What is Branding and Marketing?
Branding and Marketing Go Hand in Hand. Branding is not just your company logo, pretty pictures, or the product and services that you sell. Branding is the development of a strong, clear, and positive perception of your company, product, or service in the mind of your customers. It is the customer experience and philosophy you embrace and adhere to as an organization that is reinforced with your ongoing marketing activities. A brand is a feeling that the business evokes in customers –and it is critical to have a strong and trustworthy brand to make sure your target audience is comfortable buying from you.
According to Edelman, 81% of consumers said they needed to trust the brand in order to buy from them. This was true across multiple global markets and age groups. The best way to build customer trust is by consistently delivering an experience that resonates.
This is done in a coordinated fashion by bringing together visual and verbal elements such as logos, messaging, mission, vision, imagery, and tone of voice across all your marketing materials. Doing so consistently is critical for reinforcing your corporate identity. In fact, according to Lucidpress, having a strong and consistent brand can increase revenue by more than 33%.
"Brand consistency is hard, and customers reward the companies who pull it off. Developing and maintaining a strong and consistent brand, with the help of a structured marketing plan, is one of the best ways to differentiate yourself from the competition and increase your bottom line."
Why is Branding Important for Digital Marketing and eCommerce?
Branding and Digital Marketing
With new companies coming online every day, established brands have an invaluable advantage in the marketplace. Creating and cultivating a unique brand can make a significant impact on your bottom line by both attracting new customers as well as retaining them.
As the word implies, a brand must be carefully constructed through the right visual and verbal experiences in your everyday marketing (both digital and print). This helps shape your customer’s perception and expectation –creating a bond that goes beyond the buying and selling relationship.
Digital Marketing and eCommerce
This has taken a pivotal role on how we do business online. Did you know that, according to 8ways, it takes 50 milliseconds for people to form an opinion about your website? If your business exists online, when you don’t take care of your website, chances are you are losing customers.
According to Zendesk, 87% of customers said that consistent branding across all online and traditional platforms was important. Good branding does not have to be complicated, but it should be strategic. Once you have a brand defined then you can start crafting a marketing plan that is focused on consistently reinforcing it at every opportunity. You will start seeing that ROI come to life.
"A good brand and solid marketing program reinforces your core brand attributes. It also builds a bond with your customers that goes beyond the buying and selling relationship. It creates trust – critical to differentiating yourself and effectively supporting your digital marketing efforts."
Strategies and Key Attributes that Speak to Today’s Customer
Branding that Cares. Many companies have a hard time explaining what they do, how they do it, and even why they do it –and customers in general stay away from what they don’t understand. Your brand strategy should serve as a guide on how to communicate with your customers. It should tell the story of who you are and the value you provide to customers. Your brand shapes your business and how people view it –but it is not built overnight. To help your efforts, here are the most popular core brand attributes customers today are looking for:
Authenticity - Millennials have been pushing companies to have a more authentic approach for years and now Gen Z is pressing this notion even more –demanding that they care about more than just profits. According to Stackla, 86% of consumers today say that authenticity is a key factor when deciding what brands they like and support.
Trust - Consumers put a lot of trust in the products and services that they buy. They are looking to have a consistent and honest experience with a company as well as a connection with the organization’s impact on society.
Transparency - This goes hand in hand with authenticity and trust. According to Accenture, 66% of consumers think transparency is one of the most attractive qualities in a brand. People are vigilant about what is happening behind the scenes. They like seeing what the company stands for and how it reflects on them as a customer. This includes the way it treats its employees, what social or charity causes it cares about, and the how it puts itself out there in a genuine way to create an emotional connection with buyers.
"Brands that open themselves up create an emotional connection with the target market –a critical state in the buying process. With all the technology that surrounds us, don’t be afraid to let your brand be vulnerable and real. Consumers find it refreshing."
What are Branding Design Trends for 2021?
Once a brand is created, it needs to be maintained and even sometimes reinvented to stay fresh and current with the times. The approaches that were once modern and cutting-edge can suddenly become old-fashioned. Societal events like the pandemic have brought a greater interest in a more authentic, expressive, and imperfect approach to design. Some of the latest top design trends to remember include:
Humanize Your Brand. Humanization is a notable trend in today’s branding designs. It is also one of the reasons that videos have become so popular. Whenever possible, use people and/or your own images to give your customers a sneak peak of the culture your brand has built.
Use Expressive Colors. Trends have gone from a simple color approach (designed to not distract from the main message) to more expressive color blends (that give a sense of the range of authentic emotions being felt during today’s time, the social causes the company is behind, etc.). That is why we now see more brands using non-conventional color schemes with dynamic variations and intensities.
Geometric Patterns and Quirky Art. Companies targeting younger audiences should consider incorporating their brand with whimsical, funny, and/or unique imagery that makes you memorable in a manner that is relevant to them. The use of patterns has also grown alongside this –creating almost a hypnotizing effect that can also be unique. Geometric patterns have become particularly popular because they hit that middle ground between stimulating and distracting –making them an easy and modern way to include them into today’s efforts where the logo is center stage.
"Branding design has gone unique, bold and beautiful. This reflects the range of emotions consumers feel regarding everything from the pandemic, recovery as well as social justice initiatives that influence consumers all around the world."
What is Brand Personalization?
Marketing Technology (a.k.a. MarTech) is now able to segment to such a level that it is helping companies create personalized customer experiences that are memorable, modern, and emotional. It allows a company to reinforce the brand in a manner that personally resonates at the individual customer level. Whether coordinating email marketing campaigns and social media engagement as part of a digital marketing strategy or using mobile apps and online chat modules that engage with customers real time, brand personalization is something that needs to be incorporated in today’s brands.
An example of brand personalization is described in one of our previous blog articles regarding Hyper personalization in Healthcare Marketing. Some of the key points we touched on in the article were:
Real-Time Marketing Customer Data - Marketers can monitor and get real-time information about when a buyer is engaged – even allowing them to communicate during the buying process.
Marketing Databases That Are Tagged and Segmented - Digital tools that allow marketing companies to take large databases and segment them based on broader categories as well as micro-details that support hyper-personalized messaging and marketing efforts.
Easy Digital Marketing Engagement Tools - Digital Marketing that is aligned to hyper-personalization can act like a tech-savvy receptionist and mind-reader at a medical office, laboratory, or hospital. Tools that focus on personalized data can also incorporate predictive analytics and calendaring that allow you to contact and engage with your target audience to stay top of mind. When messaged appropriately, this type of proactive engagement can convey a sense of caring coming from your brand.
Is your company trying to figure out what you need to elevate yourself from both a branding and marketing perspective to boost your business? Let’s chat!