“Not everything that matters can be measured, and not everything that can be measured matters.“– Elliot Eisner
Creating a solid digital brand building strategy is essential for businesses exploring the digital opportunities that exist. Of course, businesses today don’t really have a choice. If you want to be noticed, a brand that is online, on-target and on-the-ball is a prerequisite for success.
Despite this, many businesses struggle to come up with a good brand strategy that works well in an online environment and thrives beyond conception. In our experience, this is usually because businesses fail to build their brands on a good foundation, neglect to perform the proper actions after launch or a combination of the two.
We’re here to say: don’t worry! This blog post will give you the tools you need to build a strong brand with a good digital presence and ensure its success in the future.
Let’s start with the two underlying objectives.
Build with a specific vision
Before we get into the tools and methods you can use to build a good brand, you need to understand that no brand can be built without a specific vision. Just as you wouldn’t include a swimming pool for your plans to build a parking lot, you shouldn’t plan to include aspects, details and channels that aren’t relevant to the problem your product or service solves.
Successful brands focus on one primary aspect and a few secondary considerations. They dedicate their resources to the aspect to make it become part of their image, instead of spreading their resources on multiple avenues without any depth.
Ultimately, you have limited resources and if you spend them on too many things at once, you will have such little impact on those channels and concepts that no one will notice you. Creating a specific vision with a focused plan, message and marketing philosophy is key to all the approaches we’re about to discuss below.
You want meaning, not metrics
The second objective is something we have covered before but is essential to successful brand building today. We have access to so many sources of information that it’s often easy to mistake it for insight.
Gaining likes on a social media post is only information until you can match what they mean in context. For example, likes on social media are the information you are provided with. After a bit of research, this information could indicate that your marketing is performing well (if you got likes from who you’re targeting) or that it is going in the wrong direction (if you got likes from outside your intended target).
Your actions will be vastly different depending on which insight you gain from this information. Thus, it is critical to always seek insights from information and not just information for information’s sake. In other words, metrics are simply just indicators until you can assign context to them.
Building a Brand Strategy
Now that we have the two primary objectives in place, we can begin to build a digital brand. This starts by addressing three primary elements, namely, distinctiveness, effectiveness and efficiency.
Understanding what makes your brand distinctive and what people associate it with should be your first priority when building your brand.
Every brand and product has to get noticed in order to gain traction from potential customers. Without this essential element, your business will become irrelevant and your competition will outgrow you. This is why distinctiveness is such an important driver for your brand and comes first and foremost.
Distinctiveness means how familiar your audience is with the feelings and concepts you want to tie yourself to. These are the elements other than the brand name that signal the brand in the memory of your customers. A distinctive element helps to attach advertising to the brand and makes sure your company doesn’t get forgotten easily.
In order to incorporate something distinct for your own brand, focus on elements that are naturally related to the product or service you’re offering. It’s important to remain relevant and authentic with your distinctive features, so we recommend selecting a few and embodying them with everything your company does.
As we mentioned before, successful brands are the ones who focus on a few specifics well rather than spread their focus on multiple tasks. To accomplish this, you need to concentrate on being effective in a few areas instead of attempting to be everywhere.
Quality, not quantity is the name of the game. Think of your long-term victories and move past actions that are rooted in the short-term. Here are a few pointers to get you started.
- Only pick channels that are compatible with your brand image.
- Avoid fragmenting too much, as you risk duplicating your reach with the same audiences.
- Dedicate your resources to few but comprehensive campaigns centered around a central objective or goal .
- Build a customer-base on what you do well rather than what is popular in the moment.
Efficiency aims to identify the correct context of metrics and capitalise on them rather than growing the metrics themselves. Being efficient is focusing on the ends of your goals such as creating awareness and reach with relevant content.
Being truly efficient isn’t about generating likes, shares and other metrics, it’s about matching those metrics to your desired outcome. If you’re being efficient, you’re looking at how effective and distinct your brand’s messaging is for its purpose, rather than simply generating impressive metrics.
Running a successful brand online
If you’ve followed the above guidance on distinctiveness, effectiveness and efficiency, you’re well on your way to establishing your brand. However, you’re not out of the woods just yet. Many brands have the right building blocks in place, but fail to run their brand correctly. This leads to dwindling revenue, disappointed customers and confused marketers wondering where it all went wrong.
Ultimately, running your brand comes down to analysing the actions you’ve taken before, evaluating them and doubling down on what worked. However, as we mentioned a few times now, metrics alone are not the most reliable way to indicate value. For this reason, we evaluate brand actions on the three Rs – Reach, Resonate and Revenue.
Ask yourself the following questions to evaluate your own branding and marketing initiatives.
- Are we doing enough?
- Where can we expand our message that makes sense?
- Are we showing enough ads to the right people?
- How many of the right people did we reach?
- Did our messaging make our customers think the right things?
- Could we be doing better by being clearer or focusing on our customer’s problems?
- Are users engaging with our content, our messages our advertising?
- Can we use more evocative language?
- Did they ultimately take action and buy from us?
- Are we driving value?
- Is this profitable, Is this cost-effective?
Launch your brand towards success
If you follow the above guidance, you will be well on your way to creating an online brand presence that lasts and performs well. However, getting it right the first time can be tricky, and avoid irreparable damage to your brand reputation is nearly impossible without some experience and deeper insight into the process.
That’s why we’d like to offer free consultations to anyone who is interested in building their online presence. We have decades of experience with marketing and branding initiatives and would like to help you take your business to the next level. Simply click here to get started and find out what your business is capable of online.