With more consumers (and companies) conducting online research than ever before, it has become essential for companies to recognize the importance of the online channel. The beauty of this is of course directing the target audience and making people fall in love with your brand. But what if you don't know your ideal customer? Or, possibly worse, you have a complete mismatch with your customer and your company as a brand?
It's a shame that too many companies are opting for quick profit and seeing an online advertising campaign that works, but not seeing how much more effective it could be with a well-developed brand. We are not only talking about ROI or ROAS, but also about intangible issues such as brand awareness, affinity and loyalty. Indispensable assets when it comes to the current time of hyper-competitive marketing and advertising. The problem is that strategy and creative are often regarded as two separate rather than complementary disciplines. In addition, design is of course often seen as something superfluous, something that only exists to make something beautiful. Now your company will not fall or stand with an exceptional design, but it will strongly strengthen an already established name and make room for opportunities.
The solution is a challenging but rewarding process that guarantees long-term profit for your company. Something that too many companies consider rudimentary. Build on the basis of your business; it's personality. For example, it takes 5 to 7 brand impressions before someone remembers your brand. But how do you know that the message you send to your target audience is the right one? Or even know that this is the right thing to do? Usually the entrepreneur is not aware, the online marketer thinks so and the designer just wants to make it beautiful. We call this the brand gap, the gap between strategy and design.
The quality of your brand will determine the quality of your customers. The quality of your customers determines the quality of your company.
The marriage between strategy and design.
It all comes down to knowing yourself, your vision and your ideal customer (strategy). Once this is clear, we can work on an emotional bond between your company and your customer (design). But let's take a few steps back and look at what a brand strategy and a digital strategy actually are.
A brand strategy is a comprehensive plan that focuses on the long-term development of your brand goal, consistency and emotional impact. It not only shows how you distinguish yourself from your competition, but more importantly; the alignment of your brand with your ideal customer.
Based on the brand strategy, it is therefore important that you have an ideal customer and your own unique personality. With the messaging and branding on par. The digital strategy focuses on all components that stimulate business growth in the form of leads and sales, but also strengthen brand recognition and awareness. Which are generated via online channels. This could include;
When the brand strategy and the digital strategy are known, we can start with magic. Creating the ideal digital experience, visual identity or other brand activation. Build something that really resonates with the people who share values with you and your brand. All through a beautifully implemented strategy.
Strategy guides, creative connects.
How do we get there?
- Having clearly defined goals is the basis for a successful business.
We usually sit down with customers and go through a number of these business goals, discover useful steps and organize them based on impact, urgency and practicability.
- If you don't understand the customer, everything else you do to build your brand has no positive impact on business goals.
Every company has an ideal customer, whether you know it or not. In this phase you look at both psychographic and demographic characteristics as well as pain points and possible solutions that the client can help.
- It is the key to know yourself.
Find the most important brand features of your company and dive deep to find clarity. Research into your corporate culture, unique voice, feeling and the impact you bring. In addition to why the company was founded, why you do what you do and what really drives your company; the brand purpose.
- Know your competition.
An important part is knowing and understanding who competitors are in the market and indicating what you do differently and better. Here you can benchmark brands that inspire you. This way you find opportunities and you can do it differently from the competition, conquering a unique place in the market.
- Facts, functions / benefits and messaging.
How can you stand out? You will have to decide for yourself what you do best and how this benefits your customers. From there you can figure out how to communicate these benefits with the segments in your target group. In this it is important to state that most unique selling points are often only gatekeepers, for real distinction will have to be addressed emotionally.
Once the brand strategy is clear and concise, you have a clear vision about where to go. Business goals are clarified and the steps to achieve them are laid down. Now that you know what the brand should look, feel and talk about, the next step is how to activate. Do you need a new website to show off your latest projects? Or a Facebook Advertising campaign for awareness?
This is where the magic happens
A good visual design communicates and makes emotional contact with the people you want to connect with. The logo is not your brand, this is just identification and the tip of the iceberg.
When strategy and design are in harmony, brands have consistent expression and articulation at every point of contact. Campaigns have a greater impact because they connect emotionally and strategically. Identity projects, websites and digital projects connect better rationally and emotionally. When strategy and design are both emotionally linked, great and profitable brands are created.