Approximately 77 percent of marketers think branding is essential to the future of a business, according to B2B branding research from Circle Research. The term branding dominates any business aid website, blog post or conversation when it comes to helping your business survive. Its influence and power extend not just to its immediate profits but generate more sales in the e-commerce world and offline, open up new markets and eventually, ensure the sustainability of a business. This is particularly applicable in the digitalized and technologically driven age that consumers live in; around half of consumers follow at least one brand on social media and the average consumer spends 24 hours online each week. This signals the importance and a shift in demand for a business to not only create their identity both in offline stores but also online. Even a brick and mortar centered business is finding the need to establish a presence on the world wide web and with it, create a synchronized brand for itself.
Breaking Down The Need For Consistent Branding Across All Platforms
Cohesiveness in a business is important. It is vital in its customer relations, its images and in its print media. Forming a connection between both your offline and online branding can help a business grow and ensures the business transmits a strong and unified message. Whether it is a multinational business that has to contend with national and cultural differences or a traditional brick and mortar retailer that is aiming to expand its current target market to include a younger demographic, having a synchronized brand across the board helps customers make the connection and helps to translate online views to in-store visits and purchases (and vice versa). The answer lies in choosing branding strategies that support and translates well on both platforms, offline and online. It is all about bridging the gap between the two and it begins with establishing brand guidelines for both spaces.
Establish And Implement The Same Language And Tone Offline And Online
The design process when it comes to branding is about more than developing a unique logo or imaging; it is about setting the tone the business wishes to be associated with and the impression it wishes to make. Your brand signifies your intent and in short, the appeal of your business. However, as important that the branding language is appealing to customers, it is also important that it remains authentic. Approximately 80 percent of consumers disengage with brands with inauthentic content and your branding language and tone is a part of that. When planning your branding strategy online and offline, aim to have identical or similar language in both spaces. This means standardizing your customer replies to inquiries and language layout for announcements, ads, and notices. However, keep in mind that while your message should be consistent across the board, your approach should also be tailored to the individual platform being used. For example, social media platforms such as Twitter limit word content and is more suited to short, punchy statements.
Standardize Your Logo, Color Scheme, And Fonts
A simple and go to way to encourage cohesiveness in your offline and online brand is to opt for consistent or similar logos, color schemes, and fonts. Your color scheme and imaging are one of the most common ways to build identity. It forms a starting point of association for customers when they do view or come across the logo and hopefully evokes positive emotions and trust. Start with making the imagery and fonts in your online adverts and print adverts similar along with the same imagery (logos, backgrounds, and headshots) in the same color scheme. Keep this in mind when choosing the printing tools for your signs and logos in print media that mimics your design created using online software. This makes your brand easily recognizable and helps customers make the connection.
Build On Online Generated Interest Offline – And Vice Versa
There is no doubt that an online presence is now an essential part of branding for any business today. One way to use this to your advantage is to utilize user-generated online content such as reviews, suggestions, and testimonials gained from customers and translate the information learned to offline actions. This means implementing online to offline offers (and vice versa) and offering in-person meeting or services to complement online offers. This can also be approached the other way i.e. offline to online including encouraging in-store customers to utilize online user-generated feedback facilities, the establishment of a company blog online (for brick and mortar stores) or encouraging in-store customers to upload, purchase or use photos online. Speaking of allowing the upload of customer photos, you can also set up a standard template for all customer photos uploaded including orientation, sizing and descriptive font used.
There is no doubt that branding is important in business success stories. However, it is not just about building a brand. In a multi-faceted world, it is about building a consistent brand across all platforms and demographics. The more consistent your branding is, the stronger the message your company can get across to consumers.