August 6, 2018

1.7 : Introduction to Online Branding

1.7 : Introduction to Online Branding

Dr. Tahir Rashid, Senior Lecturer, Salford Business School, UK

In this unit, we’re going to look at how organizations are trying to promote their brands online. Online branding is about trying to create an asset online of the brand.

A brand is a name, term [slogan], sign, symbol, or design or a combination of these, intended to identify the goods or services of one company or a group of companies and to differentiate them from those of competitors

Kotler (2009)

Well, this brand can only have an asset if that brand is trusted by its audience – if it can create a relationship. The brand can have equity if it actually solves the problem that the company is trying to solve.

Brand equity is the commercial value that derives from consumer perception of the brand name of a particular product or service, rather than from the product or service itself

Brand equity, brand fulfilment in terms of solving the problem for the organization and also in terms of trust, which can actually give a company a competitive advantage over its rivals.

Digital Brand à Competitive Advantage

This becomes particularly important when the products and services have very little difference from competitors, and so digital brand become far more impotant in terms of achieving a competitive advantage.

Digital brand is becoming an asset for developing brand equity

We see digital brands such as Amazon, Google, Next and Tesco are continuously trying to improve their image online so that when we want to purchase something online, those are the brands that comes to our mind and those are the brands we think of very quickly.

Remember, there is a small window for companies to actually seek the attention of their audiences, and if the organization has digital brand equity which the consumer can remember, then what happens is they go for those brands first then, perhaps, going for other brands later on.

Purpose of online branding is to create a memorable brand for your target audiences

So digital branding, and digital branding online, is very important and can be achieved by organizations, whether they are small or large, in terms of achieving the equity so that they can achieve a competitive advantage.

Asta Cepulyte, Chief Executive Officer, Sharecruit, Lithuania

We have to have responsibility to take care of our personal and business profile because most of our HR professionals are struggling to find culturally fit employees for the latest research is 63%. Skills and experience are very important, but cultural fit is more important because on the long way, it’s what makes companies successful and it’s easy to browse the teams and know brands by people because brands are created by people.

Personal online branding is important for those seeking to advance their career

It is important to be able to demonstrate a fit between your personal brand and that of the organization

Colin Telford, Managing Partner, The Candidate Ltd, UK

Online branding for us is one of the key elements for our success within The Candidate.

Online Brand: Key element for The Candidate Ltd

So everythine we’ve done in terms of the trust and the transparency and the service that we offer must come through and ooze through our online brand that we have built over the last three years.

Branding for The Candidate Ltd is about communicating trust and transparency of services offered to the target audiences (job seekers and employers)

Alex Charalambidis, Digital Marketing Strategist, MONKS, Greece

We are, first of all, creating our online presence and, since we are ready, we are driving traffic to our owned media presence. It’s not easy because first of all you have to be ready in terms of content, in terms of identifying the audiences, and then you have to launch the campaign.

First decide on the platforms for communicating your online brand – social networks, web pages, etc.

So my advice to every client – don’t go to Pinterest, don’t go to Instagram, if you’re not ready and if you don’t have someone to manage them.

  1. Identify your brand audiences
  2. Document your brand messages and values
  3. Develop presence on the relevant networks
  4. Launch capaigns to engage with your audiences on these relevant networks
  5. Measure your engagement and earn from results

Additional materials

Personal branding online

As you will have heard in the above video material, personal branding is increasingly important for anyone who wants to improve their career prospects.

Whilst SWOT and branding are concepts that are usually applied to organisations you can also apply these to your own personal profiles. Here is an example of how you can approach personal branding online:

Personal Branding Online

This video course on Personal Branding Online offers some ideas on how to improve your online presence:

Excercise: Conduct your personal brand SWOT analysis

Although this activity is not homework that you have to submit for assessment, we strongly encourage you to do this exercise on your own or with your peers. Your online personal brand is one of your most important assets which has to be carefully managed! Good luck!

SWOT Analysis – examine your online profiles and what messages they send to your audiences for example, potential employers on social media:

  1. Strengths : Skills and attributes that you DO have that potential employers are looking for;
  2. Weaknesses : Skills and attributes you DON’T have that employers are looking for;
  3. Opportunities : Skills and attributes you DO have but employers are not looking for them yet;
  4. Threats : Skills and attributes you DO have but employers are no longer looking for.

Now, consider how you can maximise the Strengths and Opportunities in your profiles and how you can reduce Weaknesses and Threats through learning and developing your skills.

Now consider how you can use different social networks where your potential employers or business partners might be engaging. Can you engage with them on these networks? How? How often?


Edelman d (2010) Branding in the Digital Age: You’re Spending Your Money in All the Wrong Places, HBR…

Faour, H., & Aleksej, H. (2013). The Use of Social Media to Attract Generation Y in Organisations. Paper presented at the 18th UKAIS Annual Conference: Social Information Systems, , 19-20 March, Worcester College, Oxford, UK.…

Brady, M., Goodman, M., Hansen, T., Keller, K., & Kotler, P. (2012). Marketing management. England: Pearson Education Limited.…

Interbrand brand rankings…

Please follow these chapter 1 related links:

Why is Digital and Social Media Marketing important today and in the future?
1.1. Introduction to strategic planning
1.2 SWOT analysis
1.3. Developing SMART objectives for strategy and campaigns
1.4. Digital Business Maturity Model
1.5. The consumer journey to online purchase
1.6. Introduction to core concepts and technologies of digital and social media marketing

Chapter 2 links are below:

2.0 Understanding the different nature of digital channels based on geographic, demographic and digital fit for a campaign
2.1 Search Engines – differences in countries – based on the case study examples
2.2 Social Media platforms differences in countries and how to they can be used
2.3 Email marketing and how it can be used
2.4 Affiliate marketing and how it can be used
2.5 Mobile marketing and how it could be used
2.6 Paid channels overview – search and social
2.7 Communities focused engagement