How to prepare your brand for a digital future
The impact of Covid-19 has driven the world online. Families are shopping online, children are studying online and companies are doing business online. By May 2020, 32% of UK retail sales were online, up from 18% in February. As restrictions ease, this will change. But the society that emerges from lockdown will be more digital than the one that entered it. So it’s important that you understand how to prepare your brand for a digital future.
The impact for businesses is that your digital presence will be increasingly important. The image you present online will have a greater impact on how customers, suppliers and staff think about your business. This change in emphasis will effect companies of every size and in every sector. Whether you are a law firm providing legal services, a manufacture making vehicle parts, a tech startup creating software, or an ecommerce business that already sells online, this shift in behaviour will influence how you do business.
The needs and expectations of your customers have changed. The scale of your success in the digital future will be determined by the quality of your digital brand experience.
Your digital brand experience
The digital brand experience of your customers is formed by interaction they have with your business online. This could include accessing online services, visiting your website, reading social media posts, listening to podcasts, receiving emails, watching a webinar or looking at digital advertising. The quality, quantity, relevance and consistency of this material will determine the digital brand experience of your customers.
So as you consider how to prepare your brand for a digital future, you need to start with your brand strategy. Your brand strategy is a plan for how you can use your brand in the most efficient and effective way. To make it easier to develop your brand strategy, it’s useful to break it down into three separate dimensions:
The business dimension
This involves looking at the products or services you sell and asking “What?”. What are your business goals? What opportunities are there to use digital solutions to help achieve those goals? Understanding the role of digital solutions in your success is crucial. There are three potential roles:
– Delivering your services or products
– To compliment the delivery of your services or products
– Promoting and marketing your services or products
When you have consider the potential that digital technology offers, you can identify the best way to exploit it. Understanding how a digital solution will impact your customer’s brand experience is really important. Your customers might prefer to see you face-to-face, rather than on a screen.
When you know what you want to achieve, through your digital activity, you can set targets. What these targets are will vary, depending on how you are using digital solutions. But establishing clear targets for your digital activity will help you to make the best use of your resources.
The internal dimension
This involves defining the personality of your organisation, and understanding how that can influence what people think about your business. To do that you need to ask two questions: “Why?” and “How?”.
By asking “Why are we in business?” – and finding the answer – you can establish your “purpose”. Your “purpose” is simply a statement that describes why you do business. To support this you need to ask ”How do we do business?”. The answer to this question will help you to establish your “values”. Your “values” are a set of guiding principles that influence how you do business. These two elements – your purpose and your values – will determine how you behave. As a result, they will form the foundation of your customers’ experience of your brand.
Understanding how to translate these, through your digital activity, will be fundamental to the quality of your digital brand experience. The quality of this experience will build trust with your customers. As more aspects of your business move online, there is a risk that technology will create a barrier between you and your clients, damaging the relationship. But understanding how to build trust, through your digital activity, will remove that barrier. It will create opportunities to build a better brand experience, and strengthen customer relationships.
The external dimension
This involves looking at two factors outside your business, that will influence your digital future. To do that you need to ask “Who?”. Who are your customer? And who are you competitors?
In this period of uncertainty, it’s important to look at who your customers are. Because they may have changed. Their needs and expectations may be different, as they adapt to new ways of living and working. So it’s important to consider the role of your products and services, in your customers’ digital future. There may well be new opportunities to embrace. But it’s also important to consider whether a digital is relevant or appropriate. Just because you can deliver a service online, doesn’t mean you should. Think about what’s best for your customers’ experience.
The digital future also opens new doors. It can create the opportunity to reach new customers. Taking your business online gives you the potential to reach new customers. They could be in new sectors, or even new countries. So if you want to find new costumers in the digital future, think about where you might find them.
But it’s important to remember that you are not the only business looking for new opportunities. The digital future will also bring new competitors. So you should take some time to consider who your competitors are, both new and old. When you know who they are, you can consider what you need to do stand out. You can identify how to make the best use of the digital options available, and present options that are relevant to your customers.
The next step
It’s impossible to predict the future. But we can be sure it will be different – and more digital. This shift in the way we live and work will bring challenges, but also opportunities. Businesses will need to consider how they can influence what people think about them, in this new digital landscape. So now is a good time to consider how to prepare your brand for a digital future.
Get in touch
If you would like to have a chat about the best time to review your brand, drop us an email. It would be great to hear from you!
Our services: How can we help you?
A clear brand strategy will create a competitive advantage for your business, and make it easier to win new customers. This is because it brings focus to your business, so you can identify what’s most important and make the best use of your resources.
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Your brand identity will help you to raise your profile and stand out from your rivals in a competitive environment. We’ll work with you to create a strong brand identity that is distinctive and memorable, so you can make an impact, in print and on screen.
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Strong brand management will drive your business success more efficiently and effectively. It is the process of building a relationship with your customers, by managing the quality of their experience, through every interaction.
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