I am so lucky to work in the web space.
It is such a fertile space to plant brand seeds.
I wanted to post some thinking about brand building on the web.
1. Web users are an active audience
(not like the passive audience of mass media campaigns)….leverage this!
Engage users through the web providing them with experiences that are fun, relevant, useful and memorable…and of course talk-worthy!
2. Enable engagement
Brand building is best when it is engaging and experiential, providing people with good and memorable experiences which will help position brands close to consumers hearts and minds.
The web is a great place to achieve this.
Provide your users with relevant content connected to your brand area, sponsor a platform for passionate users and brand advocates to engage with topics of interest.
Be authentic – host the party by providing a platform for people to interact with each other and the brand but don’t turn it into a sales pitch. Relevant and UNBIASED content is key.
Forums and social networking type functionality can be added to your brands site enabling your consumers to converse about their shared interests e.g. I am currently working on a site for a herbs/spice, sauces etc supplier who are setting up a social networking area on their site where consumers can engage with content and rate/review and share recipes. The brand is supplying consumers with a relevant and useful experience.
NB: branded content= branded benefits
Provide content that your brand advocates are interested in.
For example, Blackmores, another client I work with have tools and information related to topics of interest on their site such as womens fertility, and weight loss. This enables them to become an authority in the area of health and well-being in the minds of consumers.
3. Usability and relevance
People coming to a site usually have a goal in mind, and helping them reach that goal is a good brand building exercise rather than bombarding them with unrelated sales babble.
Providing a useful and relevant experience will leave a positive brand print in peoples minds…which may lead to sales. Help them by providing useful tools and content. For example an international e-commerce site could have a currency converter included, Blackmores has an “Ask a Naturopath” service.
3. Campaign integration
The web can also be used to tie other parts of a related campaign together.
It can be the trolley for the matching suitcases and give cohesion to fragments of the marketing mix.
4. Easy and cost effective vehicle for promotional competitions
5. Easy and cost effective device to gain customer insights
A database of email addresses can turn to gold. (providing you have permissions)
Engage your customers in market research to help refine your existing and define your new products.
Engage them as “prosumers” through the execution of social media campaigns - people want to be heard and involved in the co-creation of their brands.
Find out what your consumers think and care about without investment in expensive research campaigns through creating a forum for discussions and conversation.
6. Segment your customers
Speak to the right customers in the right tone and give customers content suited to their needs/interests/demographics. This is a very powerful method.
Give your customers content that they care about, and additionally give your brand identity flexibility.
Blackmores use four target audiences and after log in, these segments are displayed content that fits their distinct needs. The content is subsequently useful and (that word again) relevant!
In summary -
The web is about experience and the key is to link the experience with your brand
Happy digital branding!
NOTE If you found this interesting you may also like this post called The Digital Rules of Engagement