A brand is more than the domain name you buy. It’s more than what gets typed up on your business cards and even more than your logo. What’s more, even small businesses, not just large corporations like Nike or Gap, must think about their branding.
A brand is the entire picture of how you present your company to the world. It encompasses your job and how you do it, and your perceived value to every potential customer. An effective brand means that when you speak with a potential customer you can immediately move past the “so what do you do?” discussions and get right to the real issues–namely how your business can solve that customer’s problem. They already know what you do, because that’s part of your brand and message.
MightyMerchant has clarified our own messages of how our name relates to the services we offer, which has changed in some important ways since we opened up shop 12 years ago. Customers who have been with us for several years were first introduced to us through our corporate name, Datahost. We built our business around the MightyMerchant Ecommerce platform, and now we have a new marketing division, HEROWeb. Where does all of this fit into our branding?
We have always been involved in all of the varied aspects of life on the Internet: web design, website hosting, online marketing and search engine optimization, programming, and ecommerce. With such a wide range of services, we have needed to craft specific message for our different audiences – and we have several of them! Successful branding means that you know your target audience, you know the many different “buying personas” of the people you are likely to do business with, and you fine-tune your message for each one. It’s not always easy to do that, and the message often requires frequent adjustment as your business grows and changes.
When we formed our business in 1996, we called ourselves Datahost. The name conveyed the services of a hosting company, which we were, but we quickly grew into much more than that. Our web design and hosting business was built on the success of our MightyMerchant Ecommerce platform, which is the full-featured platform that we developed to offer shopping carts and richly integrated services for those seeking easy and customizable ecommerce websites or content management sites. For customers looking for an ecommerce platform, leading with the name MightyMerchant made sense and continues to make sense.
But like many companies, our offerings and business relationships evolved. Over time, we found that the ecommerce platform was irrelevant and confusing to some of our very important customers. While most of our sites are in fact ecommerce, many are not. Those potential customers that did not sell things online were not looking for a product named MightyMerchant, because the “merchant” aspect did not fit their business model, and hence turned some of our prospects against us. After focusing on our local message of delivering custom websites, ecommerce or not, along with full-service online marketing services, we created HEROWeb Marketing and Design. This division of our business is focused on delivering custom marketing strategy and website design.
So now we are three–Datahost, our corporate name; MightyMerchant, our ecommerce platform; and HEROWeb, our marketing strategy and design company. If you call our office, you’ll be greeted by one of our friendly staff thanking you for calling “HEROWeb and MightyMerchant.” We’re the same people we’ve always been, with the same commitment to incredible customer service. We will still get to know you and your business’ needs and sculpt a website you’ll love. Then when you are ready for marketing services, we’ll still be here for you, the same people you already know, in the same office, with the same phone number! We’re very happy to be able to provide these many varied but complementary services to all of our clients, and though our name may be new to you, the quality you’ve come to expect from MightyMerchant is still there, front and center!