You take care in developing your offline brand so why not your online brand?
I am still amazed that in 2012, companies that invest so much time and effort into their brand seem to neglect their online branding.
Have a look at the sign for an Architect’s company I spied this morning in London.
I can’t find a website anywhere for John Coyle Contracts, however this should not preclude him from securing his own brand online.
He has decided to use an email address firstname.lastname@example.org
Two things here
1. As he is using a shared email domain, he had to settle for “coylecontracts7″ – not very personal
2. As he is using AOL’s aim.com domain, he misses out on any company branding.
A snazzy domain name such as www.johncoyle.co (which is available) would be a great start, instead of using AOL’s brand.
I am sure John Coyle has spent a lot of money on his brand and these signs. My free advice is that for just a little extra per year (we’re talking £20 max from a company such as domainmonster.com) he could also have a professional domain name that shows off HIS brand, not AOL’s, and could still divert emails to this address to his AIM or Gmail address.
In this digital age, I rank a company based on their online branding as well as their offline branding.
Those that don’t know how to leverage their own brand in 2012 I just don’t use.
Am I being too harsh?
If you “get” digital and social, then your brand should be visible online as well.