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Your branding is not your product or service. Instead it is about you and your team and how you connect with your audience. Good branding has always been focused on forging connections and as the digital landscape allows us to be more interconnected than ever before, branding and digital should be inseparable.
There is a significant difference between your brand name and your branding. Your brand name is highly visible and should feel almost akin to a tangible entity to your audience. Your branding, however, is rather more visceral and exists only as a feeling within your audience when they think of your brand name. Ultimately, your branding is who you are. It should reflect your brand personality perfectly; embody your core values; and be reinforced by your digital marketing because it is what makes you different.
Branding has always been important, but getting it right is now imperative. The digital landscape is consistently in a state of flux. New technological developments are coming to market all the time. Conversations never stop and we are all constantly showered with an endless stream of advertising, memes and viral videos. In fact, we have become so accustomed to adapting to all this change that we are beginning to take the one thing that remains constant for granted: branding.
The digital landscape is crowded and noisy. Maintaining a competitive edge is increasingly challenging because consumers have seemingly limitless information available to them at the click of a button. With so much choice, you need your branding to clearly communicate to ensure that you are strides ahead of even your closest competitor and ensure that yours is the first brand that comes to mind when audiences think about your industry.
Additionally, as the relationship you have with your customers will rarely end with a single sale, ensuring your brand is positioned to maximise conversions and keep the conversation flowing to encourage repeat custom is crucial.
Audiences have extremely high expectations and at a time when same-day delivery and on-demand entertainment is available, consumers want to connect and converse with brands in a variety of different ways and at all times of the day.
The rise of review websites and social media platforms means that brands have far less control over what people are saying about them online. User reviews and experiences now have a greater influence over consumer purchasing decisions and it is important that your branding is strong enough to help you to ride the wave of any negative feedback you might experience. Maintaining a strong presence on your social channels will help you to steer the conversation and utilise the power of your loyal audience.
Social media platforms are excellent branding and conversational tools because they allow you to present a consistent message and engage directly with smaller subsections of your audience. You might, for example, know that your US audience prefers to interact with you on Instagram whereas your UK audience likes to keep up with your updates on Twitter. This information will help you to tailor your messaging appropriately so that you are always hyper-visible and sharing content that your audience genuinely wants to engage with. Social media allows for many advantages to your branding efforts, as it’s essentially an extension of your brand but it can also be a brand downfall. Keep your branding consistent and ensure it shines through in everything you do and you’ll no doubt flourish in an ever-evolving and ever-competitive industries.
If you need a little help developing your brand guidelines in the first place, check out this handy step-by-step guide.