Strong brands survive all crises

  • Laura Helfer

Are you or your company affected by this crisis? Do you want to evolve your digital brand strategy? This article will help you understand how digital branding can back up your business.

Learn more about our UX Design service.

Through this blog post you will learn the following:

  • What do we mean with digital branding
  • Why you should build your brand upon digital touchpoints
  • How digital branding can help you overcome the corona crisis

First, why did we begin doing branding work?

To be clear, we are not a branding agency. But we have been noticing that a lot of companies that are in need of digital solutions, also need help in branding matters. Indeed, branding helps to create a long-lasting relationship with your clients. Thus, besides our programming, SEO, content and UX skills we also manage to give your brand a “soul” and a “body” that delight your clients. This means: branding and digital touchpoints (website, mobile application, e-commerce, software, etc.) under the same roof. How great is that?

What do we mean by digital branding

Nowadays, digital branding is a “buzz-concept” like many others, its perception differs from person to person. This is what digital branding means to us:

Digital branding is the process of adjusting a brand to be used digitally or creating it from scratch, adapted to digital requirements. This process includes: strategy, visual identity and content identity.

Thus, digital branding is much more than adapting your logotype to screen use. First you have to define your brand message (core directrice) and brand values. Then think about your digital possibilities – Is it a mobile application that you need? Or is a Facebook group enough? Or is it both? This decision is crucial, because it will influence everything else that comes along.

After having figured out which solution makes best sense for you, it’s time to create your brand’s identity, which should reflect the brand’s message and values. A brand’s identity is like a person's personality – it has its own, unique “tone of voice”, perceived through its looks, how it interacts, how it sounds and what it communicates.

Last, but not least, like each person, also a brand has a story to tell. Coming up with this story is a very important part of the branding process, because it reinforces the bond with your customers. They will want to be part of that story.

The advantages of building your brand upon digital touchpoints

In the past brands lived through TV ads, huge billboards, radio commercials, packaging, events, among others. Nowadays, with digital transformation, brands' main touchpoints are digital. So why should print agencies continue to be in charge of brand creation? We think it’s time to mix things up a little. This means, instead of choosing a print based agency for brand creation and a digital agency to conceptualize the most important touchpoint, approach these subjects under the same roof.

Here are the main 10 advantages of building or adapting your brand for digital touchpoints:

  1. The logotype’s design will be adjusted for screen use. This means variations like favicon and appearance of the logotype in a mobile screen will be considered from the very beginning.

  2. The typeface will be adapted for digital purposes: it will work in every browser and it’s legibility will be assured throughout all mediums.

  3. The brand colours will also be chosen according to digital requirements. They will be tested that their usage doesn’t harm usability. Instead, they will be applied to enhance usability.

  4. Imagery will be more creative and unique, because digital media has fewer boundaries than print, radio and TV. The main difference concerns interactivity, which engages the user in levels never seen before: interactive animations, GIFs, videos with Google Maps, VR, AR, data visualization, etc. Nowadays almost everything is possible to create – just combine design and technology!

  5. The iconic language used in print is more illustrative and less functional (pictograms). This language can hardly be used digitally, because the icons don’t follow the established digital conventions. Nevertheless, the other way around works – digital icons can be used in print because they are universally known.

  6. Other visual elements, like graphical patterns or geometric shapes that visually reinforce your brand identity, can work interactively.

  7. When talking about textual content, our way to absorb information changed in the digital age. If you want to grab the attention of your client, you have to learn how it is done digitally and apply it everywhere else. Find more in Caroline's blog post.

  8. The brand’s strategy will have its core set on digital touchpoints/channels. During these times it's a great market advantage if your customers can get to know you through the screen. Besides that, digital brands are more flexible, this means it’s easier to adapt a digital brand to each target audience.

  9. Having your brand and your digital touchpoints created under the same roof will cost you significantly less than having multiple agencies working on them.

  10. Furthermore, by having your brand and your digital touchpoints (website, mobile application, etc.) built by the same people you can expect your brand to be implemented consistently, correctly and effectively throughout all touchpoints.

Emerge from the crisis by investing in digital branding

Branding is the last thing you want to change now? Don’t miss the powerful effect on your business. Let me explain why: if your enterprise hasn’t had a strong digital presence before the corona crisis started, then no one will probably think to search you “online”. Instead, people will reach out to brands that are known in the digital bubble. That’s why you should work on a digital branding strategy and show off with your product/service online. Let your customers know that you are still there and new customers can discover your business too.

Maybe you think that a simple website with your logotype on it is enough. In fact, it is. But it won’t differentiate you from your online competitors. It won’t help you bond with your customers as much as they bond with your competitors. Even if you have an excellent business model, you probably aren’t the only one, so you need to distinguish yourself.

But isn’t a good user experience enough? Digital solutions which score high in user experience, are also the ones that score high in branding. One thing implies the other. Take this example:

  • You are navigating along the Airbnb website, trying to find an accommodation in Santorini – wishful thinking right?
  • The user flow is smooth, you’ll find your way and are getting inspired more and more.

You find your way because the interaction concept is well done. Furthermore, you get inspired because the branding is fabulous. The pictures, the iconic language, the content, the layout design, the logotype, the reputation, etc. All these aspects and much more contribute to the way people, implicitly, perceive this brand. A brand has a “personality” and if people identify with it they will stick around for a long time.

Please keep in mind that you don’t need to be like Airbnb in order to create a powerful brand – digital branding can be applied to all kinds and sizes of enterprises. You only need to get the basics right that allow the brand to grow gradually and establish a market reputation.

Summing up

If you want to establish a long-lasting relationship with your clients, include digital branding in your digital transformation process. Let the brand message and values guide you in your decisions. Only this way, you will have a strong, guiding foundation that will help you overcome all future challenges, even crises like this. Plus, you will save time and money.

Don’t hesitate to contact us for support in your digitalization process, we have experts from many fields that can advise you according to your needs.

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