From some of the largest online stores, to local brick and mortar retail shops, Liquid Designs have helped a lot of businesses from around the world with brand identity and website design solutions. As seen on Clutch, our clients appreciate us for the personal interest we take in understanding their business and the way our solutions have helped them connect with their audience. So what are you waiting for – focus on your business and let us provide the marketing experience you deserve by contacting us today!
Liquid Designs lauded amongst Best Indian Branding Agencies!
Every business, from McDonalds to your local market, relies on its brand awareness to help fuel a customer growth and loyalty. As such, being able to pinpoint what specific strategy to employ for a client’s marketing campaign can be a daunting task for any advertising agency. As a creatively led visual communications agency, we work closely with companies to identify each project’s particular targets and goals, so that we can help brands elevate their image. That’s why Liquid Designs is your definitive, trusted partner for end-to-end campaign management across linear and digital platforms. We believe in creating customer focused communication that’s simple, clear, and engaging.
Just recently, one of our previous clients took the time to share their experience with the B2B ratings and review site, Clutch. In Clutch’s unique process, their analysts spoke directly with our previous client to learn more about the services we provide, as well as our technological capabilities, results we generated, and our general business acumen.
“We are so excited to see Liquid Designs been chosen as a Leading Branding Agency from India by Clutch” – Ashish Dhir, Founder, Liquid Designs
For the project, Liquid Designs spearheaded a total brand redesign. We developed both digital and physical branding material that included facility branding, presentation decks, and a new logo. Our review down below highlights our ability to meet deadlines, the quality of our service; deliverables, cost value, and the willingness of a company to refer us in the future – qualities that Clutch ranks us highly on. We received a 5 out of 5 star rating overall – check it out below:
Upgrading from corporate loyalty to employee advocacy
In May 2016, Mike Waite, an employee at McDonald’s in Edinburgh UK, was quite frustrated with the society’s misconception about people who took up a job of a worker at a fast food restaurant like that of McDonald’s.
Annoyed with the judgemental criticism that looked upon him as a non-aspirational student, he chose to address his true opinion which came out to be a powerful brand advocacy statement.
Mike wrote in his Facebook post explaining why there’s no shame or guilt in working at a fast food restaurant. Addressing people’s false perception of McDonald’s workers being lazy or with no goals in life, Mike made it clear how working at McDonald’s helps him save up for his university fees and provides him with flexible employment. By early 2018, his Facebook post had crossed more than 12k shares on social media. This emerged as an ideal mark of brand-employee relationship.
Employee advocacy is the promotion of an organisation by its staff members. It is as important as customer advocacy. This is about creating a strong culture and propagating it through various departments of a business. Employee advocacy is not just more reliable and effective but it also decreases recurring costs towards marketing and branding through other means.
Global brands like IBM, Facebook and Airbnb have successfully improved their brand image by leveraging employee advocacy which has resulted in gaining more loyal customers and better revenues.
Sowing the seeds of brand culture to create employee advocacy
The global giant IBM thriving with tech-savvy culture observed an opportunity to adopt employee advocacy as an important tool for its business growth. With respect to a campaign called #NewWayToWork launched in 2014, IBM raised 120 million digital impressions and drove 141,000 clicks to its campaign through employees sharing content on social media. Read more.
Sustainable employee advocacy can be created by enriching the employees with the brand’s ethics and values through employee advocacy program. Such programs help in forming a better connection with the employees by equipping them with a better understanding of the brand, its vision, mission, goals and values which in turn makes them self-driven to promote the brand in their personal network.
A business may ask employees to actively promote the organisation, often through social media, as a part of their job. Many times, employees are self-motivated to spread a word about the brand they work for, to help increase it’s share of voice and spread positive sentiments.
Employee advocacy means something more than corporate loyalty. Where corporate loyalty is restricted to the values that employees follow within an organisation, employee advocacy involves creating a positive impact of the brand outside the organisation.
Employees who are loyal consumers of the brand they work for, become brand ambassadors when they proudly spread a positive word about the brand.
The happier they are, the louder they cheer
According to a study conducted by The Hinge Research Institute and Social Media Today, 64% of advocates credited employee advocacy for attracting and developing new business.
Passion and profession go hand-in-hand
Cultivating the values and ethics of the brand in the employees makes them sincere and dedicated towards their responsibilities. Employee advocacy aligns the employees’ personal and professional growth in parallel as the employees’ corporate responsibilities become a part for their self-growth. Therefore, they are more purpose-driven and make better efforts to achieve the business goals
Word-of-mouth changes the game
Often employees love to share and promote their professional experiences and activities on social media. They feel proud to promote the company’s culture and its offerings once they get involved in brand advocacy. The buzz created by the employees about the product or service through their personal network fuels up the awareness of the brand and its offerings.
This enhances business growth through referrals and word of mouth marketing by the employees on social media and other offline platforms making them feel proud to be recognised for being an essential part of the brand’s success.
Producing valuable offerings
Sharing the brand’s culture with the employees means involving every staff member and not just the ones from the marketing and sales team. This allows each staff member to work in a way that produces authentic, valuable and non-fabricated output. Each move involves a sense of responsibility.
This enables the employees of various departments to combine their knowledge and skills to create something which is valuable for the brand and favourable for its customers.
Becoming Hero of the consumer world
Employee advocacy is a reliable and organic source of business promotion. Customers often experience more trust in an organisation when it practices transparency in its internal culture. Hence, when they see the company’s staff members spreading a positive word about their company’s culture and offerings, customers tend to develop a better image of the company in their minds.
Weaving stronger threads with the customers
Employee advocates follow brand values and ethics and try their best to keep their customers happy and coming back. Such businesses make it easier for their customers to interact with them and answer their queries. This, in turn, enhances the experience of the customers with the brand and pulls up their satisfaction level and loyalty helping in the sustained growth of the business. Such customers tend to build a strong bond with the brand relying on the experience they had while interacting with the staff.
Customers respond more quickly to people who have a personal relationship with them. As a result, brands can pull out more business form the personal network of the employees through employee advocacy.
