Traditional Marketing its slowly approaching its demise and replacing it is Digital Marketing. This shift in technology has inspired radical change in business culture, consumer behavior and overall economics throughout the world.
The medium may have changed and there are new perspectives to branding and advertising but the marketing rules still stand strong. You are still selling a product to an audience.
Unfortunately, the hype around Digital Marketing is starting to undermine the pre-established rules and laws of advertising. Is this wise, or a mistake which may cost young e-commerce sites and social media brands?
Ever evolving norms, values and trends impact advertising strategies throughout the world. The last decade, though, changes have been exponential! The internet’s continuous growth developed an entirely new way to communicate and broadcast media messages. Social media sites, e-shopping and internet communities were fresh and started a new era of global communication. Advertisers and marketers were quick to notice this shift and notice was, eventually, given to the swelling online community.
These users are a market segment and potential customers mean more ways to generate revenue. Generating revenue is all that it’s about at the end of the day. This attractive new market did not only force established brands to create and maintain a digital presence but also attracted up and coming entrepreneurs and start up’s to join the online business industry.
The problem is, not everyone has a significant understanding of how digital marketing works. This often leads to brands being ignorant to basic marketing rules in favor of flash digital tactics such as content strategy or social media marketing.
One such fundamental perspective of brand communication are the laws of branding, which I believe, are an absolute must for digital marketers to understand and adapt:
1. Law of Word
Owning a word is a classic method for easy brand recognition and immediate recall. For example: What do you think about when you hear the word “Canon”. You will most likely think about Canon, the camera manufacturing company, that how strong their brand communication is! Digital brands, in an effort to appear trendy and unique, often pick a brand name which gives them all sort of troubles.
Never choose a name that does not roll off the tongue and always avoid disjointed connections. Your brand name should be a word that actually resonates with your persona and product category. When you stand for something other than what you actually are, your brand diffuses into obscurity.
2. Law of Singularity
Create a brand which is unlike any other. Digital media has a habit of following trends and jumping on bandwagons. People have opened businesses simply based on temporary trends and faced severe losses. A classic example is the hoverboard craze a few years ago. With the surge in popularity of these boards, bidding entrepreneurs jumped in and built a similar product, a similar brand and marketed it in a similar manner. This resulted in an unsurprising outcome. The market was polluted, quality decreased and a controversy (exploding hover boards) started. The result? The craze died as quickly as it had started and eventually all those new board brands vanished.
Products are limited, you simply cannot not have competitors. Whilst the good may remain the same, brands need to build a persona which gives them exclusivity and a unique identity.
3. Law of Quality
Digital Marketing is all about reviews and word of mouth. Rumors and negative comments spread like wild fire and before you know it, your brand is receiving a one-star ranking along with hate mail and a ruined reputation. It is of paramount importance to ensure that your product quality is on point!
From its aesthetics and functionality to reliability and serviceability, a brand is only as good as its quality. However, even quality is not enough, brands are all about the perception of this quality! Two brands can make the same product for the same quality but yet the price will differ significantly. It is all about how you want your audience to perceive your brand. Focus on a market segment.
4. Law of siblings and extensions
It is said that the easiest way to destroy a brand is by putting its name on everything. Whilst this phenomena is yet to be introduced to purely digital brands, it is a very likely possibility in the future.
Too many brands have destroyed themselves in an attempt to branch off and extend into new markets. If done smartly, creating sub-brands and extensions can be highly beneficial by tapping into new audiences and markets, thus increasing your revenue. The problem with line extensions is that if a single product fails, it creates bad rep for everything.
Keep line extensions to a minimal and create separate sibling brands with separate identities under the same parent company. Increase your brand productivity rather than simply extending it.
5. Law of Consistency
In a fast placed digital world, it is hard to keep track of things. This means online brands often attach themselves to a trend and ignore their core brand values in favor of traffic, traffic that may not even be a part of their target audience. You should always be focused to the market segment you cater to and have a consistent and authentic brand identity. Without consistency a brand, rather than being flexible, looks weak and unsure of itself. Consumers should associate your brand with a single persona and never be confused what you are all actually about. Viral trends hold no significance compared to your brand identity.
6. Law of shape and color
One thing that Digital Marketing has nailed and actually outperformed traditional advertising in is the design part of branding. Advancements in IT and graphics have popularized professions such as animators and graphic designers and they are working at a fast pace for e-shopping websites and brands seeking digital marketing. Color schemes and logos, digitally marketed always seem to outshine traditional marketing brands in the design area.
Also read: 17 branding resolutions for 2018
7. Law of borders
Digital marketing has absolutely shattered the law of borders. Brands are no longer national or domestic but rather open to all for exploration and ideally for business as well. The world is going virtual and it’s time for brands to do the same. Don’t design your brand to cater to a single audience limited within a culture or national boundaries, think global! This is also why many brands seek the services of digital agencies in different countries. This allows them to market on a more global level.
Don’t forget the basic rules
Digital marketing is a fairly new concept, with industry giants such as Amazon being the pioneers. New is exciting, and exciting can be dangerous. Startups and brands often fail even after rigorous digital marketing because they tend to forget some basic rules. There is a gap between the understanding of basic marketing and digital marketing. The platform is new but the rules remain the same. No matter what happens, one thing is certain, digital marketing is the future!