Why Digital Branding?

 In Digital Branding

In the Internet space, branding means creating a great user experience. Internet branding moves beyond logo, tagline, key messages and graphic identity into the customer’s real-time interaction with the brand, for the entirety of the online experience. This is achieved by a combination of various methods, from having a user-friendly website with relevant content, to sending out marketing e-newsletters, to advertising your website in the right mediums to maximise exposure to your target markets.

Building brand equity via the Internet requires all the positioning skills of an ad agencyand the keen foresight of an information architect or usability guru. Internet brand strategy requires the expertise of a human factors engineer to plan web site construction and management around how and why people use a particular web site in the first place.

Every company seeking to use the Internet to further establish brand equity should focus on offering utility that is not found in the physical world, while guaranteeing key functionality speed, intuitive navigation, ease of use, content quality, personalization, customer service, and security and privacy assurances.

As the Internet is an interactive, user-initiated medium, Internet brand strategists must also be exceptional listeners, especially since digital consumers are no longer passive recipients of marketing messages. Because increased dialogue is the by-product of exceptional web development, Internet brand strategists should be judged on how well they interpret and utilize customer feedback.

As The Cluetrain Manifesto explains, “Markets are conversations. Through the Internet, people are discovering and inventing new ways to share relevant knowledge with blinding speed. As a direct result, markets are getting smarter and getting smarter faster than most companies.”

If great brands speak to the mind, senses, and heart, great Internet brands will hurry up and also speak to our diminishing attention spans. One of the challenges of any Internet business is the exponential growth in the number of web sites competing for the attention of time-starved individuals.

As web viewers are overwhelmed by too much information, increasingly chaotic schedules, and millions of marketing messages, competition for their notice has become a short-attention span theater, where the victors are fast sites with “sticky” content and applications, intuitive navigation, and a user-friendly interface. These sites offer real value to those perpetually short on time.

The great irony of the dot-com advertising explosion is that TV, print, and radio offer phenomenal value in driving web traffic the first time. However, the spike in traffic will be short-lived if content and functionality are not compelling enough to encourage repeat visits, and unless the user experience provides the information the user needs when he needs it. If the user experience fails that simple test, the offending site has probably lost another customer forever.

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