Digital branding is a brand management technique that uses a combination of internet branding and digital marketing, online marketing to develop a brand over a range of digital venues, including internet-based relationships, device-based applications or media content. It has emerged strongly over the last decade along with its roots from direct marketing.
As opposed to digital marketing, digital branding aims to create connections between consumers and the products or service being delivered so that brand recognition is established in the digital world. In short, the goal of digital branding is not necessarily driving sales, but enhancing the awareness, image, and style of the brand. Digital branding in turn drives long-term customer loyalty.
Brand establishment involves four key points:
- Building a digital brand story
- Creativity in digital media and marketing
- Digital channels and content distributed to channels based on consumer data and habits
- Creating digital relationships.
The digital impact on branding
- Prior to the internet, information about companies and consumers was somewhat limited due to access to information, geographical separation, and lack of interaction. The existence of internet and websites has transformed branding. Websites facilitate online marketing and sales, as well as collecting comprehensive data on customers. The internet has transformed interaction between brands and customers.
- Companies now have a powerful online means to showcase their brand identity and value in an innovative, efficient format. The digitization has provided the brands with new methods of customer engagement and consistent branding promotion. It has heightened the connectivity between brands and consumers.
- Another impact on branding practices is the emergence of value co-creation as an alternative way to long term customer relationships, customer loyalty and eventual profitability. Joint effort is formed between the companies and customers during the various stages of the product. It strengthens the bond and builds loyalty and customer engagement. Coca-Cola is a great example of successful value co-creation.
- In addition to engaging with the customers, there is increasing and active collaboration between the companies and their business intermediaries. This leads to collaborative and healthy promotion, innovative re-designing and a sense of co-existence among competitors in the market. One example of this is how Coca-Cola collaborated with Heinz to develop more sustainable containers.
- Every user of the internet will eventually need a product or service. Digital Branding services positions a brand in such a way that connects to those users, the right audience.. Effective Digital Branding involves a number of methods such as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), "online advertising, content marketing, social media, and influencer marketing".
Digital branding channels
According to Mabbly CEO, Hank Ostholthoff, digital branding is facilitated by multiple channels. As an advertiser one's core objective is to find channels which result in maximum two way communication and a better overall ROI for the brand. There are multiple online marketing channels available, namely:
- New media marketing
- Cross-media marketing
- Retail media
- Affiliate marketing
- Display advertising
- Internet branding
- Game advertising
- Video advertising
- SMS Marketing
Benefits of Digital Branding
- Many channels available. Digital branding lets companies utilize a multitude of online channels. Channels range from broad to specific, so the digital branding message can reach customers in personalized ways.
- Message can go viral. The internet has allowed brands to be easily promoted, shared and recommended. Consistency of branding is key to building a strong online following.
- Customer interaction. Digital branding allows customers to interact with a brand in real time, and create a unique customer experience. Concerns and problems can be addressed immediately.
- Sets the brand apart. Effective digital branding will distinguish a brand from their competition, and will allow that brand to stay in the forefront of customer's minds.
- Better connections. Digital branding allows companies to better connect with their target customers, no matter what demographic.
Personal digital branding
As social media platforms have been established and have evolved over the last couple of decades, digital branding has become personal. Individuals have taken to social media to brand and market themselves in building their personal and professional lives. Consequently, boundaries between the personal and professional are fading.
Those who participate in social media sites should be aware that their social media content is public and may be accessed by colleagues, clients, and other professional references. Many universities and workplaces have established social media policies. A well-curated social media presence may be attractive to employers, while poorly representing oneself is an employment liability.
- Brand engagement
- Brand implementation
- Brand management
- Online advertising
- Search engine results page
- Social Credit System
- Social media marketing
- Visual marketing
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