Brand Responsibly Manifesto: 10
These days your online brand, your digital presence, your organization’s visibility and presentation in social, on the web, in e-mails and all of those other options … is frequently the version of your brand persona seen first and most often.
How are you ensuring that brand you’ve built so carefully in traditional print and “real world” applications is excelling in the cyber world?
An online brand is an investment
Building your brand online isn’t just about slapping the logo and primary colors onto a website, or shoving them into an e-mail template, or repeating the tagline (which we prefer to call a brand promise) in every e-mail signature. Your brand is built from context and interactions. It’s visual and verbal.
In the old days (when I started in business decades ago), once you had your basic brand designed and your brochure printed, along with the way-cool stationery package, you were pretty much done. Your time and attention could be shifted to something else, like advertising. Brochures could be pulled out for meetings and trade shows, and business cards were easy to reprint as needed.
But today … the ever-shifting, constantly changing world of digital communications, where do people go first when they’re looking for information? The web. Duh. Don’t you start there?
And what does Google reward with a high ranking and positive search results? Good content that fulfills on a search. Fresh content. That means new stuff to keep your website in Google’s favor. Yes, Google is still the top dog so you must keep that tail wagging with the right treats and rewards.
That means investing in building your brand online, as well as offline in traditional channels. You can’t just get the website done and then leave it. Instead, the care and feeding of your digital brand is essential to your continued success.
Ongoing attention is essential
The online brand is not the only place you need to invest. After you’ve implemented a plan to add fresh content, implement a blog, maintain a social media presence, what’s next? Consider the continuum of contact with target audiences. Who are they and where are they connecting? How can you leverage the opportunities you have to build recognition and inspire response?
Is it time to refresh your brand? Are you making the most of the communication tools you have in the real world (signs, building, brochures, trucks)? Could the brand identity use a face lift that will present a more up-to-date, progressive persona? Are your business cards attention-getting? (Yes, we think they’re still important, especially for one-on-one, business to business conversations.)
What about information that supports the sales process, both online and offline? We recently completed a series of magazines to use as part of a college recruitment suite. The stories they tell are a tangible representation of the brand that’s more engaging than a traditional brochure. And we included links to more information on the website and QR codes to informative videos.
Synchronize the real world with the cyber world
Blending what people hold in their hand, the message and story that engages, with the visual and verbal brand both online and offline is the most powerful way to connect and build your brand presence.
Yet we still see many organizations that have not taken that extra step, to echo and support the messages and visual system seen in print with the many digital faces of the brand. Often they’re still in silos … visually disconnected. (We’re a visual society … what it looks like is so so important.)
Yes, it’s time. Yes, it’s an investment.
Evaluating, tuning up, updating and aligning both faces of your brand–traditional real world applications with the digital version–is the path to bigger results and more response.
And after all, isn’t that what you’re looking for from your brand program … more response?
Here are a few more links that you might find useful
- Expanding the visual brand streamlines communications for these government agencies
- Financial services come alive on a website that supports the refreshed brand
- Download our guidelines to decide if it’s time for a rebrand
- Don’t forget internal brand alignment, your staff represents your brand