In the Digital Age, the tools to build brand awareness, either for your personal or business brand, are readily available; from websites, blogs and forums to social media and mobile apps. How you present your brand and how you interact with your audience across these platforms is what makes users either feel good about engaging with you or look for other brands that they can fall in love with.
Awareness is great, but without a well planned, enticing, unique and consistent brand experience across platforms and mediums, engaging your audience and ultimately making them love you will be a rather futile exercise. The fact of the matter is, consumer touch points must be used more effectively than ever with time pressed consumers bombarded with brand messages on a daily basis.
Multi Channel Brand Identity
As a brand you need to have a clear and consistent brand identity that conveys who your brand is, what you stand for and how you add value to your adoring fans and community. This identity must carry through from your digital properties all the way to your real world storefront. An inconsistent identity and tone will confuse your audience, and they will turn their backs on you instead of becoming your brand groupies.
For example, your brand identity and message on your website and social platforms could convey a message of warm and personable employees that will go the extra mile to please their customer. You may also have glowing user reviews and always personally interact with users on social media. If, however, I’m greeted by inattentive and obnoxious staff when stepping through the door of your store, the inconsistency in brand identity will leave the consumer and I feeling cheated by the entire brand experience.
What Does the Consumer Want in an Effective Brand Experience?
The consumer is increasingly web savvy and becoming more and more used to seamless, elegant and easy to use brand experiences both digitally and in the real world. This is what they have come to expect, and this is what you need to deliver in order to make an impact.
Visually Appealing – Unique and enticing visuals don’t only attract and evoke emotion instantly, but also convey authority and credibility. Up-to-date design implies an easy and effective user journey, and with mobile user numbers soaring, mobile websites and responsive design is a must.
Simplicity – Consumers want intuitive and seamless functionality when interacting with their favourite brands and want to be able to switch between the brand’s online properties easily.
Social Engagement & Personalisation – Consumers want to be able to start a conversation with their favourite brands, not merely be advertised to. They expect personalised interaction with real people that exude the brand voice they have come to love.
Listen – Engagement marketing allows you to actively listen to what your fans or would-be fans are saying and suggesting. Ask the right questions and act on the data to give your audience more of what they want.
Perceived Quality/Value of Being a Follower of the Brand – What are you giving your audience that makes them feel valued and special? Behind the scenes detail reserved just for your groupies, or special offers? Are you giving them information and resources that make them say “I love this, and I’m sharing it with everyone I know”? You should be.
Mobile & Accessibility – Your audience wants to be able to follow you wherever they are, so don’t limit them. Give your users the option to switch between viewing your website on their desktop PC or mobile device, build an app and clearly direct users to your social communities online.
Truly Integrated Brand Experience Includes the Real World – All this value and integration across your digital brand properties means nothing if it doesn’t stay consistent when your ‘underwear-throwing’ fans meet you in real life.
Go and define who you are as a brand and find your voice. Make it all look and work great online and off, then have a conversation with your target audience on the platforms of their choice – all while creating and sharing something they need, want and value.