Recognising the real gold
Employee advocates are aware of the business’s goals and understand the requirement of new resources in terms of qualification and skills. They become more capable of observing better talent that can help to take the business to a higher level and play an important role in the recruitment of human resource.
As a result, they are also quick in looking at new and creative opportunities for collaborations and fast and profitable ways of business expansion.
Takeaway : Employee advocacy results in higher trust factor among the customers
The influence created by an employee for a customer has much more value than what any form of advertising can do. Employees being the customers themselves are capable of persuading people in their personal network to purchase the product or the services of the organisation that they represent. This informal way of marketing turns much better than any other form of persuasion.
Also, the brand’s culture creates a stronger weave between the personal and professional goals of the employees. As a result, they are more passionate towards their contribution to the brand’s success and take up customer experience seriously. This helps in serving the customers better and developing a long and sustainable relationship between the brand and its customers.
Why return on investment in design is gaining so much traction in modern age business?
In a competitive environment, a brand not just needs to position itself differently from its competitors but it should be able to create the right image in the audiences’ mind.
Design plays an important role in creating the desired personality of a brand by communicating the values that a business stands for. If utilised strategically, investment in design may bring in significant growth to a business.
Design is not just what it looks like, design is how it works. – Steve Jobs
Though many of us may not believe that investment in design may yield some good returns but here’s a story that proves it right.
Starbucks, a premium cafe chain as we all know was not this popular when it started. It was seen as a boring coffee shop that used to remain empty most of the times. To turn it around, the management decided to reposition the brand as one that not just serves coffee but an experience. They turned it into a place where people feel like coming and spending time together. To achieve this, they gave Starbucks a new identity that would be applied across all its touch points starting from packaging to the in-store graphics and ambience.
The idea was to position Starbucks as a place where people meet over a cup of coffee and love to spend time. This was implemented by revamping the cafe’s atmosphere where design played a vital role.
Return on investment in design for functional vs visual design
Functional design is the faculty of design that takes care of the functional aspects of a tangible or digital product when it is being created. It has its impact on the effectiveness and efficiency of the performance of a product or service. Whereas, visual design aims at engaging the user by the application’s visual elements such as illustrations, photographs, type, space, layout and colour and improving its aesthetic appeal.
Many people assume design for its functional aspects only. But restricting design to the functional aspects of a product would be underestimating the power of visual design which is as important as functional design to deliver a complete experience.
Measuring the return on investment for a functional design, industrial product or a digital product like an app or a website is easy as it can be calculated by the increase or decrease in the number of sales or conversions. But in terms of visual design, return on investment in design cannot be measured and noted in figurative or numerical values. As a result, many organisations overlook or fail to notice the return on investment in design generated by visual design as it does not come out as direct monetary revenue.
The quantitative impact of visual design can be roughly estimated by calculating the increase in the number of new customers, repeated sales or increase in followup and fanbase. But measuring the qualitative impact is highly subjective based on the enhancement of user satisfaction and the desirability of the brand. Which is why not many organisations seem to be interested in speculating or monitoring the return on investment in visual design.
Design is more of a conversation than a monologue. – Kelli Anderson
Kelli Anderson is a known British artist, designer and author who has worked as an early design innovator for Adobe.
It is critical to address that design should be looked upon as a foundation that will shape a product, its quality and effectiveness. In terms of visual design, a logo is not just a mark of distinction but a portrayal of the entire brand personality that sets the desired brand image. Similarly, a website or an application is an expression of how a company would communicate with its customers.
Design provides a competitive edge to a business if used strategically. It can be adopted in all dimensions of a business be it branding, marketing, product innovation or product creation.
Investment in design improves brand perception
Design allows a brand to connect better with the target audience by portraying a personality that the audience can resonate with.
The aspirations of the audience keep changing with the change in their needs and desires. Brands that constantly update their personality with the updating trends always remain associated with their customers.
Brands like Apple, Nike and Coca-Cola keep refurbishing their visual communication time and again. Consequently, design prevents brands from getting obsolete and enables businesses to remain in the game for long.
When a brand is perceived to be serious, determined and working hard on its own self, the perception of the brand in the minds of the customers keeps getting better.
Investment in design improves the customer experience
Design has the power to provide valuable experiences to its customers. The aesthetics of a product is as important as the experience it creates. Design is not just working on the functional aspects of a product but also the look and feel of it which results in creating a unique personality and experience.
Look at Tez, the latest payment portal app launched by Google. It’s a great example of functional and visual design that lead to an outstanding customer experience. The use of colours and elements in the visual communication add to the experience of the application as much as the interactions designed for a good usability.
Investment in design empowers a customer-centric approach
Many of us might be having a common misconception about design that makes us see it as beautification only. But that’s not the case if seen carefully. Design has played an important role in product innovation.
Design is a tool that should be considered when aiming at providing a solution to the customers’ problems and needs. As technology is reaching the peak of advancement, design is acting as one of its best companion supporting technology to come up with innovative products and product features.
Innovation in digital products has been always assisted by back-end technology. But design has facilitated a new way of looking at consumer needs and resolving them better.
Investment in design gives the opportunity of pricing products better
Design can be used as a criterion for differentiating a product from its competition. Today, user experience and customer satisfaction possess more value than ever before. A good experience makes a product desirable and hence, the customers are willing to pay a premium price for it. Pricing products or services at a premium price point results in higher profits.
The changing perception about design
The bond between design and technology is only growing stronger and is governing major decisions of many businesses. Design has now become an added advantage to tackle commoditisation. As a result, the phenomena is taking a shift from engineering-led businesses to design-led businesses.
The reason behind it is that technology has now almost reached its highest point. One of the major cause that is making technology seem to be still growing is the intervention of design into it. Startups like Pinterest have already set up a mark globally by playing cleverly with their design sense.
The Design In Tech Report 2017 by John Maeda highlights the fact about how design is essential for future businesses. The report displays how global unicorns like Facebook, Google and Amazon have collectively grown their design team by 65 per cent in the past one year and are looking ahead to expand more.
