Brands are valuable assets for every business which develops them. Brands tell stories, build relationships, create emotions and are easily recognizable. This is why they have value, because a good brand name and image is the best sales agent for any product or service in the world.
Think about iconic brands such as Disney, Ford, or Apple. Whenever people see a product belonging to one of these brands, they instantly associate it with reliability, high quality and value for their money. They do not question the likelihood of being disappointed by such a product – it’s a Ford car, so it’s a safe and reliable car.
Some brands are now being developed and gain value on a daily basis exclusively in the online environment, such as Google. An online brand is not necessarily tied only to digital properties. Large multinational corporations have wisely built their brand identities both in the offline and the online environments, and each of them is equally valuable.
That being said, how do you know how valuable your online brand is? If you want to be able to answer this question, you need to consider these key aspects:
1. Does Your Brand Speak of Your Values?
What does your brand stand for in the offline world? Do you offer innovation or solid tradition? Do you cater to high profile corporate clients or to the large mass of consumers? Are you focused on creating an exclusive shopping experience or offering great value at a great price?
All these values should be expressed in the way you interact with your potential customers on social media, in the tone of voice used in your blog posts and email newsletters, and in the overall look and functionality of your website and mobile app.
2. Do You Understand the Meaning of Colors?
Colors are the silent messengers of emotions. When people see a certain color combination on a website they build a mental image of the brand based on the emotions created by those colors. For example, blue invokes the ideas of dependability and reliability, while red invokes passion, excitement and hunger. If you are re-branding yourself to include the online side of your business, make sure that the colors you select help your brand grow and don’t hurt its value instead.
3. Is Your Brand Speaking for Itself?
Can people easily understand what your business is about? Or do they have to take their time to discover your mission, values, and unique selling proposition? The best brands in the online world are self-explanatory. You see a logo, a landing page, or a Facebook cover photo, and you can tell what product or services the brand sells, what pricing policy it has and what type of shopping experience they offer.
4. Is Your Font Telling the Same Story as the Text?
Back in the era where everything was offline and text editors offered a few simple fonts, businesses used Arial, Times New Roman, or any other font that looked professional to them. Later on, various corporations started hiring designers to prepare their own branded font, with unique and easily identifiable characteristics.
Today you can either opt for a fully customized font (the best recommendation for branding) or pick one from huge libraries available online. When you have a font designed especially for you, the graphic designer will get familiarized with your business values and policies and create a font which reflects them. The caveat lies in choosing a font from hundreds of options. If the font does not reflect your core values, you have dealt a tremendous blow to an otherwise valuable brand image.
5. Are You Consistent throughout Your Offline and Online Properties?
Consistency builds a strong brand, and spreads its reach in the offline and online environments. When you create a brand style book, it must be implemented everywhere:
- In your website
- In your email newsletters
- In your online ads
- In your mobile apps
- In every kind of digital and printed materials meant to be seen by anyone outside your organization.
Once you have a satisfactory answer to all these five questions, you can safely say that your online brand is valuable and it has the potential to grow even bigger and more prominent. Nurture it, develop it, keep it fresh and updated, and your brand has all the chances to become iconic.