Branding strategies that are found, consumed and spread online will win. That means a brand’s relevance has become more important than its differentiation.
What is brand relevance?
“[Brand relevance is] the alignment of a brand’s strategy and identity to provide a clearly stated benefit that addresses a need, want or desire of a given consumer or consumer segment.” —Blackcoffee
The difference between traditional and digital branding
Traditional branding comes down to the four metrics measured in Young & Rubicam’s popular tool, the Brand AssetTM Valuator. This tool provides information on relevance, differentiation, knowledge and esteem. The best brands should maintain a higher level of differentiation than relevance.
Y&R says that when a brand becomes more relevant than it is different, it becomes a commodity. And, outside of the digital world, the theory holds true. Think about what runs through your mind when you’re in a store and pick a product off the shelf. The problem is, people just don’t do those things as often anymore. They shop online. Or, at the very least, do their research online. Your digital brand is the first touchpoint.
Digital branding is all about being found, consumed and spread. That means relevance wins out over differentiation for two reasons:
1. First, Google will win. This isn’t news to anyone. Google owns 86.3% of the market in the United States, and 88.8% globally (Karma Snack). What they say goes, and its high time brand and marketing managers get on board. Many of your current customers and the majority of your prospects start with a Google search. Google cares that it provides a great user experience and relevant content.
2. Second, your audience doesn’t search for different. When your audience searches for products and services they need and want, what makes you different is NOT what they type in the search box.
Branding strategies that work
So what can you do? Here are six digital branding strategies that will help you earn brand loyalty online:
- Understand what you want to say
- Understand what your audience wants to hear
- Find the sweet spot
- Button up your brand experience
- Don’t ignore customer life cycle
- Adjust along the way
Download the Ultimate Guide to Brand Relevance to learn more about these six digital branding strategies. Included in the e-book are tools that will help you evaluate your current digital branding, including a branding checklist and problem-set worksheet.