Sharing personal experiences online has become somewhat of a national pastime. So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that as consumers spend more time online that online channels and dialogue are increasingly impacting companies’ brands. A large company may be able to afford to hire a dedicated consultant who manages its online presence. In contrast, a smaller business likely has to manage its online presence internally, creating yet another task heaped on to someone’s already overflowing plate.

I’m excited to share an exciting, new tool Brandify, which can help your business understand and enhance its online presence.

Brandify is free and easy to use and designed specifically for small and medium businesses.

To register, you just log in through an existing Windows Live, Facebook or LinkedIn account and claim your company’s website. After scouring more than 80 online sources, Brandify will then provide a comprehensive assessment of your company’s online presence. When this process is complete, it will rate a business with a score between 450 and 850 and offer prescriptive guidance on areas of focus to boost your brand image.

You’ve heard of a SWOT? Brandify essentially conducts a SWOT of your brand’s online standing, evaluating your company’s online strengths (good online visibility and positive reviews), weaknesses (little information available online or negative statements), and opportunities (sites to list your business on and social networks to get involved in), and assesses the presence of your competitors, or your “threats.”  With all this information plus Brandify’s recommended next steps, your business then has the resources necessary to take action to tweak, improve or outright overhaul your online assets and messages.

Brandify also offers ongoing support as a management tool, constantly monitoring for new sites to launch and reviews and conversations about your brand to occur. Consider the Internet as an ongoing conversation. You want your business to be mentioned by others positively and often, but for this to happen you should actively participate in some type of social network. And sometimes the truth hurts…and helps. Believe it or not, you want to know about negative online conversations about your business so you can address issues and move the conversation toward a solution for the customer.

Using Brandify is believing in Brandify. I encourage you to take the next few minutes to try it out. I would love to hear about your experiences so please share your own feedback and tips in the comments below.

About the Author(s)

Cindy Bates

Cindy Bates is the vice president of the U.S. Small- and Mid-Sized Business (SMB) Organization at Microsoft. Cindy and her team serve millions of SMB's in the U.S., helping them start, grow and thrive by utilizing today’s powerful and affordable technologies.

Vice President, Microsoft SMB
Branding & Marketing