Branding your product in digital spaces
The brand building effort must indeed be intensified given the dynamic nature of the digital market.
A brand is distinguished by these elements: logo, color palette, shape, slogan, tone of voice and vocabulary, fonts, images and positioning, for a brand identity that builds a specific reputation.
A good reputation drives more purchases, advocacy, donations, shares and loyalty. In Uganda it is not unheard of to hear a person refer to any toothpaste as ‘Colgate’, ‘Shell’ for every gas station, ‘Blue Stripe’ for every butter or ‘Bajaj’ for every motorcycles, to name a few.
In the digital space, for example, Amazon as a brand, is quite dominant on its platform with a steady stream of market entrants and with over 70% of the search market share. Google is undoubtedly the most popular search engine.
While factors such as being a fast mover in the market can partly explain a company’s dominance in its space, the power of brand image, which is its ability to influence behavior, plays a central role.
Fireworks Advertising business unit manager Francis Kasura defines digital branding as how your brand appears online to include websites, social media, apps, emails, videos and even more.
“Unlike marketing which is primarily about increasing sales, digital branding focuses on the value and loyalty your brand creates in the online space,” says Kasura.
The well-invested effort to build brands in the analog system by businesses or individuals must now be intensified given the dynamic nature of the digital market.
These can be flyers, brochures and online posters to boost and sell a brand if your brand wants to gain acceptance and traction.
According to the creative director of Corporate Image Ltd, Abel Asiimwe, a digital presence guarantees the durability of a brand.
A key factor highlighted by digital branding is the ability for the brand to interact with consumers.
“A consumer can’t have an interaction with a billboard, but the pay-per-click brand awareness model does allow interaction,” Asiimwe says.
Many brands are vying for supremacy. The competition is now in cyberspace – to compete favorably you must have an effective and consistent presence, be prepared to stay relevant and rebrand whenever necessary.
The more you can put your business in front of your target audience with quality experiences, the more opportunities you have to build brand awareness and improve your reputation.
Team Leader, Kafunda Kreative, David Ogutu says: Presence gives your business a face and identity that sparks a deeper connection between your brand and your customers, making them more inclined towards the personality you represent.
A brand that is not searchable online does not exist in the minds of consumers today. Digital brands should pay attention to this.
User Interface refers to the screens, buttons, toggles, icons, and other visual elements that you interact with when using a website, application, or other electronic device. UX refers to the entire interaction you have with a product, including how you feel about the interaction. This is the main point to note as a vehicle of the whole digital brand concept.
In April 2022, there were five billion Internet users in the world, or 63% of the world’s population according to Statista. This implies that a company has this number of potential consumers.
Nonetheless, a successful corporate digital brand will seek to understand a target audience.
Ogutu highlights how the population is becoming more segmented and how business owners have more data on who has their needs.
“There are no mass companies. By studying the tastes, hobbies, lifestyle, sites commonly visited by the target audience, culture and all available information; a company can capture this information and market itself appropriately,” says Ogutu.
Kasura says key brand assets must align when developing a digital brand. All online assets should be branded in a uniform and consistent manner to avoid confusion.
These assets may include; digital files, digital media, images, logos, documents, audio, videos, presentations, spreadsheets, emails, official social networks, apps and websites.
“Every business needs an influential brand message,” he says.
Crafting a clear and consistent message is what is needed to drive a strong brand message through the minds of your customers.
Search engine optimization is a crucial part of getting organic search traffic and brand visibility.
Online reputation management is all about monitoring and improving how your business is viewed online. This involves reviewing and analyzing what a potential customer, journalist, or partner will discover about your brand.
Ogutu says people often don’t think of themselves as a brand unless they’re altruists, careerists, hipsters, boomerangs, connectors, and selectives. However, whether it’s a service you render, a product you package, or a business you promote, it’s wise to present yourself online in a way that reflects or complements your business.
“Online profiles are becoming more and more formal. For example, social recruiting, a process to attract active and passive candidates through any social media platform, is rapidly becoming popular and it is often necessary to provide one’s social media credentials on official application forms. says Ogutu.
As you develop your personal brand, keep in mind that it could work for you or against you in the future.
Background checks are done by prospecting clients, business partners or investors to do some sort of risk analysis on your part based on the intended working relationship yet to be built and the desired product.
Social recruiting not only involves posting jobs, but also interacting with potential candidates and building an employer brand on these platforms.
It requires reputation management, thought leadership, and a social media distinctive factor.
“Unless it’s a brand, use your real names, an accurate bio, and deliberate profile pictures to pursue opportunities that many have ended up winning, like being brand ambassadors and influencers. “, says Ogutu.
In a report titled; “CEO Reputation and Company Reputation” findings indicated that CEO reputation has a much stronger impact on company reputation, up to 70% in some cases.