Image Source: dezzainThe concept of branding has been around as early as 2,700 B.C when the ancient Egyptians engaged in livestock branding to differentiate one person’s cattle from another. The term itself is derived from the Old Norse word brandr which refers to the practice of using branded irons to burn a mark into the hides of livestock. Over the years branding has been extended to mean a strategic personality for a product or company & can be said as a process which can be used to create a strong, positive perception of a company, its products or services in the customer’s mind by combining elements like logo, design, mission slogan & a constant theme throughout all marketing communications. Watermarks emerged during the medieval period which was a way for printing houses & other guilds to distinguish their products. The industrial revolution resulted in rise of mass production & shipment of trade goods and producers began burning their company’s mark into crates & cases of goods to differentiate themselves from the competition. Radio & television started giving companies new ways to generate demand for their products & by the 1960s advertisers were using mass media to associate brands with emotional benefits. Today, with the rise of internet & social media, branding has evolved to its next stage. But unlike the past, internet has enabled customers to not just consume with the advertisements but also to participate with the companies. This is why digital branding is more important than ever before for both B2C & B2B marketing. Digital branding is what’s enabling corporates to stand out in the mind of the audience especially since they are bombarded with marketing messages all over the internet. Digital branding is today’s key to unlock customer happiness which is why it should be different than traditional ideas of branding. A brand can’t just tell what it represents without living up to its assertions. Digital branding enables the brand to communicate its value to the customers. Content marketing & social media are the two powerful mediums that build up digital branding for brands today.
Content marketingStory telling has always been a part of marketing. In today’s world stories are told through internet. Creation & sharing of online content which includes blogs, videos & posts to stimulate interest in the mind of the audience instead of directly promoting the brand is the base for content marketing. In essence your story is your identity. Providing relevant content suited for the various stages of buyers’ journey that convey how important your product /solution as a solution is damn important in digital branding.
Social mediaSocial media is today’s coffee shop where you sit around & gossip. Social media’s influence is growing like wildfire which has resulted in the concept of ‘Social B2B buyer’. Social media is hugely influencing buyers in the B2B industry. Channels like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram etc. are being widely used in the promotion for marketing in the B2B industry. Corporates can start by social listening to help inform digital identity. Do not change your identity on basis of what audience wants instead change the way you speak to audience & your identity will be shaped accordingly. Once identity is established then visibility in digital branding can be extended with digital ads, SEO, proper & attractive website maintenance, online analytics etc.
Breaking down the benefits
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- Interactivity with customers
- Multichannel branding
- Going viral
- Being progressive
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Today’s customers are internet savvy & use online platforms which includes social media, online search, mobile apps etc. to ease their purchase decisions. Digital branding enables your voice to reach to customers who discover, relate & interact with business online along with increasing your brand visibility, credibility along with business identity. Establishing a strong digital branding will also help a lot in customer acquisition, lead generation, content consumption & brand awareness.
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