In a world full of brands, it can be a challenge to stand out from the crowd. While new brands are launched every day, there is something to be said about the ones that stand the test of time. Reputable brands with distinctive offerings and values are the ones that get noticed by consumers.
It doesn’t matter if your brand is new to the market or well established, staying relevant is essential for that kind of longevity. The nature of brands is cyclical. They can start very strong with an attractive product, but lose momentum once they are no longer top of mind.
That’s why no good brand lasts. You should always think ahead and see what’s on the horizon. Brands that seize new opportunities are the ones that remain profitable. Imagine if Netflix had just continued offering DVDs by mail and not pioneered online streaming. Moving with the times is crucial for progress and progress.
But while it’s important to stay on top of trends, not least when it comes to branding, there are three essential principles to keep in mind, regardless of your industry. Keep reading to learn why these online branding principles are critical to your brand’s long-term success.
1. A robust website is non-negotiable
Without this branding strategy, no one will find your business. Gone are the days when people only personally supported businesses (thanks, Amazon). A strong online presence is the key to success, as websites are one of the primary ways consumers discover a business. They’ll take the absence of a website — or a disappointing one — as a red flag and take their business elsewhere. Consumers expect them to search by keyword and find the answer to their problem online. If you’re not there, your company isn’t the one to fix it for them.
Even if your brand has a website, your work isn’t done yet. You have to keep it up-to-date continuously. Do you have products on offer that are no longer in stock and will not be available in the foreseeable future? Do you mention opening hours or other information that is no longer relevant due to Covid-19? Your site is the way your company presents itself to the world. If your business is outdated, your business will look bad and not look good anymore.
Remember that keyword search? Another reason why you need a strong website is SEO. Your website cannot just exist; it also needs to appear high on search engine results pages to be noticed. Creating quality content that is useful to your existing and future customers is key. You can also use competitive analysis tools to see how your rivals appear in search results and determine which keywords to emphasize in your content. These efforts can help you improve your SERP rankings, giving your brand an even stronger presence online.
2. Design elements should be consistent and align with your brand promise
Nike with its swoosh, McDonald’s with its golden arches, and Apple with its, well, apple are just three examples of companies with consistent branding. Wherever you are in the world, you will recognize these logos. Marketing strategies may change with the seasons, but these logos remain recognizable because they are consistent.
While flashy branding can be appealing at first, if it’s not consistent and well-matched, it won’t be memorable. Research shows that brands are ultimately only a seven seconds to make a first impression on the consumer. When designing your branding, it is important to think long term. Which design or colors are naturally iconic? Which fonts are unique but also legible? What emotion does the branding evoke?
Before deciding on your final design, make sure it aligns with your brand promise and reflects your brand’s tone and voice. This is all part of your brand’s personality, or rather the kind of relationship you want your customers to have with your company. After all, if you’re selling houses, you don’t want your design to appear distant or unapproachable. Consistent, well-coordinated branding will be memorable for all the right reasons.
Just like a strong website presence, a consistent social media presence can do wonders for your business. Just as consumers search for specific brands, they also turn to their favorite social channels to discover and learn more about them. That’s especially important now that social platforms have expanded their capabilities with trading solutions. Instagram Checkout and TikTok Shopping give consumers a reason to turn to social first to buy directly from their favorite brands.
For your social media efforts to pay off, you need to be consistent. Brands need to post content regularly to stand out and stay top of mind; forgetting to post is just not an option. Fortunately, you can tell your audience a lot. You can use social media to inform consumers about new product launches, company updates, collaborations and more. Consistently focusing on a few social channels – rather than sporadically on every channel – will be more beneficial in the long run.
As important as social is in helping consumers learn about you, it also provides you with a golden opportunity to learn more about them. You and your team can see who is following your Brand Page and get to know your target audience(s) across different channels. This can help you develop better marketing campaigns to attract new, like-minded customers. You can also learn what types of messages work best and when. Tailoring your messaging to what your consumers are looking for is a winning strategy.
To build a brand that grabs and holds consumer attention, you need a robust website, consistent and aligned brand elements, and a strong and stable social media presence. Embracing these three online branding principles will improve your brand footprint and keep you ahead of the competition. More importantly, they will enable you to remain relevant to your core audience in the long run.