If you’re an entrepreneur just
beginning to build your business or you’re a recent graduate entering the marketing field you probably understand the importance of building a consistent brand and you may have begun searching the Internet for resources on how to do just that. But with so much information online about branding it can be really hard to know which websites to turn to.
Which sites are trustworthy?
Which ones are credible?
So many people and organizations online claim to be “brand experts” that it can leave you feeling intimidated and discouraged. And you might even feel like giving up!
But don't give up just yet. I've compiled a list of my six most trusted online resources for all things brand and branding. These credible, trustworthy, and up-to-date websites will help get you on the road to understanding brand basics, building your brand know-how and developing a strong brand that your customers will connect with.
http://www.ama.org/ If you’re looking for an all-around clearinghouse of marketing information The American Marketing Association is a great place to start. The AMA has been around since 1937 and is a well-respected authority on all things marketing, including branding. The AMA offers paid membership options of varying levels, such as Professional and Student, so that you can join and take advantage of all the benefits of a paid membership. But, if you don’t want to join as a paid member you can still explore the site by signing up for a free online membership. With this level of membership you’ll have an opportunity to get updates on a variety of topics of your choosing on a regular basis. The site also offers free articles, case studies, and white papers on a variety of marketing topics. While you’re exploring the site don’t forget to check out the list of webcasts that you can sign up for, many of which are free of charge. You’ll definitely want to bookmark this site for later reference throughout your career.
http://brandchannel.com/ Brandchannel is created by the global brand consultancy Interbrand and it’s a treasure trove of brand expertise. Explore the site and you’ll find a brand glossary (helpful as you build your brand knowledge) and articles with the latest news on what some of the most innovative brands are doing. You can also subscribe to their daily newsletter to keep abreast of brand happenings that will help you build your brand basics and may also inspire you.
http://www.brandingstrategyinsider.com/ At Branding Strategy Insider, a blog created by a brand consultancy called The Blake Project, you can explore recent posts on a seemingly unlimited variety of brand related topics. What I love most about this blog is the ability to search using keywords to find information on a specific topic. So, let's say you wanted to have a better understanding of what brand voice means and how to develop a voice for your brand. You can just type brand voice into the search bar and up pops a bevvy of well-written and detailed articles on the topic from a variety of viewpoints. What could be easier?
http://www.brandingmagazine.com/ Branding Magazine's online magazine format offers a daily digital brand journal with multi-media content created by a host of contributing columnists who are experts in the industry. You can explore the site by categories such as automotive, green, digital, and more or search by specific keywords. For example, a search for the keywords “brand story” shows a variety of articles on the topic including how to craft a brand story and examples of how some big and well-known brands tell their stories. And, if you’re an author, blogger or expert in some area of branding, you can even apply to contribute your own articles to the site. What a great way to share your knowledge with others!
http://www.marketingprofs.com/ I find Marketing Profs to be one of the best, most comprehensive online resources for information on just about any brand or marketing related topic. You can sign up for a free membership and receive updates of the latest articles, webinars, special offers for training, and other happenings. Or you can take it to the next level by signing up for a paid pro membership for access to special member-only content. The site can be browsed by specific brand related topics, such as brand management, customer relationships, public relations, and more. There are almost unlimited articles written by industry thought leaders on every marketing topic imaginable to help you build your knowledge base. And they even offer insightful webinars on these topics, many of which are free of charge.
http://sethgodin.typepad.com/ For sheer brand inspiration this is the blog to follow. Seth Godin is one of the most influential speakers, authors and bloggers of our time. His way of looking at brands, customers, business and the world and his way with words will surely inspire you to see your brand in a different way. While you’re on his blog be sure to explore the list of books he has written and add them to your must read list.
I hope this short guide of big resources helps to get you started laying a solid foundation in brand basics. As you explore these sites be sure to bookmark them because you’ll want to refer to them throughout your career for research, knowledge building, and inspiration.
Which site is most helpful to you?
Are there other sites not on this list that have helped you to build brand basics?