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Building the brand innovations: Digital transformation

Updated: Aug 25, 2023



When we talk about the modern age and relevant marketing, building a brand is very crucial for a business's success. Branding gives businesses an identity beyond products and services alone, establishing a unicorn presence that customers can connect with. It does not matter if you’re a business owner or a designer involved in a branding project for a client; creating a firm, relevant, and recognizable brand is essential for growing your venture and building a loyal, scalable customer base. We witnessed the entire world coming to a pause in light of the severity of the COVID-19 surge, which eventually led to countrywide lockdowns, travel restrictions across the globe, and the shutdown of various ventures in 2020 and the following year. The effect did not cease there but also impacted consumer behavior during "stay at home" alerts, resulting in a major shapeshift in spending habits. Due to increased unemployment, consumers have started prioritising essential and non-essential goods.


The surge of the pandemic pushed many sectors, like the hotel and aviation industry, into survival mode, some of which witnessed a loss of up to 20% of their brand value. Even as economies begin to resume, the reality remains that the pandemic has upset purchaser conduct in, for example, a way that it might never go back to the "ordinary." Consequently, to make up for the loss of conventional preferences, brands, to refurbish as well as flourish in 2022 and the following years, should work on their marketing and strategies to adjust to the "new ordinary."

Let's talk about a few trends that brands are adopting to build their presence and gain a competitive edge in the market. These trends will revamp your brand presence. How? We shall find out eventually.

Before we hop on the trends, we will take our readers on a quick drive through what we mean by branding.

What is branding? On a beginner’s level, branding is the procedure that centers around research, development, creation, and iteration of the perception of your brand to effectively communicate with your target audience about your brand’s vision, mission, personality, and purpose. Encompassing everything from a brand’s visual presence and design to messaging and tone of voice, branding is made up of all the external perceptions, ideologies, and concepts that distinguish a business from its competitors.


Brand activism

Brand activism has always made its place on the top shelves whenever we have talked about building a brand’s presence. By no means, brand marketing is a passing trend or fad. As it is rightly said, "wearing your heart on your sleeve and demonstrating how you’ve committed to the things you believe in" has never been more significant for a brand’s presence. Customers look forward to interacting, connecting, and associating with brands that share their values, focusing on sustainability and social justice. Getting your hands into brand activism is all about communicating your commitment to making positive change.

The brand image of Apple revolves around simplicity, innovation, and modernity. The organisation sets itself apart with a minimalistic yet aesthetic approach, from the chic white stores in the real world to the ultra-sleek Apple website dominating the virtual dynamics.

Not limited to the above, Apple also builds and expands its brand presence through the below-mentioned facets:

  • Consistently innovating and developing new products to make customers' lifestyles more convenient.

  • Worldwide usage of catchy phrases like "Think Different" to highlight its brand’s unicorn presence

  • Integrating with market giants on influential advertising campaigns

  • The futuristic, progressive-thinking, and innovative nature of Apple’s brand is what drives customers to be super excited about the company.

Branding minimalism

Minimalism has taken the world by storm in recent years, with everybody removing non-essentials from their day-to-day lives. It appears that development has sped up even in the corporate industry as many organisations have already started stripping down their mark to the most straightforward structure, thus adopting a minimalistic approach.

For instance, market leaders like Google and Airbnb recently had significant brand makeovers that changed their logos to sans-serif, a renowned typeface for minimalism. Consumers also observed facelifts in top-tier fashion labels such as Balmain, Yves Saint Laurent, and Balenciaga.

Many other brands are making their place on the top shelves of minimalism by choosing fewer colors, utilising the aesthetics of more negative space, and prioritising simpler typography. Truth be told, 93% of top brands use only one or two colours for their logo. Just take a look at companies like Glossier, Muji, or Uniqlo.

If we talk about another purpose for rebranding, we hit the "how to make my brand more iconic?" spot. It is quite obvious that the simpler the font and colour palette, the more convenient it is to play with all sorts of supporting graphics. A very stellar illustration of the same would-be Nike and Levi’s—both brands are easily recognisable irrespective of what background you put their logo on.

Visualizing the brand

Now, what can be a more lasting brand impression than a visual aesthetic? We humans are visual beings. We have an inbuilt mechanism to be better at retaining images than any other sort of content. But let’s take a pause here. If we talk about what our global marketing experts have to say, all types of visual media do not elicit the same response from your target audience.

Why so? Here are some stats to support our argument. A PR News-based survey found that virtual media content with good graphics garners 92% more clout than those without (Solve, 2020). This can be linked to the fact that this type of visual content aims to increase your brand engagement without the risk of overt advertising.

