February 4, 2020Marketing
Effective Branding in the Digital Era: A Complete Guide
The internet has effectively changed the way consumers engage with brands.
It is continuing to transform the very economics of marketing, causing some of the most traditional marketing methods to become obsolete.
When it comes to marketing your business, if you are relying on these old and outdated methods, you’ll soon discover this simply isn’t a viable or sustainable model. If you want to succeed, you have to learn the ins and outs of branding in the digital age.
This isn’t something you have to do on your own. Use the information here to create a marketing strategy for your brand that will resonate with modern consumers.
Understand Who You Are Marketing To
The first step to building your brand identity is to learn who your target audience is. Take some time to research and identify the group of consumers who are going to be interested in the service or product you offer.
Once you have identified who they are, list the most important characteristics, such as gender, age, education, income, location, and behavior related to what you offer. The last step is to organize a focus group to determine the core feelings and beliefs related to the needs you plan to meet with the product or service you offer.
Determine and Define Your Overall Brand Values
Everything gets started with a belief or an idea. Every brand has a unique set of values, which is what guides you through life.
The same is true with brands. Before you release your product or service, your business has to determine the core values and state your mission to the world. While it may seem somewhat idealistic, if you take a look at some of the top brands in the world, you will see they all have a clear mission.
Make sure you define what yours is and then broadcast it to the world.
Positioning your brand on a market means finding a unique idea and carefully fitting your brand into an established market. This process involves finding new opportunities, which would be the gaps or needs that have not yet been addressed by other niches or brands.
To position your brand, there are several questions your marketing team must answer:
- What’s the benefit of your product to the end-user?
- How is your product or service different than the competition?
- What is your USP (unique selling proposition)?
Brands that achieve high levels of success have done extensive research and developed a complex positioning strategy. It’s important to note – brand development isn’t something that will just happen. It is a complex process.
Identity and/or Personality
The entire idea behind branding is being able to build an identity that is easily recognized by future customers. Establishing brand recognition is crucial.
More than 200 years after branding was created, society has changed from one of need to one of desire. Today, buying choices rely much more on acquiring an image status than purchasing based on specific product attributes.
People are purchasing iPhones because they want to be part of the “cool” group of people who also own these. You choose Victoria’s Secret with the aspiration to look like the beautiful models on the runway.
Building a personality for your brand is like creating a fictional character. You should sit down, list all the characteristics including likes and dislikes, opinions, behavior, temperament, appearance, and social status.
You also need to consider the mood you want your brand to convey to others. Do you want it to make them feel cool, serious, or happy?
What’s in a Name?
Have you ever noticed that the most successful and biggest brands have great names?
While no one could have guessed that Google would become the top brand on the internet, the fact is, it did. The name also clearly differentiates this brand among all the others out there.
The name originated from “googol,” which is a mathematical term that means number 1 and then 100 zeroes. Another web giant, Amazon got its name from the Amazon River (which is the largest in the world).
There is no strict method for creating an amazing brand name, but you should think big and unique. Some strategies you can use to create a brand name include:
- Use your name
- Make up a fictional character and use its name (think Hello Kitty, Gucci, etc.)
- Use rhymes, alliterations, or word games
- Geographic names
- Use initials
- Hybrid or compound names
- New words
- Derivative names
You can even combine these strategies when developing your brand name to come up with something great.
State Your Promise
Your brand’s promise is your slogan. Slogans aren’t random. They are the creative outburst that results from a methodical and long process that involves real product data along with branding strategy directives.
There are several steps you can take to create an amazing slogan:
- Make sure it is memorable
- Keep it short
- State your product or services benefit or promise
- Take pride and show off your status, quality, or achievements
Don’t think of creating a slogan as a passive activity. You have to put time and thought into this to get it right.
Use Our Guide for Effective Branding in the Digital Age
When it comes to branding in the digital age, there are more than a few things you have to do and understand to achieve success. Be sure to keep the information here in mind to develop a brand that demands attention.
If you need help coming up with a branding strategy, reach out to our team. We also offer a free tool you can use to see how your site is ranked right now and what areas need work. Once you see what areas need work, we offer an array of marketing services for small businesses in any industry to help improve and enhance your efforts.