When it comes to a company’s digital brand, everyone has some of the same, general goals. Businesses are looking to develop more leads, create strong relationships and be recognized by their desired audiences and community, all through their web presence. Every business wants to be seen by their ideal client, because let’s face it – without customers, you’re out of commission. So how do we achieve consistent customer retention with branding, especially on a digital platform?
Your company’s brand is how you’re identified; it’s what sets you apart from your competition and creates loyalty with your target audience. It’s the combination of a defined logo, typeface, color pallet and an identifiable tone or language. It goes even deeper than that – a strong brand also communicates your company’s values and standards and gains an emotional connection with your customers or clients. Your business’s brand is everything to its survival – it’s your company’s identity and how it resonates with your customers.
Brand consistency creates a sense of trust between you and your customers. A strong brand tells consumers and clients they can depend on and trust you to give them the same or better deliverable today, tomorrow or even years from now. Most importantly, it should be recognized across time and media advances. Recognition is not easily achieved – it is the result of your brand’s consistency over a long-term relationship with its customers. Consumers need to trust that your business’s standards remain the same or better over days, weeks and years.
You might be thinking, “Why does consistency even matter?” or “I have a logo, isn’t that good enough?” That’s a great start, but think about it this way. If you have a potential new customer or client who is trying to decide between you and your competitor, knowing nothing about either of your companies, who do they choose? You might have better service but your competitor has a consistent and strong brand message or promise. When they come to your websites and compare them, trying to decide who to select, think about what they might think about your business from your digital footprint. You might not think it’s a big deal to have a solid logo or language or imagery that is used consistently across your entire site, but to your customer it could be the difference between a sale and a bounce off your site. When it comes to first impressions, humans are fast moving and shallow. What is visually appealing, comforting, or authoritative in your digital brand can subtly start to build up that trust and relationship, leading to more sales and brand loyalty with your customers.
When you’re picking the right typography for your brand, the first step towards consistency is sticking with 3 fonts that communicate the tone and voice of your company. Find fonts that are easy to read, relatable to your audience and relay the message you’re trying to get across. Use your fonts consistently – there should be a hierarchy and purpose for each! Most importantly, make sure your fonts are web-friendly – stick with the serifs!
The tone of your company’s content is a powerful thing – it’s seen in all outlets including, print, web and social media. The language you use and the tone it creates should be the same across all of these outlets. It must be true to the identity of your company and relevant to the audience you’re speaking with – especially in social media. As our world becomes more reliant on social media and word of mouth advertising, branding becomes more and more about a dialogue with customers. Does your language and tone have a conversation with the customer or talk at the customer?
Colors relevant to your brand are crucial to its success; they are the “first impression” of your company or business. Stick with two or three colors. Too many colors overcomplicate things and could cause viewers to dismiss you for the next option. A successful choice in brand coloring creates an emotional draw to the viewer and in a way “flirts” with them, wooing them to choose your company over competitors. The science behind colors is so powerful that an audience will make a subconscious judgement about your company within the first 90 seconds they are exposed to it! Make sure that first impression is a good one by picking a color palette that is consistent, yet flexible across different media. Will it look as good printed on a t-shirt as it does on your smartphone or desktop? Does it invoke an emotional response that correlates with your business’s voice and standards?
While it’s important to remain consistent with your brand, your logo’s flexibility and versatility across different media platforms determine whether or not it’s recognizable and relatable. Your logo and elements within it are seen on various electronic devices and screens, print media including business cards, envelopes, magazines, and so much more! If your logo is made smaller or simplified to fit the platform it’s being displayed on, would your brand be recognized? For instance, Target’s brand is recognized regardless of if it’s on a huge store sign or if its target emblem is subliminally floating around in the background of one of its commercials. A Target commercial can even be viewed from start to finish without the word “Target” seen or spoken and the audience immediately recognizes the company. That’s because it’s a powerfully consistent brand that has been around for years.
Keep it simple. Don’t over-complicate your brand with too many colors, too many fonts or inconsistent language. Be relatable! Your brand is responsible for creating a relationship with your client, think about the things they care about and want to see. Have a conversation. The tone and language of your brand should develop trust with your client. A brand that starts a dialogue with your audience creates familiarity, familiarity leads to trust, and trust leads to a faithful customer who is confident in your business.
Have you noticed the impact of a strong digital brand on your sales or clients? Tell us about it in the comments!