Your brand is a distillation of all that your industrial or manufacturing business is, from your product to your values, your goals, and the unique selling proposition you offer your customers. Rather than tactical thinking — constant small steps taken with no clear goal in sight — Cain & Company finds it much more useful to take a strategic approach to branding a manufacturing company to better align short-term effort to long-term goals.
Broadly speaking, brand strategy is an understanding of your core product, your customer base, your tactical and strategic objectives, and your expected ROI. Digital brand strategy is the means by which you'll use different digital media platforms to communicate the essence of your brand, create touchpoints for your customers, and guide their behavior to realize your objectives.
Therefore, even though there are some differences between brand strategy and digital strategy, each relies on the other, and trying to leverage one without, or at the expense of, the other will be like a boat with only one oar in the water. Unless you've got time to waste going in circles, you'll want both!
Let's assume that you've already put forth the effort to build and maintain a strong brand identity. How do you go about translating that to a digital brand strategy?
Strategizing your digital brand and the communications that go with it is the first and most important step to take. Get it right, and your strategy will practically identify itself over the course of your research; take a sloppy approach, and your efforts may well be counterproductive. So, take the time to identify and understand your customers. Once you've done that, identify your objectives for customer behaviors that your digital efforts will seek to move as well as the business outcomes you need to achieve. The aims you've identified, in turn, will point you to the right tools to reach them, as well as the metrics by which you'll measure success.
We talked about touchpoints earlier. More attention tends to be paid to pre-sale touchpoints (your website, your advertising, and other points in your sales funnel). Here, we'd advise that you pay equal attention to the steps that take place further along in the chain, including the user interface (UI) of your checkout process, your onboarding, billing, online knowledge base, and post-sale support. Take care of these elements, simplifying processes and removing friction (like a frustrating UI or wonky navigation) and you're leveraging the chance to turn new customers into loyal customers who will evangelize for your brand and your products. Otherwise, your touchpoints may seem more like putting a hand on a hot stove.
Your brand and values should remain consistent; this reinforces customers' positive impressions of your offering and builds strong trust. However, the ways in which you communicate those values and the essential qualities that make you unique should be elastic; you must be able and willing to change how you communicate to ensure clarity and consistency.
If you think this sounds like a significant investment of time, you're correct. However, we find that anything worth doing is worth doing right. With services ranging from web design to company branding services in Rockford, IL, Cain & Company is here to help you identify and communicate your brand's values and translate them into a branded-content digital strategy that works.