Whether you are running a local business, online store, or a corporation, having a strong brand identity is important. From logo design to fonts used in marketing collaterals, to your values and mission and vision, all of these elements come together to form your brand’s identity that will set you apart from competitors. And with today’s health crisis, everyone’s going digital. Businesses should not overlook their digital branding strategy.
Branding, in general, is the creative and strategic process of telling your audience what your business is all about. It answers the Four Ws and One H Questions in business: who you are, what your business cares about, why customers would want to buy or work with you, what they can expect from you, and how you can change or improve your customers’ lives.
The same traditional branding principles apply with digital branding. The only difference is the media used. With traditional branding, you have TV, print, and radio, digital branding focuses on how you design and build your brand through websites, social media, video, apps and more.
What is a Digital Branding Strategy?
The key to a strong digital brand is consistency. This can be challenging but the rewards will guarantee long-term gains for your business.
You will see growth not just in your ROI but also in intangible areas like brand awareness, brand loyalty, and advocacy (customer referral). In this age of competitive marketing and advertising, these assets are considered priceless.
A good place to start with in building a brand strategy is to answer these questions aligned with each component of branding for business:
What is your purpose? Why are you doing what you do?
Know your why. Not only does this help you know what solutions your products provide but it also helps you gain a better understanding on why you are providing them and how it can affect your customers’ lives. Consumers are more likely to purchase from a brand who they felt understood their pain points and can provide the best solution.
Who are your products for?
If you don’t know who your customers are, then you are wasting resources on efforts that wouldn’t have a positive impact on your business goals.
Defining your target market can steer you away from selling to the wrong crowd. Taking time to understand their lifestyle, buying habits and online behavior allows you to craft the right message that your public would be inclined to engage with.
What makes you unique? What are your brand’s qualities?
The online world is already saturated with information. In social media alone, users are inundated with a bunch of ads, videos, articles (both real and fake) on a daily basis. It’s easy to get lost in someone’s feed especially if you don’t capture their attention within the first 2 to 3 seconds they’ve come across your brand.
Stand out from the digital noise by embracing your uniqueness.
What does your brand voice sound like? How will you communicate with your audience?
Your brand’s voice is how you want to be perceived. You want to give off the right impression so you want to be careful whenever you want to inject a little humor on your messaging.
Maintaining a consistent messaging in a cohesive voice can improve your brand’s recognition regardless of where your audience found you online. You don’t want to be fun and conversational in one area and sound completely different on another.
How will you engage with your audience?
Engaging with your audience does not end with customer support. It also extends to handling your community especially on social media. You want to have a connection with your audience and build trust. You want your public to see you as someone they can easily relate to or approach.
You want to add a human element to your brand particularly on digital platforms where automation is often used if not rampant.
Why Digital Branding is Important
On average, it takes 5 to 7 brand impressions before someone remembers your brand. And, of course, not all impressions are good. Whether it’s a case of bad use of photos or using the wrong words to portray a message, you want to lessen the bad impression and gain more good ones.
Having a well thought out digital branding strategy will help your business be seen in the right perspective.
Brand strategy is not equivalent to marketing strategy. But branding is an essential part of marketing. Branding aims at positioning your business while marketing aims at expanding your reach.
The end goal in branding is to ensure that your business sustains a positive impact on your customers. It is rooted in your brand’s principles and overall goals (mission and vision).
Questions to ask your digital branding agency
Like any selection process, choosing a brand partner can be made easier by asking the right questions. Here are the questions you should ask your digital branding agency to see if they’re the right fit.
What kind of agency are you?
It’s easier to work with an agency who has the same values as you. Allowing your potential brand partner to tell you how they classify themselves will give you a better understanding of their skills, strategies, values, and expertise, which in the end, can make an impact on your projects.
How would you help us achieve our goals?
There’s no one-size-fits all solution to branding. You want your brand identity to be unique to your organization. Ask your potential branding partner of their plans and approach for your brand. Don’t be hesitant to share the challenges you’ve encountered with previous agencies if necessary.
What role does research play in your process?
Research is the cornerstone of any branding or marketing strategy. It helps the business make the right decision that aligns with their goals. Ask your chosen agency on how they use research in their process. This provides you with an idea on their point of view and if it’s something that’s in line with your requirements.
Request for case studies of projects similar to yours
It’s a given fact that agencies would always want to put their best foot forward to win you over. While it’s good to know that they’ve successfully helped brands across different industries, what’s most important is to see how they’ve done for projects that are aligned with your needs and objectives.
How can you help us protect our brand after launch?
We all want to work with the same people on a long-term basis. But if for some reason you need to move in a different business direction, you want your brand partner to hook you up with the right tools to help you protect your brand’s integrity and consistency long after launch.
Make sure they will provide you with the appropriate guidelines, templates, and assist you in turning over responsibilities.
Building a strong digital brand is a long journey with lots of trials and errors. So make sure you are equipped with the knowledge, tools, and digital brand partner to help you build a solid online brand identity.