Defining a new brand online in the fast-moving digital era is a real challenge. Creating a stand-out  brand narrative requires critical thinking about your industry, as well as your product or service. Begin with identifying and creating a unique marketing proposition for your target market. How does your brand stand apart in creating a great experience for the customer, better than your competitors?

Be specific in crafting the brand. It’s great to be the low-price leader, but you don’t want to win the race to the bottom. Crunch your numbers and build in profitability. It can be risky to sell quality for top dollar. But if you can build trust in your product, by all means charge what you are worth and prosper.

Once you’ve created a concise, unique marketing message that sets your brand apart, you can deploy it consistently online and in social media.

Target With Market Research

Hone in on your target audience from the start. Define your customer demographic by age, marital status, gender, income, and location. Create an online profile for the customer. Do they subscribe to email updates? Read blogs? Listen to podcasts?

Track the likely social media use of the prospective customer, and their patterns of sharing.

Include an online profile of current customers in creating a new online brand if such data is available.

Analyze the Competition

Take a snapshot of the brand positioning of your competition. How do they define their market and craft their brand message? How do they deploy that message online and via social media? What is their selling proposition to the potential customer, and how can you set your brand apart and above theirs?

Scour industry and market niche resources such as print and online journals, trade publications, newsletters, associations and market data reports for a comprehensive overview of your industry and market niche. The more information you have on your niche, the better prepared you are to create a singular online brand.

Track Results

Keep an eye on your web analytics, the data on visits to your web site and where the traffic comes from. Also get data from your social media advertising efforts. Which search engines are referring visits to your site? How do their referrals stack up against their market share? You can also track visits referred by specific terms and phrases. Importantly, you can see the conversion rate from visits, for example how many visitors signed up for updates or newsletters. This raw data provides information on how your online branding is working, and where adjustments can be made.

Implement Social Media Strategy

Launch the brand over Social Media with your unique marketing message. Present the brand as truly original, delivering value and creating a satisfying customer experience. Keep updates on Twitter and LinkedIn consistent with the central brand message.

To sum up, become a player in online communities of interest. Build brand authority by providing information to customers via user-friendly downloads. Consistently uploading quality content and providing customer testimonials make yours the go-to brand and builds strong, on-going relationships with customers. With successful implementation of your online social strategy for a new online brand, customers will pay you back with the ultimate compliment: Referrals that lead to new business, the coveted word-of mouth buzz that boosts the bottom line.