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December 6th, 2016

Is Your Digital Brand Experience Ready for the New Year?

The turkey is now down to that last spoonful of soup. The dressing is long gone and wreaths are replacing Horns of Plenty for holiday decor. It’s time to take stock and reflect on the accomplishments and challenges of the year. How did you do? And specifically, how has your brand become more relevant this year in an ever-changing digital environment?

A talented young designer recently wrote about “rocket-fast market evolution” and asked whether your visual brand identity was keeping pace. Customers and consumers in nearly all segments and industries are seeing a meteoric transformation of digital brand communication. A man just won an election, 140 characters at a time. So have you done all that’s required to make your brand more relevant in this digitally-focused world? Here are three important factors to help you answer that question.

1.     Know the Why of Your Brand

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, without knowing the why of your brand, it’s very difficult to figure out the how and the what. In this age of digital communication and rapid response, transparency is everything in authentic storytelling. Consumers are more savvy than ever, and customer research on your product or service is almost guaranteed. Make sure what they find describes the compelling truths of your brand—its purpose. Its why.

2.     Don’t Overload the Plate

Remember your plate on Turkey Day? You were halfway down the buffet, already holding a plate rivaling the Matterhorn. Then, as you dig in, you soon lost the subtle nuances of each delicious dish and the care that had gone into preparation. Everything began to taste the same. It’s just like that with your digital brand experience. Don’t feed customers too much too fast. Simplicity and clarity are key to an enjoyable user experience. Pace the customer journey to create a memorable brand encounter. Too much information at once overwhelms consumers and drives them to look elsewhere for a less cumbersome, less busy, and more palatable experience. You may have plenty to say about your product, your service, and your brand—and you should say it. All in good time. Not all at once.

3.     Be Agile

As our designer mentioned, the world is moving at light speed. And so is your brand. It’s vital to stay true to your why by constantly measuring where you are against your strategy and business goals—both moving targets. Your brand must evolve and adapt at the same pace as everything else. That’s the importance of building an agile and flexible brand ecosystem. It must contain digital components that can shift and adapt to influential market dynamics while maintaining the authenticity and purpose of your brand. So often we see a major investment in IT and a new website with a commitment to achieve a sound ROI before any more money gets spent. The problem is no investment was made in the digital brand infrastructure to fund adaptation and evolution to new and emerging technologies. This investment is critical to keep your brand relevant to consumers.

As you invest in your digital brand presence, whether in e-commerce or market automation or communication retargeting, make certain that your current system can grow with your brand. This way, the outfacing image and prevailing perceptions of why your brand exists do not change to your constituents, even as the technology does.

Now, let’s load up that buffet for the next big meal.

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