Digital Branding in the 21st Century

The MyBrand Generation

The MyBrand Generation

Every aspect of the business affects the perception of the brand. So every interaction and “touchpoint” where that experience is generated, must reflect and reinforce the brand. Protecting and managing the brand has therefore become a fundamental task for any business.

Creating and sustaining a consistent brand experience across multiplying and converging channels challenges the way in which today’s organisations manage their brands. The brand is a relationship between the organisation and users, a promise to be fulfilled and an on-going experience, often co-created by the user. For example, the look and feel of a website and the level of customer service it offers are both perceived as one by online customers.

The digital brand experience encompasses all of the following, from a teaser sent to mobile phone, to the interactive ad on digital TV, to the website used to research and order a product, through to the operating system of the product itself – if it has one. The visual elements of the digital brand guidelines are, of course, essential components to create consistency of brand image, brand personality and overall message. However, in the digital arena the brand needs to include much more than just a name or logo. When presenting a brand digitally, one needs to consider issues as diverse as: tone of voice, editorial content, speed of download, sound, motion, interaction, navigational paradigms and technical robustness.

A successful digital branding implementation aims to deliver an architecture for the digital brand to create a consistent, recognisable experience across:

devices – from mobiles, to desktops and laptops, to PDAs and pocket computers, through to TV and kiosks.
channels – from internet to email to desktop software, to digital TV, through to 3G & WAP mobile technologies.
environments – whether in the home, in the office, in a retail outlet or on the move.

Consistency over time makes for a stronger brand, especially when supported across a number of channels, devices and environments. Digital brand experience consists of all the static elements the user encounters (logos, typography, colour palettes, copy) and some elements experienced over-time (motion graphics, sound mnemonics, navigation, download speeds and online response times) The above the line messages have to be carefully woven into the mix but above all the content and service offering delivered by the digital brand must be useful, usable and desirable. What generally connects with the user is a clever brand which delivers its personality and brand values on whichever platform the user chooses to access.

In the 21st Century, successful brands connect with their audience on an emotional level. As Saatchi and Saatchi have coined the term, brands need to establish themselves as ‘lovemarks’. The future of branding supposedly is not so much about the brand anymore, as about my brand.

© R M Lippiett 2008

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Monday, October 6th, 2008 digital branding, digital marketing, opinions