A brand is a promise. You have undoubtedly heard this saying regarding marketing and digital brand building. Every day, digital brands make promises to consumers. What happens when the brand promise and customer experience don’t match up? Failing to live up to expectations can seriously undermine business performance, especially concerning complaint management and customer abandonment. Creating a digital brand is a job that requires time, knowledge, and a domain name on which to build your brand successfully in today’s digital age.
What Is A Digital Brand?
A brand is a promise you make to your customers when they approach you at all different touch points. It should be authentic, relevant, and consistent. Creating a digital brand means designing an experience: logo, product name, communication, a set of emotions, and, last but not least, a memorable domain name. Today’s consumers are digital. They interact with brands on social channels and seek information before a purchase, but most importantly, they visit the website and rely on a business’s digital image, which can sometimes result in a clear, simple, and reliable domain name.
Why Is It Essential To Have A Digital Brand?
To understand the concept of digital brands, think of world-leading companies like Mercedes-Benz, Samsung, D&G, or Adidas. Their brands are well-known, and some even stand as a status symbols. Now think about Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, and Starbuck. They are multi-billion dollar companies that, as we all know, do not exclusively owe their success to the excellent quality of their products. Consumers love their brands and buy an experience!
Creating a solid digital brand will allow you to retain your customers and increase the overall value of your company based on the experience you offer. Building a digital brand delivers many other advantages. It increases the value of your product and service and allows you to set higher prices. Many are willing to spend a little extra when they recognize a brand. Furthermore, consumers usually rely on a well-known name rather than a generic one. They are also ready to welcome new products, as they instantly associate their name, quality, and experience with the brand. But the benefits of a digtial brand go beyond the success of marketing strategies. It can help attract talented employees and create a positive reputation and status in the market.
How Do You Create A Digital Brand? Five Steps To Get Started
You must first understand your promise to the customer in order to create a brand. Ask yourself what you offer and what experience you want people to have. The company’s leaders and employees who deal with customers must support, believe and invest in the brand. Once you understand a brand’s importance and role, ask yourself questions to help you formulate your brand promise and start building it. Here are five steps you should follow to create your unique brand and start benefiting from it.
1. Identify Your Customers
Always address your promise to your target audience when you build your digital brand. You want your brand to be relevant, so you must identify the specific customers to whom you direct your efforts. To reach this understanding, you must segment your audience.
This involves understanding your customers and grouping them according to demographic, geographical, and behavioral characteristics. Your digital brand’s promise will respond to your customer’s needs and features. This will help you reach them and get their attention. Identifying your customers is the starting point for working on other brand elements such as image and communication.
2. Recognize Your Customers’ Values
Your digital brand can only obtain and retain customers if you keep your promise. Your customers expect certain benefits, and there is often a certain level of expectation when customers purchase your brand’s product or service. These can generally be grouped into three categories:
- functional benefits related to the physical performance of a product
- economic benefits of saving money or time
- emotional advantages linked to psychological implications (status, self-esteem, etc.)
The purchase is based not only on one of these advantages but also on a set of factors. Of course, for some, saving money might present a more significant advantage than gaining a certain status.
If you know your audience and understand what’s most important to them, you can leverage their values and needs and base your digtial brand’s promise on their beliefs. Remember, you also have a say. Nothing prevents your brand promise from guiding consumers to the importance of a specific benefit!
3. Analyze The Customer Journey
What do your customers do before making a purchase? Do they read a particular blog? Do they watch YouTube videos? Do they use Pinterest to collect ideas? Analyze and track their journey to better position your brand. If you know their moves, you can better elaborate on your promise.
The first contact with the digital brand should make the customers realize they need or want that particular something you offer. This is where the journey starts. They will probably look for more information about you, your product, or your service.
During this step, you compete with other brands that satisfy the same need. Now it’s up to the customer to make a choice and select a brand. If your digital brand promise wins over the customer, you will be lucky!
But the customer journey is not over yet! The post-purchase phase is more critical in today’s digital world than ever. There are different strategies to follow up on customers who have already bought from you, e.g., offering support with the return, a product change, or turning an unfavorable situation around that could potentially generate discontent and result in negative word of mouth.
If you have a clear customer journey map and can position your promise at the right time, you are on the right track to creating a successful digital brand!
4. Formulate Your Value Proposition
Formulating your value proposition is nothing more than developing your brand promise. It is what you pitch to your customers to encourage them to do something, such as buy a product, pay a specific price, subscribe to the newsletter, visit your website or think about your brand from a different perspective. What is that extra thing you offer that makes you stand out from the crowd?
Your value proposition may be very closely aligned to your marketing strategy, but in digital brand building, it will be closely linked to your promise. The perfect value proposition will go straight to the customers’ decision-making drivers.
5. The Perfect Domain Name For Your Digital Brand
Any marketing strategy today can only start with the online beating heart of the digital brand: the domain name. Choosing the right domain is part of brand building. Generally, it requires many meetings, studies, and careful market analysis.
It is preferable to choose a domain name that recalls the brand name. This way, the users immediately associate the website with the brand. This, however, while a good solution, is not a must. Indeed, you can be more creative and opt for a domain name containing a message, communicating information, or conveying emotions capable of easily reaching your target audience’s attention.
Similarly, choosing the best extension for your digital brand is important. In addition to the classic extensions such as the saturated .com, .net, and ccTLDs, the new gTLDs offer attractive branding opportunities.
Extensions like .cfd and .sbs allow you to create branded names targeted to your industry or niche. Other TLDs like .icu and .cyou are perfect for building a memorable and unique online presence for true digital natives.
Also, it might be worth investing in a premium domain name, as many famous brands have done, in order to open up various marketing strategies for positioning products and services.
The choice of the domain name is up to you, but do remember: it will be the starting point of your marketing strategies and the heart of your digital brand.
Building A Digital Brand Is A Long-Term Strategy
Building a brand is a long-term activity. Many aspects will arise over time, or you might have to change them due to shifts in consumer interest and the economic framework. You are likely to change your corporate design, logo, or brand promise at some point. But your domain name will remain a solid foundation from which your digital marketing and brand positioning strategies can flow.
Is it time to build and launch your digital brand? Choosing a domain name is your project’s first and most crucial cornerstone. At InterNetX, we are happy to offer you .bond, .icu, .cyou, .cfd and .sbs to take your brand to the next level!
Simone Catania is a Global Content & Communications Manager At InterNetX.