Digital Identity: 4 Reasons Why Building Your Online Brand is Crucial

Paige Gerber

As a marketer, I have always believed that if you build a strong, unforgettable brand they will come, and by they I mean customers, and if you’ve truly done it right, brand advocates.

As far as I am concerned, as a business your brand is your lifeline. Fall short there and it will be difficult for your business to recover. It’s no longer enough to have a sleek website and consistent brand aesthetic. Branding is now a combination of aesthetic and engagement; providing a consistent user experience from start to finish. Building relationships with consumers has never been more challenging. With so much competition for their attention, taking the time to build your online brand is not only worthwhile, but it will also help your business to stand the test of time.

First things first, your website is your brand, so without going too in-depth on this, it is vital that it represent your brand from design, to content, to tone. When landing on your website it should be intuitive to a user the type of product/service they will be receiving, and whether or not it is right for them. A website that has a strong brand presence online will always have an edge against its competitors because it does all of the talking (and selling) for a business all on its own. Without this core component of your brand online, the four reasons I am about to discuss below on why you should focus on building your brand won’t matter.

trusted brand

Credibility and Expertise

First and foremost, having a strong brand instills credibility and expertise. Typically, businesses that truly understand their brand provide a flawless user experience. Consistency is key when it comes to branding; people love what they know, so providing a consistent experience across all platforms online will keep users coming back for more.

I always like to think about it this way, if you were to walk into a store that isn’t aesthetically pleasing, it’s disorganized, and the customer service is terrible, are you likely to go back to the store? Are you likely to associate that brand with a negative experience? Of course! The same goes for your brand online, but in my opinion it can be even more damaging with social media and review sites in place to share your experiences. Unfortunately, those experiences are also difficult to erase when they are written for all to see, so taking the time to solidify your brand and protecting it with everything you have is vital.

customer experience

Customer Experience

Touching on it above, having a strong brand is guaranteed to increase customer satisfaction. Prospects and customers know exactly what you deliver. It’s easy to begin dialogue with new prospects because they quickly understand what you stand for. With that being said, it is important to continually strive to improve customer engagement strategies as it goes hand in hand with building brand loyalty. Going beyond the goal of generating repeat sales, brand loyalty generates a strong brand image, making your business all the more attractive to new customers. In fact! Customer loyalty can be worth 10 times as much as a single purchase.

In today’s digital landscape, marketers have access to very powerful data that if used strategically can improve customer experience through loyalty programs and personalized content. Whether it is a consumer’s first visit to your website, a customer seeking support, or an advocate singing your praise on social media, as a marketer you can make a huge impact on a customer’s experience by recognizing how your ideal customer travels through the buyer’s journey in regards to your product/service and focusing on how to maximize the opportunity each time.

spark marketing

Online Visibility

Having a strong, consistent brand online directly affects your visibility. The ultimate visibility machine, Google, has made moves to increase the weight placed on brand signals in its organic search algorithms. According to CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt, “Brands are the solution, not the problem…brands are how you sort out the cesspool.”

Below are just a few of the important ways maintaining a consistent brand can ensure your visibility online:

  1. Google provides extended search results for brands. This means that brands take up a much larger part of the search results page
  2. Google’s recommended search often moves brands to the front of the line
  3. Brands get larger Adwords listings, including additional options, allowing brands to dominate the search engine with paid ads
  4. Brands get additional navigation options above organic search results

As you can see, brands seem to be the exception to many rules when it comes to online visibility within the search engines, which is why solidifying your brand is more important than ever!

power of association

Power of Association

Last, but not least, my favourite reason, power of association. Being a major fan of social media myself, purely due to my fascination with its amazing ability to connect people and make anyone and everyone accessible worldwide, the power of association has become a reality for anyone online when done in a smart and strategic way.

Steve Jobs once said, “Creativity is just connecting things”. Guess what, it really is as simple as that, especially online. With your messaging and your brand’s personality solidified, it only takes the few clicks of a mouse to connect with anyone you want to online. I don’t think you understand how powerful this is. You can truly put the power of association to work for you.”

As a business, the ultimate goal is to build yourself into a recognizable and sought after brand online with a very distinct personality. Setting yourself apart and being very clear as to what you stand for will in itself draw customers, bloggers, thought leaders, and even celebrities who can relate and identify with what you as a brand are all about. With that being said, very few people rarely utilize the power of association to its fullest potential.

A brand’s online reputation is everything in the digital era, making who you associate with too risky to be left to chance.  Without the continual nurturing of your brand, the power of association will primarily be driven by convenience of others and yourself, rather than a strategic play on who you choose to associate with in relation to your brand’s personality and values. As a brand, you must understand that you are in control of your destiny when it comes to the power of association; who you associate with online as in life, is just as important to your brand as what it stands for.

Keeping these four reasons in mind, if you make it your mission to continually nurture your brand and ensure it is always consistent no matter what platform or channel it is being represented on, then in time you too could achieve the ultimate business goal of brand equity. Customers purchasing your products/services due to your brand name alone; now isn’t that just music to your ears.

Do you have any questions and/or comments on solidifying your brand online? Reach out below or contact us, and Spark will gladly review whether your target audience is hearing your message clearly.

Paige Gerber

As VP of Marketing, Paige is responsible for taking online marketing campaigns for clients from ideation to execution. It is also important to note, that a really good glass of red wine makes her extremely happy!

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