A strong digital brand will help you succeed whether you’re leaving a side hustle or starting a new venture.
A digital brand communicates who you are visually and verbally. According to Lucidpress’ “State of Brand Consistency” report, a consistent brand presence across all platforms can increase revenue by up to 23%.
This is especially true nowadays, says Rachel Ritchie, Principal, Creative Services at Portland-based digital marketing and design agency Good & Gold. “If a company wants to grow, scale, and build an audience of loyal customers, their digital brand must be a priority.”
1. Pick a brand voice
Finding the right brand voice and tone depends on your target market and your own personality. Find what feels true to you.
The brand voice should be consistent across all digital and offline channels, including direct mail, print, point of sale, and live events like festivals or trade shows.
A consistent tone will help users trust your brand and understand your core values. Consider how you want to be perceived—honesty, knowledge, reliability, friendliness—all human values.
A brand’s voice can evolve. Test different channels to see what works. Evaluate your audience’s engagement and don’t be afraid to tweak your approach to increase reach.
2. Plan your positioning
Begin by considering your brand’s message. Consider the impact your product or service has on the lives of those who use it. As well, think about your target demographic and what draws them to you. Then you can create a collection of words and images that convey your essence.
Remember that a compelling part of your story may not be what you offer, but where you source materials. Or it could be the customer service experience. In 2021, user experience is the top brand differentiator.
3. Create a classic look
A visitor’s first impression of your digital brand is visual. Color, font, and other design elements should be fresh but not trendy. Create a style guide to give every brand steward clear direction and a shared language to visually express your message. There is no one “right” color or style. Everybody has different opinions on color and typefaces.
Reference what’s out there—like high-contrast colors or color blocking. But avoid trendy typefaces or color schemes so you don’t look like every other site.
Instead, seek a timeless visual aesthetic. Typefaces should be compatible with social media, video, email, and your website.
4. Work with templates
Consider scalability. Consider how your website will work as your business grows and you add more products. You need to spend a lot of time on the layout and structure. If your website is a content hub, make sure readers can easily access archived content as well as new posts. A nonprofit will want to highlight seasonal fundraising campaigns as well as annual campaigns.
5. Choose the right images
While the abundance of online stock art may tempt you to grab something and post it immediately, think before you post.
Prepare a visual style guide for your brand to ensure consistency across all digital channels.
If you sell physical goods, don’t skimp on photography. A brand investment that considers brand guidelines and visual integration across all channels.”
Stock photography can be a great option for other organizations. There’s tons of high-quality stock photography out there—some are free. A company can definitely save money in that area.
6. Create a memorable logo
This is true both online and offline. Look at other brands in the space and talk to people who work on different aspects of your brand to design yours. Seek out their feedback on what they think your target audience will like.
Listen to all stakeholders before you start sketching. You can enter a project believing you know everything and be completely wrong.
As with all design elements, make sure your logo is timeless and built to last across multiple platforms. Logos are versatile and can be reversed. Your logo should be created in multiple formats, such as horizontal and vertical.