A well-designed logo can make a good impression, attract customers and create opportunities for a new business. But a logo is not your brand.
Branding goes beyond designing a logo to represent your company. When implemented properly, a branding campaign can connect with customer sentiments, resulting to long-lasting relationships anchored on trust and meaning.
What It Takes to Be a Digital Brand
Consistent brands project an image of quality performance, dedicated service and customer satisfaction. These brands set themselves apart from competitors by turning clients into life-long friends.
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Organisations do their research and conduct surveys to create a personality with mass appeal. This personality, amplified through various marketing tools and strategies, allows them to reach out to customers.
our brand personality may attract customers, but it’s your message that will seal the deal. Are you sending the right message to your potential customers?
The thing with branding, however, is that you can’t stay in the same place for too long. Branding, as with marketing in general, is ever-changing and growing. Every now and then you have to change up gears to keep up with changing consumer sentiments.
2018 Digital Branding Trends
This year, digital branding trends are coming from every direction. While it’s important to adapt to the times and update your strategies, you need to be discerning about your branding choices. Check out the following trends and see which ones you can add to your own marketing campaign:
01. User Experience Branding
User experience (UX) is a powerful metric for digital branding and has been so for quite some time now. Nowadays, it’s foolhardy to build a website or engage in PPC advertising without knowing what your customers want.
UX branding means creating a commercial persona that appeals to customers’ views and emotions. Your brand, therefore, reflects and addresses the most crucial sentiments of your target audience.
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However, companies make a huge mistake by getting carried away with the competition instead of focusing on user needs. They forget that customers – and not competitors – are the lifeblood of any business. Without them, there is no way you can sustain your operations.
Companies aim for longevity in their chosen industry and customer engagement is not enough anymore. In their quest for better UX, they want customers to get a “feel” of their business as soon as they visit their website or view one of their paid ads.
The secret to user experience is simple: talk to your customers. Share your story and provide a platform where they can articulate their interests too. Keep a conversation going even after you have addressed their needs. That’s how you encourage them to keep on coming back.
Companies tend to go overboard with their “sales pitch,” scaring off potential customers in the process. But UX is that boundary between information-based marketing and customer engagement. Branding for user experience usually begins with the following questions:
- What inspires you to build your brand?
- What do your customers need?
- Does your marketing message address the needs of your customers?
- Do you think your customers will enjoy your products or services?
- What key benefits can you offer to your clientele?
- Are the benefits short-term or long-term?
- What values do you want to impart?
- Are your strategies relevant to the needs of your customers?
- What’s the operating budget of your branding campaign?
- How will you engage users through your brand?
02. Branding for Mobile
Many companies doing SEO as part of a comprehensive online marketing campaign are aware of the mobile-first index. With Google prioritizing secure and mobile-friendly websites over websites only optimized for desktop, a responsive web design.
If you brand for mobile, there are two important considerations. First, adjust your website’s HTML code so that it can adapt to different tablet and mobile screen sizes. Second, understand the browsing behavior of mobile users. Desktop browsing is clearly different from mobile or tablet browsing.
Some websites create special apps for users who prefer to transact business through a mobile device. Such apps are usually lightweight and designed for easier shopping, booking or payment transactions.
Mobile apps, in addition to having a mobile-responsive website, send a good impression to customers. Through easy touch navigation, a convenient shopping cart and faster payment processing, they feel the sincerity of your service.
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While mobile branding requires device specific strategies, it nevertheless contributes to and enhances overall user experience.
03. Voice Technology
Voice search is gradually gaining traction, thanks to the foundation built by Siri, Alexa and Google Voice Search (now Google Assistant). In fact, voice search queries comprise 20 percent of all mobile searches made per recent statistics.
Google expects the number of voice search users to grow in the next few years. The use of voice technology will also find its way to the mainstream.
To adopt this trend, you have three options:
- Enable speech recognition on your website.
- Prepare content that external voice search algorithms can easily pick up.
- Do both.
Internal Voice Search
Most developers use the latest HTML5 Web Speech API to activate a website’s speech recognition features. There are specific coding instructions to follow so working with an experienced developer is an advantage.
Voice search enabled websites offer better accessibility and hands-free convenience to all kinds of users – especially users with disabilities. The blind, amputees or people with impaired limbs can browse through your pages and complete transactions just like other users.
External Voice Search
Websites with a dedicated page for frequently asked questions are likely to win the voice search game. Voice search engines favour FAQ-style content that is anticipates user questions and provides comprehensive answers.
FAQ pages with simple and conversational content will also give your website more advantage than others. Studies show that top Google voice search results comprise of 9th grade level content.
The Right Branding Strategy
Which branding trend suits your current business needs? Before selecting a branding approach and incorporating it into your marketing campaign, you must set your priorities straight.
Do you have a ready budget? It would be ideal to know whether you are financially capable of adopting the trends enumerated above and whether the timing is right for your business.
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Be careful when selecting your staff. Today’s branding trends have a lot to do with design and web development. Work with UX web specialists, designers or developers who understand the kind of image you want to project to your audience.
At the end of the day, there’s no rush. Adopt these trends only if the conditions are right for you. When you’re ready, you can take your business to the next level and expand your market reach.