To define digital branding in the shortest possible way would be any efforts put in to NOT be the average joe on your street, but rather become a Joseph Gordon Levitt or a Joe Russo and stand out!
Digital Branding and why do it?
A generic product is all about utility, reasonable quality, and affordability. But a branded product requires more – from emotive storytelling to quality assurances. It is this emotional connection and feel-good customer experience that allows many branded products to sell in the premium category.
Take any of the QSRs (Quick Service Restaurants) as an example- how would one choose from a Mcdonald’s or a Burger King? Both serve burgers and fries as one of their staples and both have a wide variety to choose from. In such a competitive space, most of the time it comes down to their communication, identity, and connection with the right audience. To sum it all up – The brand identity.
Now that we have established what it is, it’s time to jump to the more tedious but fun process – The How.
The 5 Main Steps of Digital Branding:
1.The Brand Purpose:
Any well-established brand has some things that never change, like its foundational values, the philosophy it follows, and a mantra by which it would try and create a connection with its target audience.
Why am I (are we) here? How is my brand different? Why would/should people care about my brand?
These are vision and mission kinds of questions and transcend detailed features and benefits of your product or service. They are critical in giving your target audience(s) a reason to buy your brand over similar products.
2. Who are your competitors?
When establishing a brand’s identity, it is inevitable to think you already got an out-of-the-box idea or path. Until you get hit by the realization that a certain competitor brand has already opted for the same path and also capitalized on it!
The best way to know your competitors is to analyze their messaging, advertising, perception of their customer base towards the brand, and even their responses to the
3. Who is your target audience?
To truly stand out from the crowd, you must identify every aspect of your primary or secondary target audience, which includes their beliefs, temperaments, area of residence, age group, etc. It helps in creating a framework for your brand’s communication to adhere to. It is helpful to exercise a preliminary process for developing customer profiles, or personas, that bring to life whom you are targeting.
4. Do not sell your brand. Instead, tell a story!
A cup of specialty coffee from Starbucks tells a whole different story than a regular cup of joe. The iconic siren, the round tables, and even their trivia contribute to a well-rounded coffee experience.
It is psychologically proven that simply learned information has a lesser retention value than a well-told story that is sharable with the added benefit of connecting people!
Accordingly, the strongest and most successful brands are good at telling compelling stories that bestow meaning and relevance upon those brands.
5. Cementing the WHO and WHAT of your brand:
Your brand name, logo, voice, and all the aesthetic elements form part of this step in establishing the identity. This process involves developing a brief to communicate the creative development, examples that you admire, and even those you might find counterproductive.
Even after all of this, it’s important to bear in mind that a brand identity is just the beginning, and your reputation and recall value still hangs on the associations you build, the audience you connect with, etc.
To spare you loads of research and execution efforts required, it is advisable to outsource the same from a digital branding agency. Chimp&z Inc. is one such brand management company in Mumbai that can cater to all your branding and advertising needs!
Author: Nilay – A thinker, who is constantly on an adventure to explore everything new, from trends to food to music.