Here’s an infographic taken from the design in tech report 2017 which represents the same.
Takeaway: Good Design is Good Business
The impact of design does not just limit to brand perception but extends to brand loyalty. Customers tend to stay with brands that make them feel good and important. Good Design helps in changing the perception of a brand not only by its visual communication but also by the experience it provides which in turn offers more value.
Design capabilities also foster higher investments which further translate into business growth. Early design adoption within a business brings in a greater return on investment in design by changing the brand perception and uplifting customers’ loyalty by upgrading them from product adopters to product influencers.
Nurture a brand community that builds your brand
It was first in 1904, that Harley Davidson started to participate in motorcycle racing and gained leadership in the market through its victories. In 1911, Harley Davidson formed their official racing team. Later, it won several races with riders like Ralph Hepburn, Eddie Brink, Joe Petreli and Red Parkhurst. The spirit of Harley bikers and the sense of exclusivity experienced by them while riding Harley has been ever since expanding.
In 1987, H.O.G. (Harley Owners Group), a community of Harley Davidson enthusiasts and bikers officially came into existence. The power and authority that H.O.G holds to drive all business initiatives at Harley, cannot be better defined than how someone on Wikipedia defines it – ‘the granddaddy of all community efforts’.
The growing relevance of brand communities
As per the Journal of Consumer Research published in March 2001 by Oxford University Press, Albert M. Muniz and Thomas C. O’Guinn defined brand community as ‘a specialised, non-geographical bound community, based on a structured set of social relationships among admirers of a brand. Like other communities, it is marked by a shared consciousness, rituals and traditions, and a sense of moral responsibility.’
As brands in the new age race to occupy the consumers’ mindshare, they are fast becoming a way of life for individuals. Harley Davidson is one such brand where its brand community (tribe) is known for celebrating the glory of Harley Davidson and its community spirit.
The concept of brand community
“Tribes are what matter now.” – Seth Godin
According to Seth Godin, tribes are a powerful force of influence and change that lead and connect people. In a TED Talk presented by him in 2009, he highlights the phenomena of assembling and spreading an idea by building a community. The success of a tribe is not achieved through money or power but through leadership.
Ultimately, a tribe thrives on a strong connection between people who share similar thoughts and ideas. It comes into existence when an individual or a brand becomes a leader and initiates to assemble greater force around it.
Building a brand community – a growth strategy or a marketing tactic?
It is not surprising that many organisations still consider building brand communities as one of the marketing tactics. It is hard for them to believe that a brand community may have a positive impact on multiple dimensions of a business. But then, there are brands like Harley Davidson who strongly believe that community building is the lifeline of an organisation. Consequently, Harley’s community building exercise now governs its business decisions to an extent that its impact can be seen in Harley’s governance structure, operations and culture.
The members of Harley Owners Group present a strong passion for biking and owning Harley Davidson bikes. This community has proven to be an inspiration for Harley’s product innovation. It has played a vital role in improvising the performance and experience of Harley’s products based on the needs of the riders. Though H.O.G. is a small group, Harley has immense brand loyalty and drives advocacy through the group’s undissolvable community strength.
Why build your brand community?
The benefits of building a brand community span from product innovation to brand advocacy. From gathering data about customer’s pain points and behaviour to strengthening customer relationships, having a brand community may have its impact on every aspect of a business.
Build a community to strengthen relationships with your customers
Communities emerge as a great way of strengthening relationships with its customers by organizing community interaction forums and promotional events. By conducting in such business events, brands get to connect with their influential customers and understand them better.
A healthy customer relationship allows the brand to seek customers’ opinion about the products and enhance product experiences. The ‘My Starbucks Ideas’ community is one such group of Starbucks lovers who participate in discussions and propose innovative product ideas.
Build a community for customer advocacy
Regular reach out to a brand community allows the customers to gain trust in the brand and its offerings that turn them into loyal customers. Slowly, the customers weave a better engagement with the brand and evolve into a potential force that helps the brand grow through their advocacy. Their recommendations and positive words for a brand are more trusted than anything else amongst their peer groups, professional networks and followers.
“The individual relationship with the Influencer is so important because ultimately, the influencer will associate their interactions with company employees and representatives as a reflection of the larger brand.”
Build a community to gather data about customer pain points
Most important business decisions are about coming up with solutions that solve the consumers’ problems. Acquiring accurate data on the customers’ pain points is easy when a brand remains constantly in touch with its customers. Gathering information about the problems and needs of the customers not just becomes quick but also leads to more accurate insights when accessed through direct interactions with a brand community.
Build a community to collect product feedback and bring improvisation
By creating a community, brands can easily save on costly analytics and audits conducted by market research companies on the brand’s products and services. Dedicated community members feel free to share their opinions about the product. It allows the brand to get a better peep and feel of the real problems and needs of their customers.
Sometimes, the trust developed between a brand and community is so strong, that brands allow communities to experience the products before launching it officially in the market. As a result, this creates a scope for improvisation before launching the product in the market.
Build a community to devise new and innovative marketing ideas
Many times, customers become an inspiration for the brand to come up with new marketing ideas and commercials for brand promotion. A lot of brands leverage the relationship between the brand and customer by including customer reviews in advertisements.
Takeaway – Build your own tribe to build your brand
Making brand community an integral part of your business growth strategy provides an edge by building an army of influential customers who share similar ideas, interest and beliefs around a brand, and are capable of taking collective action to take the brand forward. Brands who build a tribe reap the benefits of sustained and favourable returns by controlling the cost on research and promotion, creating better product experiences and enjoying customer advocacy.
Why should businesses start targeting customer satisfaction for their growth?
The definition of success was never easy to explain or more so in today’s rapidly progressing business universe. With changing times and dynamics, business growth has different synonyms for different organisations.
No matter what the value proposition of a business may be, the end goals are eventually focused on making more sales and profits. The traditional methods of business growth have started extending nodes into various areas like data, technology, innovation and customer experience(CX). The idea is to provide excellent customer satisfaction to get more sales.
