Branding in The Digital Age
The internet has radically changed how consumers engage with brands. The economics and relationships between consumers and brands have changed due to consumers demanding a new way of doing business. Companies and organizations need to transform their branding to better succeed in this digital age. For so long, brands have conformed to fixed systems and structures to translate their brand identity to consumers. These systems were productive, but in today’s fast-paced digital world, these structures have become obsolete. Brands are now required to convey their messages and identity in a new, constantly evolving environment. Not only is the marketplace different, but so is the consumer. Today’s consumer demands interactivity and accessibility and to be continuously relevant. For example, companies are moving away from print advertisements and turning towards simple social media posts to connect with their customers. Social media advertising is more accessible to the masses and can reach people who would traditionally not be exposed to certain brands through traditional print advertising.
Previously, the relationship between businesses and the consumer ended after the purchase. As long as the consumer enjoyed the product, the consumer would likely go back to the same brand for future purchases. Between purchases, there was little to no interaction between brands and consumers. Today’s consumers have relationships with brands and products, these relationships do not dissipate between purchases as they previously did, as the consumer has the opportunity to engage with the brand through new media platforms. This is evident through the countless product review websites and blogs that keep consumers engaged with the product and the brand long after purchase.
In order for brands to transform and succeed in this digital age, brands need to be responsive to the high demand for new, innovative products as well as new consumer experiences in order to keep their brand relevant. Brands can no longer live under a static branding architecture but instead need to continually adapt to the latest trends of the digital world to have the ability to grow and connect their brand across different spaces.
So how does a brand transform to be successful in the digital age? First, it is important for brands to have the right tools to succeed in a constantly changing marketplace. Competing brands and products continuously bombard consumers; brands need the ability to adapt as the consumer and competitor dynamics change quickly. Brands need to be able to manage and adjust their messaging across different digital spaces. Flexible brands will use the most engaging and smart software’s which are keys to staying relevant. This can include various promotions and target advertisements that have been proven useful on social media platforms, as well as virtual assistants and support chats that represent the brand's tone. If a brand can achieve its potential in the digital marketplace, it will play a role in changing consumer behaviour in their favour.
Next, in order to survive in the digital age, brands must be hyper-organized to ensure continuity and reliability. A brand's employees, partners, and suppliers goals must be aligned to deliver their brand’s promises, as well as deliver a timely product or service to their customers. Brands need to choose employees that embody their brand. Employees not only need the right skill set to deliver the brand's products and services, but they also need to be able to represent the brand.
Finally, brands must use available data sources to their advantage. Data should be used to inform most of the decisions a brand makes in terms of advertising in the digital age. The amount of data sources available for brands to use to target the right audience at the right time continues to grow. In 2019 advertisers used, on average, 5.2 different data sources to target consumers*. Data has become advertisings north star because it makes brand advertising more effective and accurate. Data is essential in making your brand agile and adaptive to different digital ecosystems as it allows brands to place ads where they will be most successful, and it gives a company the insight to alter advertising to reach different audiences.
Building successful advertisements in the digital age are crucial for the survival of any brand. The online world is changing daily and adapting to what the consumers want, and your branding needs to do the same to stay relevant. At CRUNCHmedia Branding, we support our clients in applying these principles backed by research and expertise to better our client’s brands and create effective advertising and branding to ensure success and longevity.
“Digital Advertising 2020”. Salesforce research, 2020, 1-18.