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  • Writer's picturePooja Iyer Mukherjee

Digital Branding and Brand Perception

Updated: Feb 27

Branding is a niche marketing activity that is continuous with the journey or a product/service in any organisation. Through branding, an organisation aims to create a look and feel or a visual identity of a brand, a way in which the product can move through all the clutter and find its way to its consumer.

Branding is not a destination, it is a journey, an arduous yet rewarding path taken by a product, from when it adapts to a certain color, a certain font, maybe gets an image on the side along with a catchy slogan, recognizes the target audience it caters to and tries to get into their exact mould.

To do so the product needs a package and the package needs to ladder up and update itself along with the times.

What is then this concept of Digital Branding?

Is digital branding a new type or just branding using the digital medium as touch points with the audience? I would say the latter.

The process of digital channels and assets integrating seamlessly with an organisation's multichannel brand engagement programs, initiatives and goals ---is effective digital branding or branding using digital media.

Digital Era and Brand Perception

Global and immensely popular brands like Google, Facebook, LinkedIn , Youtube are born after the birth of the internet and they have designed their entire brand image in the lap of the internet period.

Brands like the BMW, Coca-Cola, Starbucks and many such global giants have been around decades before the advent of the digital. It is more interesting to study their journey with adaptation and fitting in and doing so with aplomb.

What has the digital era done to brand perception?

Companies and their brands were distant realities, where a consumer couldn't really touch a brand or come as close to it as they can today. A company could completely control how and how much, a consumer would see their brand. With the digital age, the curtain between the brands and their audience has fallen off.

A brand is accessible, real and not a mirage today. A consumer can not just watch the brands’ activities, but can also comment or object through many forums which are completely democratic in nature. This is so good and so bad for the brands at the same time. They have to be accountable, interesting and innovative, all at once.

How are they doing it?

Focussing on a brand’s core value and not the product itself and successful co-partnering around the same ideologies, audience or marketing message.

BMW & Louis Vuitton -The Art of Travel

In 2014, an unusual yet immensely successful co-partnership between an automobile giant and a luxury designer brand turned out to be a thumbs up when these two brands from such different sectors, yet having the same core value or foundation - they both value luxury and cater to consumers who value posh and exclusive products; came together to create a super successful branding campaign together .

A BMW i8 with a set of four luxury suitcases and bags by Louis Vuitton that fitted perfectly in the car.

Not only was the luggage a perfect size fit, it was an exact luxury fit, both the car and the bags spelt exclusivity and glamour.

Starbucks and Spotify

- Creating a Musical Ecosystem

The two brands who do totally different things, one produces delicious beverages, and another, music. Why should they come together ?

But if you forget the brands and think of 2 words “coffee” and “music” now that's a yummy combination .

Starbucks and Spotify formed an unique and exciting co-branding partnership to create a one of a kind musical ecosystem, where artists were offered greater access to the customers of Starbucks and the brand in return got access to Spotify’s expansive range of music.

The brands here co-partnered by adding value to each other and creating a system where they co-benefitted with each other’s audience without sacrificing their own.

The Brand Building Role of the Digital Media

What does Digital Media do then Boost A Brand ? A digital media can zoom on the benefits and use the power of the social channels to amplify the offerings of a brand .

With people of all ages spending copious amounts of time on social media and the internet, the digital universe is transformative in creating a Brand Building Platform for any company.

The success of any business depends on consumer satisfaction. Digital Branding, provides channels and platforms giving a consumer and a brand numerous touch points of communication. Being able to get direct feedback can be scary but if utilised deftly can truly be phenomenal in the growth of any brand.

The Lofty Wave

For any brand starting off in the market, ‘digital first’ has become quite the norm in creating an identity and a good first impression.

Brand perception in the eyes of the people is- Can we find the brand on the social channels? Do they have an eye catching website? A blog maybe or a youtube channel? Can we talk to them via emails or whatsapp?

A brand identity building is largely synonymous today on their digital identity. This is probably the MOST significant change the internet era has brought about ; and brands who can utilise and adapt to this new wave , are doing mighty well.

The Falls

Talking about the digital and its effect on brand perception is incomplete if I don't walk you what can cause epic fails for a brand on a digital forum

The Digital Audience today is aware and vocal. They do not shy away from pointing out your flaws or biases.

Pepsi and Kendall Jenner

A few years ago a pepsi commercial featuring Kendall Jenner , where she was seen offering soda to a policeman in protest, was very ill received. Many perceived the advertisement as extremely insensitive to social and civil rights.

This brings us to the fact that featuring celebrities isn't really the magic pill to please your audience. To bring people to your brand , understanding the context , creating around the context without hurting any race , gender or causing any sort of discrimination or showing any untoward bias, is ABSOLUTELY the magic key to your consumers’ hearts.

Creating quality content around your brand is the best way to boost it.

To sum up, the digital era is overwhelming and overpowering. It isn't sensible for any brand to ignore branding as a process has come to rely largely on the digital platforms and channels and what someone chooses to do with them. The brand today is a real entity that people want to talk to and watch and a brand can go places if they decide to use this change wisely.

#branding #digitalmedia #celebrity

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