Until a decade ago, advertising had been the most effective medium of promoting a brand and reaching out to the masses. Despite the fact that it has always been a one-way communication where the audience was a mere receiver of the message and consumers having no room to share their critique.
With the growing presence of individuals and companies on social media, marketing and brand communication have built a two-way relationship with the customers. Consequently, targeted promotion through social media has created huge opportunities to market a brand.
Consumers have started interacting about their experiences with different products and services. Consumers’ concerns and expectations have got an open forum for discussions. Businesses have started aligning their growth strategies with a consumer-oriented approach. As a result, innovation with the purpose to fulfil consumer needs is not just gaining more traction but has also started showing results.
Traditional methods of business growth
Earlier, innovation and customer satisfaction were lesser practiced strategies when it came to making a brand grow. Most businesses depended upon market expansion, market penetration or brand extension as growth tactics.
Accordingly, the formula of business growth was majorly derived out of the two main intentions listed below.
Increase reach and acceptance of existing product or service
Market Penetration, Market Expansion, Product Adaptation
Increase the market share
Brand and line extension, Upselling and Cross-selling.
The modern business growth model with customer satisfaction as the backbone
1. Customer satisfaction through CX led innovation
The idea of business growth has grown out of the basic idea of creating more products and reaching out to more people. Modifying and improvising products and services to effectively serve specific market segments has a lot more value as it results in establishing trust and forming a better brand perception which ultimately leads to sales.
Brands like Paytm, the popular Indian digital payment portal are now aiming at good customer experience through innovation. Paytm has established multiple ways of making digital payments easy and accessible to the masses. As a result, it is proving to be a front runner in the QR code revolution ..
Paytm was quick to observe an opportunity in the market where it could bring in a lot of convenience to the users by increasing the QR code capabilities.
Modern day business growth is aimed at delivering an ultimate customer experience through product innovation which further leads to customer satisfaction. Data and technology are the two enablers for innovation and a great customer experience.
Gathering market data is extremely essential to understand the consumer needs, pain points and competition. Without having clear picture of all this, innovation would just be a broken boat at the harbour.
It also is the most important asset that a business possesses when it comes to providing personalised experience, independency and accurate information to a customer. As a result, using data to analyse the taste, preferences and habits of individual customers stimulates the organisation’s thinking. This eventually brings in innovation to design a better customer experience.
Since most of the businesses are adopting digital transformation to stay in pace with the tech savvy consumer world, there has been a rapid acceleration in the number of digital products in the market in the last few years.
Technology has evolved with a new form through the utilisation of data in back end innovation. Collecting and utilising offline data isn’t easy and time efficient. Digital technology not just makes data gathering easy but also helps in its accurate analysis.
Technological advancements have facilitated every aspect of product innovation in order to resolve the minutest customer problems.
2. Customer satisfaction through personalised and targeted communication
Social media has brought in a paradigm shift in the world of marketing. Leading to a two-way communication, collecting immediate feedback and understanding the customer needs has become very easy.
The amount and depth of robust data collected by social media platforms, has enabled businesses to maintain accuracy in targeting the audience. This has also helped in narrowing down the core message to appeal specific segments.
Consumers can share instant feedback and reviews regarding a product or service on a platform that has a global reach. If taken positively, this is the biggest advantage that businesses can avail to understand the pain points of their customers and their diverse needs.
How attaining customer satisfaction can help businesses?
To grow the market share
People are more keen on solving their regular hassle through a product or service that serves them the best. Hence, for businesses that look forward to achieve customer satisfaction, growing market share is easier by focusing on customer experience and innovation.
To get recommendations and referrals
If a customer is happy with a product or service, he or she would probably recommend it to others. Word-of-mouth is the fastest means of promotion and holds great value. Consequently, serving a small group effectively by solving their problems makes them satisfied and pleased to recommend your product.
Saving cost on advertising
Innovation and customer experience are both interdependent and are the only paths that lead to customer satisfaction. Achieving customer satisfaction is the most dominating criteria that builds leadership and credibility. Therefore, focusing on satisfying consumers puts business growth on auto-pilot without worrying much about investing into advertising.
Making more profit
Profitability is essential for every business to grow. The more the number of sales, the more is the profit. Increase in number of sales again comes through customer satisfaction which directly relies upon innovation and the quality of customer experience.
Takeaway – Customer satisfaction is the only way to sustained growth
Leveraging data and technology will eventually lead to customer satisfaction as they are the building blocks for innovation and customer experience. The everyday growing number of products and services in the market have doubled the urgency of making your way ahead through the competition. This can be only achieved by making your product or service better from the point of view of resolving the customers’ pain points.
Customer satisfaction is not only the key for business growth but it also creates brand differentiation. The success of a business lies in the success of its customers. Thus, CX led innovation is vital for the growth of a business. It’s not a fad that would soon die. It’s the only path to growth.
How shifting your focus from website traffic to conversions on home page can make you grow big time?
The prime focus of businesses is to derive sales out of every branding and marketing activity. With surging online traffic, websites are an essential marketing tool for any brand which creates an online presence and leverage business growth. Although, the website is mostly a package containing many pages, conversions on home page mark the beginning of the user journey.
One of the most important things while designing a home page is to define its purpose. It is not necessary that the home page should have all the information about a brand. Having too much information may result in information overload and make it difficult for the visitors to absorb. But the home page must definitely have all the relevant information that creates enough interest in the users to discover more about the brand
The phenomena of ‘Halo Effect’ in branding
‘Halo effect’ is a phenomenon based on physical attractiveness stereotype. It applies to brands very much the same way it applies to the physical appearances of human beings.
Halo effect is a type of cognitive bias in which our overall impression of a person influences how we feel and think about his or her character. The overall impression of a person impacts the evaluations of that person’s specific traits,
Just like for an individual, the halo effect for a brand can be created when,
1. The target audience is properly defined
2. And a right impression of the brand is created.
Let’s take the example of Gusto, a modern HR management app to see how it is creating the desired impression of its brand through its website. It has great engaging and marketing-led content that encourages conversions on home page.
Taking reference of Gusto let’s study some of the most important components of designing a home page that converts well.
