, you need something else. You need a differentiator. What sets you apart from the others? What is your trademark style, or what is it that makes you so damn cool? Adolf Hitler had his little moustache and shorts that set him apart and Fidel Castro has his Cuban Cohibas. Be different, and you’ll be a brand that will be remembered.

Branding yourself or your company can be a tricky affair, but if you can pull it off, and put your money where your mouth is, you’ve got nowhere to go but on top!