When small businesses and websites think of branding, they often refer to visual cues, such as logo development, typography and font, colour, and photography and graphic selections. In the digital marketing and website development space, many may think branding to include additional aspects of design such as header styles and the way elements on the page interact. The more that tech has developed though, the more we realize how branding goes beyond the visual.
For websites heading into the next decade, branding is also going to lean on aspects of accessibility, responsiveness, and visually invisible voice-enabled interfaces. As screens have already begun to disappear, consumers are gravitating towards voice-enabled interactions. This has challenged brands, particularly those in small business, to go beyond a graphic design.
To begin with, as it pertains to voice, branding choices exist in selecting the right tone of voice, speech cadence, and more. In the same way that brands today choose between logo styles and graphic colors, similar decisions will have to be made pertaining to voice. More importantly, the decisions made on voice will be required to line up and complement those made on visual channels.
In a sense, the personality of a brand is also going to count for a lot more in the years ahead. Think of how so many corporations are using chatbots and similar text-based AIs. The words chosen and the personalities provided have an influence over brand perception. Everything from the sense of humour, language, and emojis used are going to play a role in establishing a ‘brand personality’, which is something that every business should be thinking about.
The third point that warrants mentioning beyond voice-enabled interfaces and personality is socio-political action. The causes that brands choose to champion are going to reflect in the customers that it attracts. For example, when a brand chooses to accommodate certain demographics by waiving service fees in support of a socio-political cause, it reflects well on that brand. When a brand participates in initiatives to raise money for mental health, or when it takes on charity work in the community, these are actions that stir awareness and promote in addition to making a real difference in the lives of those around you.
The future of successful branding in business goes beyond the limitations of visual websites. The marketing ecosystem has expanded in so many different ways that those who are successful will be the brands who seamlessly integrate the efforts of each marketing channel.
The key to branding in the twenty-first century is in knowing that every interaction a customer has with your brand forms a perception on your company. Whether it’s clicking on a search result to visit your website, downloading an app, seeing a YouTube commercial, or speaking with a customer service representative, these are all opportunities to brand. Today’s websites and online marketing campaigns have to be built in coordination with PR, customer service, and research and development teams. The connections between these efforts are what will invite consumers to your brand and establish a perception of it – be it positive or negative.
For more information on how to brand and market to peers, contact Unlimited Exposure. As experts in maximizing revenue opportunities across multiple marketing channels, we can help coordinate efforts and assist in successfully re-designing your brand to improve consumer ratings.