From the smallest of start-ups to the largest industry leaders; all companies make a promise to their market. In some cases, they promise to simplify life, add value, or maybe provide a fun distraction. Sometimes their promises are well defined and crisp, in other cases they are accidental and unintentional.
How do they communicate this to their target audience? They communicate their promises through their branding.
Your brand consists of a logo, tagline, website, typography, ads, tone of voice and a ton more. Not only that, it is accompanied by pricing, product quality, customer service and corporate responsibility. While interacting with these your customers are going to have emotional responses, draw personal parallels, visually digest meanings and develop an opinion. This human opinion will separate different products and services in a vast digital landscape where quality and trust are in high demand.
To arrive at this page you yourself were 'promised' visually that our Online brand was knowledgeable and trustworthy. Online set a tone of voice to let you at your own pace look and find what you wanted. There were no tactical pop-ups promoting things you don’t need or any toast notifications telling you we keep cookies. This all aids you into getting what you originally wanted: Something to learn.
- We as homo sapiens (Latin: wise-man #sexist) are built with DNA and a subconscious software to navigate our surroundings, analyze new people, judge new foods etc. etc. These are basic instincts
to be safe because in a world with alligators, snakes, bats, and bears our ancestors just wanted the basics of warmth, food, water, security and something our HR manager won’t let me discuss...
“A brand promise is simply exceptional services delivered consistently throughout the customer's journey building a relationship of trust."
So what exactly is the best recipe for your digital brand to deliver your product’s promise?
Your brand promise is an accumulation of many things big and small. A logo is just one of many things your audience is going to experience along their user journey you have to respect and plan for. Here are five considerations that I believe you have to address thoughtfully if you want your digital brand to help you deliver your promise:
The ease of reading and digesting your marketing materials. Do your icons visually explain what they do to your target audience? Would you expect a retirement home mobile website to use a hamburger menu to showcase the hidden links? Do you use terminology your average user wouldn’t understand? Do you use a tone of voice that is viewed as elitist to a millennial target audience? Is your website responsive for optimal experiences on mobile, tablet, and desktop? Are your graphics created for tablet and phones with a higher dpi? Okay, okay, you get it right? My point is being upfront, honest, and straightforward with your customers makes you trust worthy. Being trusted is a major step in having someone believe your promise.
Are you efficiently using your customer's time? Are your webpages built too heavy? Do large images take too long to render and cause customers to drop off? Are your call to action buttons hard to find? Are your tap spaces on mobile devices sized to industry standards of a minimum 78 pixels in diameter? Do you waste their time jumping thru three pages that could have easily been one?
As consumers we all have a personal equation of what is worth our time and effort. With the digital era becoming more and more competitive, data and analytics are showing we have less and less attention span and patience online.
The more consistent your messaging, the more consistent your branding — whether via words, design, offerings, or perspective. Your brand should build awareness and develop loyalty with customers. A brand guideline is a great way to have a cohesive voice from a multitude of product owners.
Ah “Make it pretty”. The graphic designer's dreaded task. As you can tell this part is only a small percent of the overall goal of a brand’s product promise. Albeit it is the most customer-facing and fun to create. These choices can directly influence the customer mood and perception.
If you are not fully trusted your customers may feel anxiety in using your product or services, creating short-term stress. Researchers have found short-term stress lasting as little as a few hours can impair brain-cell communication in areas associated with learning and memory.
Something as simple as a Entrust logo in a form or Green lock with https in your URL bar can create a sense of security. Enabling your customers to feel like their interactions with your website is secure, can help contribute to the trust gained by the other categories.
-(Ex. https security)
The conversation is and has always been there digitally. There is a non-audible conversation. If I click this, what happens? If your digital brand is fully transparent this conversation can be completely organic and friction less.
In a real-life scenario two people talking have many back and forth interactions. A verbal game of tennis if you will. The non-audible conversation with a digital product should be a similar experience. If I do this, this will happen, and so forth. If people describe you as “easy to talk to” you might be surprised its not always the words you use but actions in response to what you hear. Head nodding, smiling, laughing, 'mmhmmm', facial expressions, eye contact… It's the satisfying feeling of being heard and understood. In a digital world these cues of being understood are button rollover/hit states, animations, buttons, and transitions, haptic responses on mobile, and sounds.
Today when a company fails to stand behind its brand promise it can face unfavorable social media attention and other negative consequences. A lot is riding on your brand and reputation, it’s more important than ever for companies to be aware of every customer interaction that can cause complaints and negative views.
"For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction."
–Newton's Third Law
Are you looking for guidance on managing or presenting your brand? Our Digital Studio team can help!