The American Marketing Association defines Brand as “A name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.“ But as our world becomes more technologically advanced and complex, classic differentiation will become increasingly difficult. Essentially, all modern products and services are great in terms of functionality and quality. The only difference is our personal, subjective, experience.
Modern branding is a strategic management of our customers’ experience with our company. It's a promise of what awaits the customer if they buy that particular product, service or experience. Digital Branding is simply creating our business personality and managing these experiences online.
Nearly 4 billion, 46% of the world population has an internet connection today, the number growing by the minute. Our lives are digital. We use the internet to stay in touch with family and friends, consume news, share photos and videos, make purchases, get directions, and even find Pokémon. New trends in wearables and other always-on, always-connected devices are making our lives even more dependent and reliant on the digital ecosystem than ever before. If you have ever lost or broken your smartphone for a day, you realize how much we take our digital life for granted and how intrinsic it actually is.
We live everywhere and nowhere, we are real people with digital identities, our lives fragmented and distracted. Naturally, many marketers believe that brands have to disrupt, find a way to rise above the noise, break through the clutter, to catch consumer’s elusive attention. Consumers have to become consciously aware of our message or our brands will become obsolete. According to Dr Robert Heath there is another way.
Dr Heath has found in 2001 that we learn about brands by subconsciously processing the overall feel, tone, and visual cues of a brand and storing that information into our memory in a form of associations. This process is known in behavioral studies as low-involvement processing or implicit learning. We do not pay conscious attention to advertising messages but form unconscious emotions that are learned and encoded by overall brand experience and meta-communications. For this reason, you have to understand your target audience psychology if you aim to create cohesive digital experiences. Big brands like Apple, Disney, Starbucks, and Virgin America have teams of digital marketing strategists. Brands like Amazon, Pandora, and Facebook would not exist without digital branding.