By Eduardo Mitelman
Today, Digital Branding is one of the most important components of a new brand.
The Brand is the single most important element of a business or an organization. When developing a new brand today, we look at Digital Branding as one of its most important components. Online considerations are essential to being able to present and then fulfill the promise.
Digital Branding refers to the multiple techniques we use to develop brands over the wide range of digital channels; websites, individual landing pages, portals, email marketing, mobile networks and social media – all have to be carefully considered when building the brand.
Exactly like all other brand elements, the digital assets must be carefully defined and designed. It is not enough to make sure that the logo looks great, or the fonts work digitally and the color pallet fits. Much more is required; the brand must become a digital experience!
In this blog, I intend describing how a well-crafted online presence should be planned and executed:
New technologies are redefining the way companies communicate with their target audiences. Branding, both online and offline, is all about communication and connectivity. We understand that Digital Branding is more than just a web design, or how a logo appears on the screen. It is the total experience...it must tell a story in and of itself.
The customer’s digital journey should seamlessly deliver the same message that the off-line brand delivers; and when I say “off-line” I don’t only mean collateral, print and signage. The brand’s promise must be fulfilled in every possible way. If I go to a store, a tradeshow booth or just pick up the phone for service support – I will expect, and should receive exactly the same promise and experience. So should it be in the digital world. That’s why a digital presence is one of the first things we look at when starting a new branding project for our clients.
To plan a client’s first encounter with their new digital presence we have to ask some penetrating questions:
• What does the site need to accomplish? Its objective? • Who exactly is the target audience and what do they want? • Is there a compelling reason to purchase? • Does the client have a current digital presence? If so, what is working or not working in this experience? • Is the content consistent with the brand’s positioning? • Is it relevant to the new goals?
When we are asked to develop a digital branding strategy, we take many additional things into consideration: how often the company is capable of updating its digital presence and how its content management systems (CMS) should be designed. What Calls to Action (CTAs) would we like to implement?
Our goal is to tell a great story through a well-designed brand experience to make our client’s customers recognize, remember and love the brand. We know that when a brand is well communicated, we create expectations. That’s our job; to digitally create those expectations. It’s the client’s job to fulfill them!
Since digital communication between the brand and the user is direct and immediate, the impression we create allows no second chances. We also know that technological capabilities replace words. We need to be clear, sharp and bold.
To better explain the above, I would like to use as an example a project we completed for Alexander Schneider, a leading provider of OEM and IT Data Center solutions and products. When we met with the AS people they told us they felt the site was cluttered and didn’t provide the right message to the target audiences. Their digital presence didn’t do the job it was meant to do – instead of a powerful and well-established company, it delivered multiple, confusing messages, no clear brand identity, very unclear navigation flow and an excess of information.
It took us almost two months just to redefine the digital strategy. We investigated the customer pain points, interviewed people inside and outside the organization, and we thoroughly learned about the market category and the competition.
Our solution was presented in an essentially very simple, yet sophisticated matrix. We enabled the end-user to find the requested information in just three ways: Services and Solutions, Products, Industries. Between these three search menus, there is a smart and sophisticated matrix that leads the user to the same end-point.
Besides the smart navigation and user experience, we wanted to deliver a message of a powerful company. We used highlighted elements from its brand identity, strong colors over very clean backgrounds and persuasive images. We wanted users to know that our client understood their needs; and that it has the solution to ease pain.
It was one of our really inspiring projects and we love the results.
Eduardo Mitelman, Partner, Creative Manager