Gone are the days where building a brand online was optional. Within a matter of seconds, the majority of your target market can access information about your business and brand to find out everything there is to know regarding your product or service. They will also make decisions as to whether or not they see your brand as credible and trustworthy. In addition to this, the number of new entrants within each industry has increased exponentially and will only continue to increase as markets become increasingly saturated. The barriers to entry that used to hold competition back from the leading companies have all but disappeared, as the information age has granted new forms of leverage to those businesses that have invested in the growth of their brand online.
“Building a strong brand online isn’t just about the volume of exposure that you can achieve…”
With a variety of different platforms and great opportunities to grow your brand online, maintaining consistency and clarity within your core message and value proposition throughout all your digital touchpoints is essential. Building a strong brand online isn’t just about the volume of exposure that you can achieve, it’s also about how distinct and differentiated you present your brand across all your digital touchpoints in order to ensure that the quality and relevancy of the interactions that you have with your customers online creates loyal fans and repeat customers for your brand because they see you as a cut above the rest.
The Importance Of Repelling The Commoditization Of Your Business’s Product Or Service.
Your target audience has more options to choose from than any other time in history when seeking a solution for a specific product or service. This means that the power in the relationship between customers and businesses has shifted dramatically. Customers are much more considerate with their buying decisions and behavior because of this wide range of options and knowledge available to them through advancements in technology, brand growth and access to marketplaces. The more options available to customers in your market, the greater the chances are that your product or service will seen as a commodity if you have not established a clear and compelling branding and digital strategy. This is why so many successful companies choose to work with a branding agency, to avoid the blind spots most business have when trying to understand their own value or potential, along with creating true distinction at an expert level.
It’s now easier then ever for your target audience, to notice whether you’ve cut corners in building your brand online because they are far more aware of good design and branding, largely due to the variety of options available to them.
- How can our business shift its focus from primarily communicating to our target market based on price alone and start communicating to our target market using the story we have built through our brand?
- Is the application of our brand online seen as consistent, credible and creating a high sense of appeal for our product or service?
- How professional, engaging and distinct is our brand online and how can a branding agency help us further?
Where Is A Brand Usually Seen Online?
The rise of social media and mobile devices in use today means that your brand can now be found and seen across a variety of different digital touch points. Your website is typically the biggest point of entry for customers to research your product or service and assess the quality of your business, regardless of whether or not they found you through social media. The amount of opportunity available for businesses to grow a brand online as a result of this expansion is unprecendented. However, with great opportunity comes great responsibility, so tread with caution. If your target market sees that you are presenting your brand in one way via one platform and in a completely different way via another platform, your business can be seen as inconsistent and unprofessional and choose to disregard you, regardless of how good your product or service is. Now more than ever before, your market is bent on correlately poor quality in brand and design application to poor quality in product or service. To take it a step further, the professional design of a brand in and of itself isn’t enough, a branding agency will help you make sure that you’re aligned with the segments of the market that you wish to target, as well as fully crafting your unique brand positioning and strengths for exponential growth. You brand welcomes your market into your company, so it’s important that you create a thoughtful first impression.
“Now more than ever before, your market is bent on correlating poor quality in brand and design application to poor quality in product or service.”
Many businesses make the mistake of applying easily accessible design, that is of a higher-than-average standard to their visual communication, without realizing that the style of design they’ve choosen makes them look like everybody else. This is because countless other businesses are using that same design style due to its accessibility, defeating the purpose of the creating a distinction in the first place.
- Is our core message clear and specific for our most profitable segments of the market and how can we work with a branding agency help us create a more compelling first impression?
- How much do we look like an “us-too” business and what level of brand experience are we providing for our customers?
- Does our market feel like they have been welcomed through a world-class first impression and unique brand experience?