What serves as the cherry on the cake is visual and interactive content such as GIFs, charts, memes, infographics, and videos that allow you to generate new leads more effectively on social media and the rest of the digital space. Such visuals have a higher chance of increasing brand engagement than dull visuals and ads that simply list the products you have to offer. This is significant now that Facebook has changed its algorithm to narrow its focus stream to news feeds on friends and family rather than advertising (Forbes, 2018)., you’ll notice that many B2C marketers (56%) now place emphasis on generating videos and webinars, and these are frequently used in collaboration with social media content to boost their productivity and output.

Brand authenticity

What’s more saddening is that customer trust in brands worldwide has hit an all-time low in the past couple of years. According to the reports, a mere 34% of consumers trusted the brands they bought from (Edelman, 2019). This is where authenticity in branding comes into the picture.

Another follow-up survey on consumer content revealed that 84% of shoppers consider authenticity as a crucial factor in purchasing decisions (Stackla). In addition to that, the same study also concluded that a whopping 89% of millennials believe that authenticity is important in branding, meaning that they prefer "real and organic" brands over those that are "perfect and packaged."

This fraudulent attitude of brands extends further to advertising photoshopped ads featuring unreal standards, heavily edited ads and commercials, and using photogenic models, but on the contrary, these no longer have an allure to modern buyers. Shoppers firmly believe in doing business with companies that are true to them.

McDonald handled the above concern like an absolute pro! To stay loyal and considerate towards its consumer base, it decided to surface a behind-the-scenes video of how they make their food in light of controversies about their food processing to evoke more transparency. The brand further went on and launched the "Our Food, Your Questions" campaign, where they entertain popular queries about their company and advertise the information through websites. The strategy allowed the company to tackle misconceptions about its authenticity and curb negative rumors surrounding its food.


Inclusivity & sustainable branding

Now if we underline the importance of brand inclusivity, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? The majority (77%) of companies, in the year 2018, acknowledged the importance of addressing stigmas (both social and cultural) for their brand marketing. However, a major fraction of these ventures is also surviving just to keep up with the demand (Bynder, 2018). To provide you with a better insight into how to picture your brand’s inclusivity, we have with us here some businesses that excelled in promoting inclusivity, which includes personal care brand Dove and Rihanna-owned cosmetics brand, Fenty Beauty. These brands have made a revolutionary impact in the market by asking real women to step up in their ads rather than hiring picture-perfect models. These two giants in the skincare and cosmetic industry have been launching ad campaigns that aim to break through beauty stereotypes. These brands have been featuring women of any age, ethnicity, shape, size, and gender orientation to empower their customers. Diversity, body positivity, and inclusivity are reshaping customer expectations. A survey by Accenture showed that 70% of millennials will choose inclusive and diverse brands over those that are not (Accenture, 2018).

One of the young and highly recognised activists, Greta Thunberg, is perhaps one of the most ardent environmental defendants today. Research shows that 85% of consumers believe organisations can drive societal change. Thus, consumers are expecting their respective brands to take the lead in highlighting environmental issues by producing more sustainable or environmentally friendly products. Moreover, buyers of this age group are more conscious about what they purchase and stand for. They place more and more emphasis on opting for more sustainable brands whenever they can. As per reports, 23% of shoppers have shown a willingness to spend an extra 1% to 5% on sustainable products (Statista, 2019). A recent collaborative study by IBM and the National Retail Federation concluded that 70% of North American consumers and 7 out of every 10 shoppers worldwide are willing to pay extra for eco-friendly products (IBM, 2020).

It can be seen that many brands are now implementing environmentally friendly operational practices as well as ethical business procedures. This way, they can meet the rising green demands of consumerism and gain the trust and loyalty of their consumer base.

Conclusion

A brand with an authentic image and loyal consumer base has become crucial for any business in today’s cut-throat competitive world. Only the right set of marketing strategies will correspond to your audience’s emotional level. This will ensure that customers will not abandon your organization even if they find another e-commerce store they can relate with.

Building your brand image gives your customers a valid point to truly connect with. This is what keeps people coming back for more, distinguishes your brand from the competition, and turns one-time clientele into evergreen brand advocates. Underestimating the importance of building a brand can prove to be a nightmare for business sales.


Imagine a streamlined way to kickstart business development. With just the right guidance, your business can get ahead of the competition. With Irish Taylor’s Business Development as a Service, you get the exact guidance you need to become more efficient and improve your productivity. Get on the path to success with this comprehensive digital transformation service and make your business stand out from the rest!

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