One of the biggest realizations brands need to understand is how important branding and integrating with the digital age is. There is a disruption of the status quo in every industry. Technology advancements along with social media are turning this into the age of the customer.
In this fast-paced world, it’s easy to forget what the fundamentals are – brand and brand building. To continue being successful in marketing, the brand has to stay consistent.
A brand is not to be mixed up with the brand name – the brand name is something you can see while a brand is how people feel about you and what they think when they hear your brand name.
And while marketing is something that you do, a brand is who you are. Marketing strives to sell your products and services; a brand is trying to let them know what your mission is and why you are there, doing what you are doing.
These differences may not seem evident at first, and to the untrained eye it may all be the same but in reality, building a brand and marketing a product is quite different. Take a look at some of the findings of brand building in this new, digital age.
In the world of social media and quick changes, you need to stand out from the crowd. One of the primary uses of a brand is to differentiate a company from others in its niche. Staying competitive is a daily struggle and companies need to keep up with trends and stay on top of new events to be able to react fast and try to build on top of that.
Companies have a unique chance to differentiate themselves on the market by creating a brand. “A brand has a story, a voice, a more direct approach to their users and customers which is fundamentally different than what a company’s relationship with the audience would be. This way, companies can build relationships, trust and entertain their audience in a way that will help them stay competitive” says Walter Owens, a Brand Manager at Writemyx and Britstudent.
While shopping and picking a company whose services or products you would instead use used to be a difficult task once, nowadays, all the information that you may need is at your fingertips. You can find out everything about a company, see which one has the best prices and conditions which is fantastic for customers but insanely tricky for companies; this is where brands come in. Brands make your product seem better and more trustworthy in the user’s eyes. You should be wary of spelling and grammar mistakes because they can see each element of your website and judge you by what’s there – this can drive them away and ruin your brand’s reputation. Brands don’t have much control over what’s said about them online.
What used to be a merely bad word of mouth which didn’t reach too many people, now only it’s one bad experience that can lead to the destruction of your company; this is because it’s online and it stays there forever. Brands don’t have much control over this. Even though this doesn’t mean that you have a terrible company – instead that one user had a bad journey – you could suffer from results. You need to learn to do damage control online correctly. ‘For instance, your first instinct might tell you to delete that message immediately, but this would only cause outrage. Instead, apologize as soon as possible and try to offer something that would compensate for your mistakes.
People nowadays interact with brands in various ways – but a brand must remain consistent throughout those touch points. “You can’t focus on just creating one perfect funnel for them to focus on when your messages spread across the internet and the real world. Rather, focus on your product being independent of any funnels” explains James Burkart, a marketing manager at Nextcoursework and 1Day2write.
Although this may sound a bit abstract at first, it’s quite simple. What this means is that the brand has built a community of followers who respect what the brand is doing and advocates who promote brand’s activities, products and services. To earn this following, you can hire young professionals who know their way around the online world and can create you the best community.
While branding was always important, you’ll notice that there’s a better focus on it now than it ever was. Standing out matters, so does being relatable and building a relationship that will last. Shift your attention to creating a solid brand, especially in the digital age.
Katrina Hatchett is a marketing blogger at Academic Brits. She has been involved in various business projects, where her main aim is to define project problems and propose solutions, as well as improving overall communication effectiveness. Also, she writes for PhDKingdom and Origin Writings, academic service.
Copyright Agency Access 2015. All Rights Reserved.