The Benefits To Building A Strong Brand Online
There are numerous benefits to building a strong brand online. For starters, the majority of your market will almost definitely research your business or explore your product and service offering through your website before deciding to proceed with your business. Positioning your company for success in this arena is pivotal to not only engaging with your market but also driving conversions. When they encounter a first-class brand experience that communicates a very clear and unique value proposition that connects with their needs or desires, not only is it easier for them to make the decision to buy from you, but the chances of your customers becoming loyal to your brand and sticking around for much longer become considerably higher. This is one of the primary areas that we focus on as a branding agency, in order to market sure that we’re not only helping our clients grow through client acquisition but also empowering them to retain customers for the long run. The easiest way to make your competition irrelevant is to do so through the brand experience that you provide for your market online, which can be strategically crafted through your unique brand strategy and positioning.
“The chances of your customers becoming loyal to your brand and sticking around for much longer become considerably higher.”
Branding and digital experience is one of the hottest areas for a business to compete through as they are driven by both the feelings that a customer has towards your product or service and those feelings a very hard to replicate or commoditize when you’ve truly honed in on your unique position and voice within the market. While we’ve been taught that customer buying behavior is driven by logical, studies have proven that it’s actually driven by emotion.
- What kind of future do we see for our business? Do we recognize that cash flow is king but the kingdom is in our brand?
- What is our current customer retention rate and how can we increase it by providing a superior and unique brand experience online?
- How do we compare to the best brands in our industry, not just our direct competitors but also internationally?
What Are The Common Mistakes When Trying To Build A Strong Brand Online?
It’s almost a given that if you’re reading this that you want to be known for being trustworthy and credible, be able to attract your dream customers with ease and experience superior brand loyalty at a level far above your best competitors. To stay ahead of the curve when it comes to the digital application of your branding strategy you’ll want to avoid these common mistakes that businesses make when trying to build a strong brand online:
- Many businesses will entrust the establishment of their brand online to the in-house design team. This is a common mistake as an in-house team often has many blind spots regarding the best way to build and communicate your company’s core message and value proposition online. It’s as true in the financial world as it is in the business world. There’s a very good reason why companies are required to hire external auditors to look over their books. That’s because it’s often difficult to see an accurate depiction of the big picture from the inside out.
- Getting an “off the shelf” logo and plastering it across every digital touchpoint that your brand has a presence in online is another common mistake. Quantity does not equal quality, so don’t mistake movement for momentum. An anything will do attitude will attract anything will do marketshare and customer retention.
- Inconsistency in the application of your brand. A common example of this is having many different styles of visual communication, where anything goes across the various digital touchpoints that your brand is active. Your market can smell inconsistency a mile away.
- Copying other brands in the market without having the expertise to understand the context and purpose behind why a business has chosen a particular brand strategy and digital application.
- Cutting corners and choosing a style of brand application online because someone thinks it looks good and not realizing that looks can be deceiving. Aesthetic appeal does not necessarily correlate to impact, purpose or growth. They should not operate independent of one another.
“Getting an “off the shelf” logo and plastering it across every digital touchpoint that your brand has a presence in online is another common mistake.”
- Which one of these common mistakes have we made and how can we take action towards rectifying it?
- Have we used any colors or icons in our brand that are clashing or have nothing to do with the brand strategy that’s directing the way that we want to be perceived in the market?
- Is the online application of our brand failing to validate our pricing and expertise because of bad presentation, outdated impressions or a cliche brand strategy?
Communicating Your Unique Value and Distinction To Your Market.
Building a strong brand online is about effectively communicating your unique value and distinction to your market. A strong brand identity will become a welcoming front door to your unique value proposition and the story of your brand. This unique positioning will be representative of a unique set of principles or ideas that ultimately drive the growth of your business and its mission. This is why the unique story, skillsets and perspectives that your business has been built on is actually far important than what your business does in terms of output. Too much focus on the basic, elementary components of your product or service almost always leads to the commoditization of that very same product or service.
It’s the story, mission and feeling behind your brand that’s impossible to commoditize, but it’s often the component that is most neglected, to the detriment of those who chose to neglect it and the benefit of those who don’t. Failing to build a strong brand online is failing to fully express and accentuate the very fabric that sustains your being, value, vision, confidence and distinct presence in the market place.