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Common Digital Branding Mistakes

No Brand Consistency

A strong brand is a company asset worth millions of dollars. It forms an associative array for the consumer with products and services and clearly positions the business in the market.

Lack of consistency (or as it is also called by the buzzword consistency) is one of the most popular mistakes that companies make when building a presence in the Internet space.

Why is this happening?

There are a lot of digital communication channels and their number is growing every year. Companies strive to be present everywhere and produce resources and bones for the maintenance of the team, and in the end only increase their costs.

What mistakes are made by brands online?

Visual imbalance. You can often see companies with a wide geography of presence in B2B channels. Each company within the group seeks to stand out. Against the background of others in the group. As a result, each "daughter" has its own website with its own visual, and the group does not have a target platform for managing web projects. Social media uses different photo/style elements up to the difference in corporate colors.

Content imbalance. In B2C companies and startups, there is a lack of consistency in content strategy. For example, you have an email newsletter about certain products, but this story is not supported on social networks. The reasons may be different, but usually everything is simple: there is no common content control center. Blogging, email newsletters and social media posts are made by different people who do not communicate with each other.

Audience difference. Another popular mistake that mostly young companies make is trying to hit different audiences and test visual formats, adjusting to the characteristics of a particular marketing channel. These experiments end with one simple question: “What are we even talking about?” After that, the search for an experienced strategist or consultant begins for the task of streamlining communications in different channels and building a single line of positioning.

The lack of a system in visual and textual communications raises questions from the audience, including in terms of the company's USP (unique selling proposition).

Brand on the web. Where to begin?

You will need to look at the big picture. In order to create it, you need to make a communication channel map (CJM) and prescribe the features of each of the channels. You can use Excel.

The main channels for business presence on the Internet:

  • Website
  • Social network
  • Email
  • Internet media (PR channels)
  • SEO
  • SERM
  • Photo stocks
  • Contextual advertising
  • Influencers
  • Advertising on streaming services and YouTube
  • Etc.

If the company is large, then there can be, for example, 25 sites, and about 100 social networks. It is really important to write down all the channels on the map. For each channel, the target audience (main, potential, lost) should be indicated.

Paint each channel in terms of visual, tone and key messages that are broadcast through it. This is point A - your current state of affairs. In terms of time, such an analysis may take you a week, or it may even take a month. Don't be afraid of deadlines.

Next, you need to set point B - the state in which you want to come. Usually, for this, marketers conduct audience research using the CustDev or Jobs To Be Done methodologies. They allow you to dig up the pains, fears, and contexts in which people begin to interact with your business and the key challenges that your users solve for your products. The fears and big goals of the audience are the basis for visual communications with customers. Objectives are key messages that are embedded in verbal communications about a product.

In parallel, there is an analysis of competitors. This is done by PR specialists together with marketers. Monitoring of competitors in general should take place constantly. Here it is impossible not to recall the famous phrase of the founder of Apple, Steve Jobs, when he quoted Pablo Picasso that "good artists copy, great artists steal."

And of course, you should pay attention to industry trends that help in building a general line. Now, for example, among the trends are transparency of communications, digitalization, care for the environment and mass tolerance.

Strong brands, like Sberbank, have already implemented them in their visual communications, which is manifested, for example, in the use of gradients in the design of logos, social media palettes, and websites.