E-Business 101 Part 1: Determining Your Brand and Niche
It doesn't matter how many clothing stores, gadget distributors or gizmo providers are in your market, you can still differentiate your product or service from the next and create a powerful brand that people are drawn to time and time again. Develop a winning strategy. Branding is just as important online as it is off.

A brand says who you are, what you stand for, what your core values are and where you're going. It infiltrates into everything you do from this point forward. Your brand includes your logo, mascot, corporate colors, uniforms, sales tactics, marketing visuals, copy and advertising methods. It's a unique business differentiator which sets the tone for your image, your name and your corporate culture. It's a conscious and subconscious message companies give off.

For instance, if you compare two major computer companies - IBM and Apple - you'll notice that not all computers are created equally. While Big Blue's image is corporate and conservative, Apple radiates a more progressive and edgy appeal. But how do companies differentiate themselves - and how can you?

In the start-up phase of ebusiness development, it's important to brainstorm a brand, set this plan on paper and into action. Companies like Ben & Jerry's focus on the environment, and they've developed not only a product mission, but an economic and social mission as well. McDonald's brand is youth-oriented, from its hip 'I'm Lovin' It' commercials to dear old Ronald the clown. Geico, yet another online insurance solution, promises to save you money - a ton of money.

Once established, everything your company does should reinforce this single point - your brand message. Customers hear it, remember it and go to you over and over again to acquire it. Stay tuned for Part Three: Defining Your Audience in this ten part series. Download Here, using Adobe Acrobat Reader See www.adobe.com for more on Acrobat Reader


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