The components are broadly classified into three categories i.e., strategic communication, user interface design and user experience design
Strategic brand communication is done with the objective of delivering consistent and meaningful messages to the audience. It creates a purposeful conversation between the brand and its audience. It all starts with:
Mapping out the buyers’ persona
The first step in strategic communication to create a home page that converts is mapping out the buyers’ persona. This allows the buyers to resonate well with your brand before making a purchase. Learning about the psychographic and demographics characteristics of the buyers is necessary to come up with effective brand communication. It provides a better understanding of the buyers’ pain points, their behaviour and needs. This helps in building a communication that tends to understand them by addressing their problems resulting in increased conversions on home page itself.
Crafting your brand’s value proposition
The next step after understanding your buyer is coming up with a value proposition for your brand. Value proposition is the value for money that the customer would get after purchasing your product or service. The value is not only about the benefit or the physical attributes of the product or service, but it can also be an emotional satisfaction that is gained through its use. Defining the value proposition provides a clear direction while designing the brand communication.
Positioning your brand to appeal the right target group
After defining the value proposition, the next important step is brand positioning which plays a vital role in selling your product or service to the targeted consumers. It can take just 200 milliseconds to win or lose a potential customer. Your website might be great in terms of design, but if the communication is not targeted at the right audience, then the effort seems to be a waste. Brand positioning aims to occupy a distinct position, relative to competing brands in the mind of the target audience. It is a strategic move that involves fetching out the most appropriate value or benefit to establish your product in the market in a way that it creates interest amongst the audience.
The creative communication for a brand is done with the aim of evoking the audiences’ interest and creating better engagement with the brand. It is reflected through the visual and verbal elements of the brand. It starts with deciding what you want to communicate about the brand.
Defining the core messaging of your brand for the specific target group
The core messaging in marketing reflects the vision and mission of your brand and how the brand aims to resolve the customers’ pain points. It defines the purpose and what is the brand aiming to fulfil through the usage of its products or services. The core message is given a creative treatment in the form of a tagline and copy to make it engaging for the visitors. A lot of times, the creative copy is written with the objective of forming an emotional connect with the audience by trying to relate through the events experienced by the audience in their lives.
Making a good first impression by setting up your brand’s personality and identity
The first impression of your brand in front of your target group decides whether they would be keen to explore more, make a purchase and visit your website again. This is achieved only when the brand reflects a personality that aligns with the behaviour and attitude of its target group. The audience can only connect well with the brand if it is able to reflect their aspirations and taste. The brand personality is created through the brand identity which includes not just the visual language but the verbal tone as well. The visual language includes the logo, fonts, colours, iconography, photographic approach etc. On the other hand, the verbal tone is all about setting the tone of voice that reflects the attitude of the brand. These elements bring out the human-like persona for a brand that resonates well with the audience and increases conversions on home page.
Apart from communication, the functional components involved in the website also play an important role in the visitors’ journey through your website. Obstacles and misleading events while using a website often degrade the experience of the users. To gain control over the actions and experience of the visitors, it is necessary to keep the following components in mind to make the users’ journey smooth and hassle-free.
Creating a flow to direct the reader’s eye movement
Studying the pattern of how the visitors behave on the website can provide critical insights while designing a stellar home page. This helps in strategic placement of information that allows you to direct the eye movement of the visitors. Some parts or information on the home page are specifically highlighted to grab more attention. Creating a visual hierarchy by making some content blocks more prominent drives the visitors’ focus by controlling their eye movement and ultimately leads to increase in conversions on home page.
Encouraging deeper browsing by revealing the site’s underlying content
The home page is the link to all other pages and content available on the website. It surfaces a crisp outline of the overall content that the website holds. Understanding the visitors’ behavioural patterns on the website through heat maps can provide insights about their interests and concerns. This helps in deciding the amount of content required to push the visitors. Most of the times, too overwhelming or too insufficient content kills the curiosity and willingness of the visitors’ to open further pages and explore more about your brand.
Call-to-actions are the doors that take the users closer to the purchase process. Inserting call-to actions at relevant places on the home page can instantly make the visitors proceed to the purchase journey that increases conversions on home page. On the home page, these are not just meant to encourage buying but they also aim at taking the users to other pages that contain more information about the brand to convince them better. Call-to-actions that are too pushy to lead to sale create a negative image about the brand. Strategically placed call-to-actions allow the users to absorb information about the brand and take actions accordingly.
Providing a clear navigation
The online audience is quite familiar with the working of the website and is clear on what she is expecting by clicking on the navigation tabs and call-to-actions. Providing a clear navigation helps in facilitating smooth and hassle free user experience while browsing through the website. Designing an unclear flow, structure and architecture of the website can leave the visitors disappointed and obstruct the users’ journey.
Writing user oriented copy to supply both the new and return visitors with desired content
Text content is the main constituent of information that brings more understanding and clarity about the brand. Both, the new and the repeat visitors expect to see relevant and engaging information when they scroll through your website. Hence, the content on the home page contains all the required information to engage the new visitors and something new to bring them back every time.
Adding trust elements to convince the visitors
No matter how big or small is your brand, testimonials, user-data and awards hold authority that allows the audience to create a trustworthy perception about your brand and its offerings. Building trust is one major component after connection that leads to conversions. People tend to rely on the customers more than they rely on the brand. Testimonials are a great way to create a positive perception about the brand. Many brands feature testimonials shared by their clients and customers on the brand’s social media page. This creates more trust and authority as they are open to the public and are thus, more reliable.
Optimising the content for better discoverability
SEO is the basic fundamental of online visibility for growing brands. Due to the massively increasing traffic on the web, being visible requires strategic effort. Discoverability of your website is the basic criteria for organic traffic to allow conversions on home page. Optimising the content according to the SEO standards is crucial to level up the discoverability of your brand online when the target audience tends to search for your products or services based on appropriate keywords.
Once the homepage is created, the output needs to verified to check the rate of conversions on home page. The needs, expectations and behavioural patterns of the consumers change with time. Hence, it is always beneficial to test and analyse the results at regular intervals in order to measure the output. The following questions can help greatly in testing and improving the effectiveness of your website’s home page.
