The Similarities and Differences in Branding: Online Business vs Offline Business


 It is becoming more and more common to run your online business completely from home.

While this makes things very convenient for you, your branding may take a hit if this is the first online business you have started.

While working remotely is seen as a dream for most, those who do work remotely know that accomplishing proper branding can be tough, as the branding techniques for online businesses can be different, and sometimes trickier than branding techniques for offline businesses.

However, the idea and concept of said branding is the same, and it is important to make distinctions between branding in an offline business and branding in an online one.

Some of the most popular forms of branding over time will be analyzed here to see which ones are the most relevant for which business.

Company websites

Every business needs a website nowadays. Because more and more business is being done online, there is no reason why you should not be able to purchase a domain for your business and display all of the services, products, or information that you sell on there.

And of course, the website needs to look really good. There is no real excuse for this, as freelancing is fast becoming a reasonable way for anybody with good skills to make money.

Website development is one of these skills, and hiring a web developer is very easy, thanks to online freelance services being more and more accessible.

Company websites can and should also feature a full catalog of what you sell as well. This is also very easy to make and is necessary for both online and offline businesses.

From a branding standpoint, both online and offline businesses should have well designed websites.

Sales pages/Landing pages/Funnels

This is where things get tricky.

At least for offline businesses, they do.

Most of the things sold in this form of branding are ordered and purchased online, whether they are physical products or services.

And different than a website, most of these only contain one thing, and that is an offer for whatever is being sold.

Any online business who is interested in any kind of growth knows that creating these kinds of pages is absolutely necessary. They are the best kind of advertising for any online business.

But can offline businesses use them?

The answer to that really depends on what is being sold and where your offline business is located.

For example, if you are a hairdresser or if you own a food truck, it could be advantageous to use sales/landing/funnel pages. You would just need to tell your prospects where your business is located and what your hours are. You are also selling one particular thing so you can use the sales/landing/funnel page to focus on that.

However, if your offline business sells many things, you may not be able to make the best use of sales/landing/funnel pages. Don’t forget that these kinds of pages are usually designed to get buyers interested in one product of the business, not a whole bunch.

Neon signs and other signage

Offline businesses have been using this for centuries to show people where their establishment is, their operating hours, what kind of promotions are being run, and other things.

Entertainment venues, for example, are masters in the art of neon sign based branding. How many times have you been driving down the street and you come up on a massive, 20 foot tall sign that you have seen for five miles?

The owners of these venues know that signs like this will bring people in.

Offline businesses must have this kind of branding.

But can online businesses use it?

The answer to this question depends on three things: What your online business is, where you are operating from, and what your operating hours are.

If your online business is something like a Shopify or Etsy store, then you’ll have no need for neon signs…unless you keep your products at your home. If that is true, you can enjoy the best of both worlds by including signs as a branding tool.

If you are doing something like selling e-books on e-junkie that you write from your apartment, then no, neon signs will not be an effective branding tool.

Although branding is important for any business, it is also important to know what kind of branding is best for the type of business you have. When you explore and measure all the possibilities, you will save a lot of time and money.