To really understand the importance about branding, lets begin with an example closer home. Say, you’re using a hand moisturiser ‘A’ since the last few years now and someone switches the bottle one day (leaving you unawares). Would you know the difference or would you continue to use the new bottle with as much enthusiasm as you did the first one? Chances are, apart from the few differences in shape and colour, there’s nothing else that you’d really miss. This is an example of an insufficient online branding exercise by the said hand moisturiser brand.
Now, lets us say that you’d made an effort to pick up the bottle, scoured it for the brand name, sniffed the contents, thought to yourself that its probably not as effective as the original one and put it away without using it. Now, that would be what is called as a phenomenal branding success, isn’t it?
That’s the prime position that every company under the sun aims for and that is what makes online branding such a rigorous yet immensely rewarding activity. Reality being, consumers may remember the product or the service, but expecting brand 100% loyalty is a premium that very few companies in the world can command today.
Battleground Online Branding
As the competition in the digital space heats up, there are more and more companies that have geared themselves up to take on the challenges of branding online. However, there are many companies that have become averse to the very thought of it. Do they miss a large part of the market share? Yes, they do. Are they able to sufficiently cater to their segment? No, probably not.
The ground reality is that even MNC’s that have been around for generations feel the need to brand online. Reasons being, in simple words, offline branding is just not enough anymore. Had it been so, you wouldn’t find bluechip companies, ranging from QSR restaurants to real estate mammoths, planning and analysing their next online campaign armed with cartloads of data, facts, figures and in depth analysis of their TA (target audience).
E-branding mistakes that you just shouldn’t make
This method was perhaps once very widely quoted and applied but today, it’s just not relevant anymore. The key is delineation, segregation, uniqueness marketing, call it what you may, ‘differentiation’ is the order of the day. In the digital space, online branding can take on different forms, so it’s best to have a crystal clear branding message that’s different from others.
Branding the weathercock way
Its unbelievable how so many companies switch their brand propositions from time to time. While it may seem like this is one thing that a brand must never ever do, the reality is that a lot of companies do it more and more all the time.
A clear proposition of the brand, its ethics, logo guidelines and policies are some of the things that are worth carving out on stone, for the brand’s sake and for the employee’s sake too.
What’s in a name? Ahem! Everything
There’s a reason why the name of a company matters a great deal (of money) and it’s not only because of its ornamental value. It’s also got to do with the fact that a good brand name can establish your online identity really well and really fast. Easy to pronounce and simple to remember brands names get more recognition in the digital space. Concurrently, names that can take on a funny meaning or are difficult to pronounce should be avoided at all costs.
Pilferage of your online brand
It can and does happen; more so in the digital space. This is why there needs to be a strict adherence to the logo and brand guidelines. Besides, you’ll need to keep a hawk’s eye on any misuse of your brand. Under no circumstances is it a good thing to have your brand plastered across on things that you have no idea (or control) of.
Until the time robots completely take over the world, you’re left to contend with humans on the other side of the screen. Monotones and clinical precisions are good but not always. Taking an emotional online route and making your brand a human one will ensure that you will be remembered. Always!
If you thought that a little bit of this and a little bit of that is a good thing, think again. In the online realm, a clear and constant branding message that is put across through a good use of images and content works well. A little of pink today and little of brown tomorrow doesn’t go down well with an online audience. On t-shirts maybe it does, but online, ‘consistent branding’ is the only key that works.