- Is the visual and verbal language appealing the right target group?
- Is content on the home page enough to introduce your brand to a new visitor and offers freshness to repeat visitors?
- Does your home page lead the visitors to take further action by either making them enter into a purchase process or to know more about your brand?
- Is your content good enough to make your site easily discoverable on the search engines?
Takeaway : Forming the right brand perception in front of the right audience results in better conversions
As home page of a website is one of the most favourite destinations of a user to discover a brand. Therefore, providing all necessary information and lending it the right personality is imperative. Only if the visitor connects well with the brand he would take further actions in favour of the brand. The objective of coming up with an effective brand communication and personality is to attract and engage the right profile of visitors and to turn them into potential customers. Laying enough focus on brand positioning, brand personality and brand communication on all marketing touch points, more specifically the home page of a website is the only way to convert well.
Microcopy : Choosing words that convert
“Microcopy is word choice. It’s a glimpse of smile or a slip of impatience.” – Seth Godin
This sounds to be as precise as stated by Seth Godin. Since how long have we been coming across design and innovation while talking about UX, blindly bypassing microcopy as if it doesn’t exist. All the same, microcopy plays a very prominent role in conversions and user experience.
Microcopy includes headlines and all those small bits of text that you find on forms, buttons, error messages, sub-menus, hovers and links. Many a times, product companies that highly depend on their website or app for sales only pay attention to surface delight components like UI, transitions, animation, typography, etc., while microcopy gets completely ignored as it is considered nothing more than informative text. People pre-assume that the users are familiar with everything that they come across in the user journey and that microcopy has a less important role to play.
Microcopy is an essential part of UX as much as adding innovative features, personalisation and independency to deliver a stellar experience to the user. To be true, microcopy does what design alone cannot do. It helps in interacting with the visitors, resolving obstacles and clarifying concerns.
Microcopy goes beyond just headlines
Microcopy found on buttons, form fields, form instructions and error messages is merely noticeable but has a huge impact on the user experience. It assists the users along their user journey by reducing obstacles and confusions even before they realise that they need it.
The user journey is complex and is permutable to create various different patterns and combinations of the user flow. To release certain tiny hassles caused during this journey, microcopy prompts the user with hints to resolve issues.
The following insights present a percentage break down of conversion rates based on a study done on Visual Website Optimiser’s customers.
While considering UX, headlines and layout remain the focus of design. Whereas, CTAs constitute a much higher percentage of conversion rate than other elements. Therefore, the choice of words used in CTAs is even more important.
A good microcopy is the one that understands your user well
Creating effective microcopy for UX is similar to designing other surface details like the UI, transitions and navigation. Design alone cannot create the best experiences without the support of words. Words facilitate conversation with the user.
To come up with Microcopy that forms an integral part of UX, think about the following scenarios where the user requires assistance and resolve it by asking the following questions:
1. What is the user expecting or trying to achieve?
2. How can the user feel secure throughout the user journey while purchasing your product or service?
3. What would concern the user before purchasing your product or service and what can be done in order to reduce doubts and confusions?
Words can have a great influence on the user’s mind
It is quite undeniable that engagement and conversation is important to connect well with the user and make their journey delightful. This is not just limited to headlines and copy. Consider chatbots that are becoming much widely accepted feature in order to help the users by interacting with them.
Ever noticed how slack creates a conversational environment throughout its app? The amount of help slack tries to provide to the user is just perfect, neither too less nor too interruptive. Understanding that the work environment is hectic, slack adds some fun in the work culture.
Also, look at how tinder, the trending online dating app persuades the users to take actions and engage into some interactivity while using the app.
By now it is clear that microcopy is not just words put creatively to increase engagement or initiate conversation. It is an answer to the users’ unquestioned queries that fixes their difficulties. Microcopy has a bigger aim in UX.
Let’s understand the following three main purposes of microcopy to know how it facilitates the website or app to deliver a good user experience and leads to better conversions.
Words define the personality of the product or service. Therefore, the choice of words should fit the nature of the product or service. This is created by the tone of voice of the microcopy. In many cases, brands operating in the same industry tend to use microcopy and conversational tones that are significantly comparable.
Take the example of Hubspot and Mailchimp. Both the platforms work to facilitate automation in consumer relationship management. Although the tone of voice in the microcopy of Mailchimp has a much more casual and relaxed feel.
Clarity and Assistance
The user journey happens through an even more complex route while a new visitor is exploring the website or the app. Input fields are not always specific and self explanatory. Eliminating such hassles allow the users to smoothly experience the functionality and usability of the website or app.
Therefore, many websites or apps add an extra layer of assistance so that user is not left helpless and exploring the answers to his own doubts. See how swiggy’s search bar has a semi visible text that tells the user what to search for. Or else the user will be left wondering what to type in.
Sense of Security and Transparency
Users are protective about their information and details that they share on the website or an application. Many a times, users feel concerned about payment methods, charges, subscriptions, personal information while signing up, etc. In these cases, it is important to make them feel comfortable before making them purchase the product.
Certain websites assure the user that they won’t be charged for a free subscription and will be notified before the free trial ends. Or while asking for the credit card details, they specify their reason to ask it.
Takeaway : Drive higher conversion rates by laying focus on microcopy
While design and innovation remains an essential focus area in UX, words should be reflected upon as an important part of the user journey. Microcopy and design go hand in hand to facilitate a good user experience.
Good microcopy increases user engagement and enhances experience by creating a brand personality that connects well with the user. It solves difficulties and helps in maintaining transparency by clarifying doubts. This increases the trust of the user and allows them to be confident while purchasing the product or service. Thus, microcopy drives higher conversions taking a user through a hassle free ride while buying a product or service.
Why is brand story such an important part of branding?
Since generations, stories have stayed with us and travelled in parallel with the evolving human race. There’s no doubt that stories posses an eternal power to influence and inspire.
In business, the core objective of all marketing activities circle around the intensity and power of persuasion. Stories help the brands to persuade effectively and audiences to connect better.
