In times past, a brand flourished due to its consistent, recognisable and cohesive voice and identity. The golden arches, the apple and the ‘tick’ are instantly recognisable visual representations of massive brands.
Digitisation, however, has changed the playing field considerably. The web is a medium that has brought together several marketing channels to one party. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and WordPress are powered by the clicks of the consumer – and the age-old lessons of brand compliance and coherence are tactics long forgotten.
The practice of ‘branding’ is undergoing massive transformation online; businesses are recognising the necessity to forgo coached graphics and (exhaustingly) repetitive messages in order to forge ahead. Just as Facebook is now synonymous with a blue ‘F’, fake social media hacks (looking at you MTV) are becoming standard tactics used to capitalise on demographic-specific interests and hone brand voice.
But how do you ensure your brand’s online voice has solidarity while also making the most of this new technologically fluid market?
Give voice to your brand. A successful online identity is powered by the cultivation of a two-way conversation. A brand can no longer heavily rely on visuals to wholly represent the values of their business. A New Multi-Screen World study found a whopping 90 per cent of media consumption occurs in front of a screen. So speaking in relatable terms and from a place of common experience to your consumer rather than at them is crucial.
2. Be flexible
Different marketing channels warrant different approaches. Just as dense graphics are not easily accommodated in a side tab, your brand’s online identity must be tweaked to match your online demographics. Oreo’s Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest channels very timely dropped the blue, black and white colour scheme in order to cater to newsworthy events – opting for a red centre to commemorate the Mars rover landing. An online favourite, Oreo’s creative departments were churning furiously during the Super Bowl, delivering the real-time “you can still dunk in the dark” after power in the stadium went out.
Digital brand success arrives with the ability to walk the line between respecting the core values of the brand while not limiting it to a set colour scheme, logo or even theme. Variance in the real-time world of social media thrives.
3. Flirt (just a little)
Fortune favours the bold. While having on-point text and graphics are crucial, don’t be afraid to embrace different media platforms. Accompanying games, apps or videos draw readers in. Tipp-Ex, for example, recently released an interactive video on their YouTube channel fashioned in the style of a ‘choose your own story’ piece.
Humour (done well) often translates to virality. Responding to the demands and interests of your demographic in off-key and unusual ways is telling to the consumer and will foster positive engagement.
Negotiating a brand’s voice, style and key values are still essential for the ongoing success of a business. These parameters, however, are loosening in light of the opportunities provided by the digitisation of media. Why remain stagnant?
By Abbey Ford – Community Manager