Digital branding

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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,[1] device-based applications[2][3] or media content.[4] 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[5][6][7] so that brand recognition is established in the digital world.[8] 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:[4]

  • 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[edit]

  • Prior to the internet, information about companies and consumers was somewhat limited due to access to information, geographical separation, and lack of interaction.[9] The existence of internet and websites has transformed branding.[10] Websites facilitate online marketing and sales, as well as collecting comprehensive data on customers.[11] 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.
Share a Coke campaign display
  • 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.[12] 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[edit]

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.[4] There are multiple online marketing channels available, namely:[13]

  1. New media marketing
  2. Cross-media marketing
  3. Retail media
  4. Affiliate marketing
  5. Display advertising
  6. Internet branding
    1. Email marketing
    2. Search marketing[14]
    3. Social Media
    4. Social Networking[15]
    5. Online PR
  7. Game advertising[16]
  8. Video advertising[17][18]
  9. SMS Marketing

Benefits of Digital Branding[edit]

  • 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.[19]

Personal digital branding[edit]

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.[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "What is 'digital branding'? - Smart Insights Digital Marketing Advice". Smart Insights. Retrieved 2016-03-12.
  2. ^ Kompella, Kartikeya (2014-08-05). The Definitive Book of Branding. SAGE Publications India. ISBN 9789351501046.
  3. ^ Chiles, David (2013-05-08). Apps: Everything You Need To Know. David Paul Chiles.
  4. ^ a b c Ostholthoff, Hank. "4 Ways to Master the Art of Digital Branding". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2016-03-12.
  5. ^ Shamoon, Sumaira, and Saiqa Tehseen. "Brand Management: What Next?" Interdisciplinary Journal of Contemporary Research in Business 2.12 (2011): 435–441. Business Source Complete. Web. Oct 20, 2012.
  6. ^ Wilson, Chris (21 April 2009). "Interview with Brand Consultant and Author Marty Neumeier". Fresh Peel. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
  7. ^ "Branding Definition". Entrepreneur. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  8. ^ Edelman, David C. (2010-12-01). "Branding in the Digital Age". Harvard Business Review (December 2010). ISSN 0017-8012. Retrieved 2020-10-23.
  9. ^ CPBI, Ryan Shelley. "Then vs Now: How the Internet Continues to Transform Traditional Marketing". Retrieved 2020-10-24.
  10. ^ "The Evolution of Digital Marketing: 30 Years in the Past & Future". Retrieved 2020-10-24.
  11. ^ "How Do Big Companies Collect Customer Data?". ITChronicles. 2019-01-14. Retrieved 2020-10-23.
  12. ^ Wang, Yichuan (2014). Co-Creation in Branding through Social Commerce: The Role of Social Support, Relationship Quality and Privacy Concerns. Twentieth Americas Conference on Information Systems, Savannah.
  13. ^ Pratik Dholakiya (14 April 2015). "3 Digital Marketing Channels That Work for Every Advertiser". Entrepreneur. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  14. ^ Jansen, B. J., Sobel, K., and Zhang, M. (2011) The Brand Effect of Key Phrases and Advertisements in Sponsored Search. International Journal of Electronic Commerce. 6(1), 77-106.
  15. ^ "4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About". Digital Doughnut. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  16. ^ Cocoran, Ian (2010-06-29). The Art of Digital Branding. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-1-58115-802-1.
  17. ^ Green, R. Kay (25 April 2013). "7 Highly-Effective Ways to Maximize Your Online Brand Presence". Huffington Post. Retrieved 21 February 2014.
  18. ^ Fallon, Nicole (10 December 2013). "7 Highly-Effective Ways to Maximize Your Online Brand Presence". Business News Daily. Retrieved 21 February 2014.
  19. ^ Madeleine. "What is Digital Branding and How Can it Help Your Business in 2019? | Content Refined". Retrieved 2020-10-24.
  20. ^ Kleppinger, Courtney A.; Cain, Jeff (2015-08-25). "Personal Digital Branding as a Professional Asset in the Digital Age". American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education. 79 (6). doi:10.5688/ajpe79679. ISSN 0002-9459. PMC 4584371.

Further reading[edit]

  • Ryan, Damian; Jones, Calvin (2009), Understanding digital marketing: marketing strategies for engaging the digital generation, Kogan Page, ISBN 0749453893
  • Carter, Ben; Brooks, Gregory; Catalano, Frank; Smith, Bud (2007), Digital Marketing for Dummies, John Wiley & Sons, ISBN 9780470057933