In a time where emotional marketing is progressively becoming a strategy, brand story has become a currency to build stronger bonds with their audience. Every time a customer purchases a product, he lives a part of the story along with it.
The meaning and purpose of a brand story
A brand story is a cohesive narrative that takes into account all the facts and feelings that are created by a brand. Unlike traditional advertising, a story inspires an emotional chord which is more than just showing and communicating informative facts to promote the brand.
India being a land of rich history and culture has been preserving its past in the form of epics, myths and tales. In India, storytelling has been a popular tool for the communication of thoughts and ideas.
Story is the simplest form of communication that allows easy decoding of words into meaningful visuals in the mind. While listening to the narrative, the human brain gets activated and synchronises with the brain of the narrator to visualise the event.
Story is the connection between cause and effect. The human brain has the tendency to look for the cause and effect relationship of something that the listener has previously experienced. Therefore, any brand story that relates to the existing experience of the audience enables a deeper connection between the brand and the audience.
Storytelling is the fundamental tool for learning in schools which develops the cognitive thinking skills of the students. Similarly, a brand story accelerates the output of all the marketing activities in business by captivating the audience.
Why a brand story works in marketing and branding?
Brand story is compelling
A brand story is capable of grabbing attention of the audience, arousing their emotions, stimulate their learning, and persuade them to take action. Stories are the simplest form of communication that are easy to engage and convince people.
Brand story creates a meaningful bond
A story allows the audience to visualise and experience a situation they can resonate themselves with. It takes them through an emotional journey which helps them to connect better with a brand while associating themselves with the story.
Disney’s strategy involves reverse marketing where the storytelling takes place before the launch of a product. According to an Interview of Disney’s CEO, Robert Iger, conducted by Forbes, brand story has been a key for profitable marketing for Disney.
Disney stories displays a very unconventional fantasy that highly attract kids and teenagers. The target audience majorly comprising of school going children, feel fascinated and deeply connected to the characters and the story. This has helped Disney in forming a strong bond with the audience and enhance the sales of their products.
Brand story creates a meaningful bond
An emotional connection with a story establishes a long term impact in the audiences’ mind. Consequently, the memorability of such brands and brand stories is much higher as compared to the ones that just feature factual information making it difficult for the audience to remember and retain the message.
Possessing a house in India is a lifetime investment for most of the people. One of the Amazon India commercial shows a young couple possessing a house and creating a garden in the house by ordering most of the stuff from Amazon. Most of the Amazon commercials are around the concept ‘Apni dukaan’ — a common term used for a local general store in the locality from where you can access most of your regular needs. Such stories are common to all the Indians and thus are easy to remember.
Brand story generates loyalty
When the audience experiences an emotional connection with a brand, it automatically results in building up trust and loyalty. Certain brands don’t just tell a story but take it forward with the agenda of occupying the audiences’ mental and emotional space. This is done by making a brand promise through a story and conveying that the brand values its customers the most.
Samsung came up with a commercial that portrayed its dedication in delivering effective customer service. It shows how the customer service executive travels through unconventional paths to reach a remotely located destination to repair a TV in a blind children’s home.
Becoming the most watched commercial in 2017, the story enhanced the trust of the people and made it being perceived as a reliable brand with the best customer experience.
Brand story shapes the reason for a brand’s existence
A brand story can be more than a tool to persuade the target market to purchase the product or service. Many a times, a brand story weaves a story around a brand’s value proposition, its beliefs and ethics. This serves as an inspiration for the entire organisation.
Each employee imbibes the same values and ethics that an organisation abides itself by. A collectively empowered team of employees is determined to work towards achieving a common goal while visualising the future growth and success of the brand.
What constitutes to a good brand story?
The difference between a commodity and a brand lies in its differentiation. A story communicates that differentiation very effectively. A story which is completely built on strong values, beliefs, ethics and integrity makes a brand keep moving on.
Nutrilite, a product of Amway is a brand that was formed keeping in mind the core values of humanity. Apart from offering nutritional values in its products, Nutrilite sticks to organic and sustainable methods of business operations.
Nutrilite promoted its products by showing its practices from ‘seed to supplement’ in a brand story through a series of commercials in early 2017. Hence, brand stories like that of Nutrilite have been able to effectively persuade the audience to buy their products.
Why a brand story must have an emotional appeal?
Although buying a product based on its quality, price and features is a more pragmatic way of making a wise buying decision. Nevertheless, it’s obvious that humans are emotional creatures. According to several studies(study) conducted in the past years, it is proven that buying decisions are made based on emotions.
Here’s a statistical crux of the entire study:
- 92 percent of the consumers want to hear stories
- 90 percent people rely more on emotions rather than information to make brand decisions
- Emotional appeal acts as a component of the story that makes the audience trust the brand more
Tanishq, a popular jewellery brand by TATA taps on the emotional attachment that people experience within their families.
One of the commercial staring Deepika Padukone shows the relationship of a daughter with her mother, which never changes no matter what a girl becomes in her life. Showing the bitter-sweet relationship experienced by every woman with her mother constructed a thread of emotional connection of the brand with the audience
How to position your brand with a brand story?
Majorly, a brand story is vital to strengthen the leadership of a brand and command the purchase decisions of the target group in its favour. A brand story is important for the following reasons:
- Enhancing the memorability and desire of the target group to choose your brand over others
- Positioning you as a strong brand
- Making the target group hugely responsive to your actions
Hero Honda has been one of the most successful joint ventures in the Indian history. Since the partnership of Hero and Honda in 1984, Indian audience had developed immense trust in the brand and its products.
Hero, the largest two-wheeler manufacturer in India dissolved its partnership with Honda in 2010. The new entity Hero MotoCorp gave itself a new identity. To establish the same level of trust and loyalty of the Indian customers in the brand, Hero MotoCorp came up with commercials where the customer was depicted as the hero of the story. It became an important part of its positioning.
This brand story has preserved and nurtured the relationship of the brand with its customers. Similarly, Nutrilite positions itself with the tagline ‘Best of nature, Best of science’ which stresses on delivering safe and quality products by measuring the integrity of its processes.
