It seems like everywhere you turn, businesses are doing everything they can to gain your attention. Found a humorous video online? There’s an ad for that. Just downloaded a free piece of software? There’s an ad for that too. Searching for an answer to a question you have? Well, there are ads for those as well. While the advertising industry states that a person needs to see your ad seven times before making a buying decision, it’s important to realize what message your brand is delivering to prospects. You may think your brand is saying one thing, but is it really saying something else? As juvenile as this may sound, many large corporations such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Kentucky Fried Chicken have fallen victim to brand misrepresentation: When Coca-Cola launched in China, they wanted to retain their brand name. They briefly ended up calling their product “Ke-kou-ke-la”, which (depending on the dialect) translated to either “bite the wax tadpole” or “female horse stuffed with wax”. Pepsi’s brand slogan of “Come alive with the Pepsi Generation” in Thailand roughly translated to “Pepsi will bring your ancestors back from the dead”. When Kentucky Fried Chicken broadcasted their “finger-lickin’ good” brand slogan in China, it roughly translated to “eat your fingers off”. With the Internet and new technologies making it easier for people to access the global marketplace, it is important to determine the message your brand delivers to a worldwide audience. To prevent any ambiguity with your brand, consider the following tips to help build a successful brand online: Be Consistent: Everything your business does should reflect your brand. In addition, time and resources should be allocated constantly to expand your brand’s exposure. Listen To Conversations: Most conversations about a business happen outside their reach. Use various tools and services to keep track of what is being said about your brand in areas such as social networks, blogs and other online communities. Realize You Do Not Have Complete Control Over Your Brand: You can market and promote all you want, but in the end, your audience determines your brand’s image. As a company, your goal is to set the direction in which you want your brand to move. Establishing a brand takes time and effort. To create a brand the way you want, you need to market, present it accurately, and connect with your audience. By analyzing your market and taking an active approach to brand awareness, you can establish a universally recognized name. There are worldwide markets of consumers interested in your company and products. What message is your brand saying to them? VOTE for this post HERE and win great prizes! This post is part of the SugarTone: Sweet Business Blogging Contest.