Building Strong Brands in the Digital Environment

As we saw in the Management Tips issue on “Branding: Managing your Brand,” it is important for companies to manage their brand with customer brand experiences that will build a favorable perception of the company, its products and its services. Branding generates reputation and recognition and, consequently, improves business results and even optimizes investments in advertising.

Digital media tools like social networks, blogs, and websites, have become fundamental for building or strengthening a brand, and developing appropriate strategies for them is essential. A digital channel engages the public, enables rich and deep content, sets specific targets, and builds trust.

Digital branding is nothing more than the use of digital channels to influence the buying decision. Think of it as brand-centered community development.

Digital branding involves thinking about a brand’s position and circulation within a world where the key idea is connectivity. In a digital world, “speech” increasingly gives way to “interaction.” The amount of interaction may be greater, considering that we inhabit environments where people have more opportunity for expression and use that opportunity more intensively.

The elements of Digital Branding, illustrated in Figure 1, are credibility, identity and visibility.

Credibility is characterized by the information shared via channels where the brand has a presence and what others share about the brand. It determines your reputation and establishes the level of trust the public will have in you. It may take years for a particular brand to build its online credibility; on the other hand, it can be compromised in an instant. Transparency and authenticity are key.

Digital brand identity conveys your personality. The goal is to tell your story and engage people in an authentic way.

Finally, visibility is determined by, firstly, whether an identity represents what the brand really is, and, secondly, the public’s means of finding it — the digital channels it is present in, which must be aligned with the brand’s value proposition and personality. Visibility is related to all points of contact the public has with the brand, such as ads, websites, search results, emails, social media profiles and more.

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