Takeaway – A brand story is by far the most effective tool to gain customers’ mind share
A brand story reflects the wider vision of a company that helps in aligning the brand strategy to achieve desired goals. Thus, by communicating the vision, brands enable their customers to understand them better.
As stories are easy to remember and communicate without any loss of information, a brand story is the most effective way of being at the top of the customers’ mind.
Why Digital Customer Experience should become a key component of your business growth strategy?
We are witnessing a profound breakthrough in the digital landscape today. Almost every company is adapting to digital transformation, irrespective of its industry domain. Digitalisation has enabled digital innovation and digital customer experience (DCX) to make delivery of services easy, quick and convenien
Consider your day-to-day monetary transactions that have become fast and much more simple after banks moved to digitalisation. Facilitation of ATMs, mobile banking and digital money have taken conventional banking to convenience banking.
In the past few years, companies have used innovation as an integral tool that intended to offer something unique to the customers. Unfortunately, the most overlooked part of this process has been the customers themselves. An effective digital customer experience always keeps customers at the core of the digital transformation strategy.
By an effective digital customer experience we mean, delivering personalisation, speed and accuracy in the customers’ hands.
What is digital customer experience?
Digital customer experience refers to the experience customers have with an organisation on digital platforms. DCX encompasses all sorts of communication, information related to products, services and all the processes that customers would experience through various digital channels.
Digital customer experience is a journey. Encountering the communication of a brand across multiple platforms and device types is like going on a voyage that affects the buying decision. Therefore, consistency here plays an important role as the customers own the entire purchase process.
The degree of digital customer experience can vary based on the extent and quality of communication across various digital platforms. Different organisations embrace digital transformation at different levels. The scenarios could be as follows:
Harnessing digital medium for marketing and communication
Certain organisations cannot make their services go completely digital considering the nature of service, constraints related to customer reach and several other influential factors. Most of the time they end up using digital platform only for the promotion of the brand.
Use of digital medium for e-commerce
Digital medium works as the backbone for any e-commerce led business. Amazon, Flipkart and Alibaba are obvious examples where digital medium is being utilised as a marketplace. Such brands have completely embraced digital medium as a major part of their product is built digitally. Leaving aside the physical delivery of products, everything else from marketing led communication to making a purchase and leaving feedback is done digitally.
Digital medium to build an end to end product
With the rise of digital product innovation, online apps, softwares and websites have started taking over offline businesses by removing geography and time based constraints. Online service platforms like Netflix, Facebook and PayPal serve both as a digital product and service that can be accessed anytime, anywhere.
Apparently, there organisations that have completely outgrown the stage of digital transformation and are now using digital for all the above mentioned purposes. No matter what the purpose of digitalisation is for an organisation, it is essential to ensure that a good digital customer experience is delivered when a brand makes use of this medium.
What will make a good digital customer experience as we look at the trends?
The fast-moving world keeps generating an urgency where time becomes the most valuable commodity. Customers appreciate acts that saves their time, takes care of their expectations and brings in a sense of immediacy
Customer experience cloud allows organisations to treat customers as individuals by analysing their search history, preferences and behaviour. The digital customer experience has become personalised by using data to recommend content that aligns a specific taste leading to a frictionless and hassle-free experience.
An excellent example of modern DCX is Netflix, that pays attention to minute details to build a great digital customer experience. Based on what customers play and what they abandon, it improvises the search experience. Emerging as a leader in online streaming service, it is said to achieve a user base of 128 million by 2022 with 44% increase in the current user base.
Delivering Mobile Experience
Mobiles are the smartest portable devices that permit accessibility and add momentum to the utilisation of content and services facilitated through digital media. It has become an essential device to get access to such information, products and services that one needs on day-to-day basis.
Considering today’s trends, digital customer experience on mobiles should focus more on seamless transitions and smooth navigation.
Imagine apps like Facebook and Pinterest for that matter. Mobiles allow instant accessibility to social media platforms to the user. Understanding that Facebooking mostly happens through mobiles, Facebook analyses data to deliver great digital customer experience, specifically on its mobile platform.
Other examples could be Alexa’s smart home devices that can be easily controlled through the Alexa application on your mobile and the Uber app that makes accurate use of data to calculate Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) and compute optimal pickup points for the booked rides.
Customers today are tech savvy and capable of carrying out tasks independently which once required a lot of human intervention. Through self service analytics and customer experience cloud, organisations can now leverage data to provide features that can boost the customer experience.
Talking about machine learning, potential use of data has enabled machines to serve the customer with the next most relevant action. It is reducing the dependency on customer care services as machines are now becoming self-equipped and can take steps that can resolve several such issues caused while its functioning.
Early in 2017, LG announced addition of ‘Deep ThinQ’ learning technology in its smart appliances. For example LG’s smart refrigerator can do things like refill the ice tray and adapt accurate temperate to prevent food spoilage.
After machine learning and Internet of Things, technology has empowered more real time responses and interactions through a much evolved version of technology that is AI. Invention of bots on websites answer most of the customer queries instantly by cutting down time that was earlier consumed by customer care service.
Sophia, the social humanoid robot is the latest and the most intelligent invention in AI. Technology possessing a mind very similar to the human, is a supreme example of what data can do.
Similarly, Google maps use anonymous location data from smartphones to analyse speed and movement of traffic, With the acquisition of Waze in 2013, it also detects traffic incidents due to construction and accidents to navigate the fastest routes while travelling.
How can digital customer experience help a business to grow its ROI?
Whether it is promotional marketing, e-commerce or a digital product, a good digital customer experience will help you in engaging the target audience.
Making use of data analytics to study the behaviour and preference of a customer will help you in serving your customers with accurate content that is relevant to him/her.
Personalising data saves time and enhances the experience making the customers avail your services even more frequently without much struggle.
Acting upon feedback
Collecting customer feedback through online digital platforms is much more quick and easy as compared to offline platforms.
Customer cloud allows accurate analysis of areas that are functioning well and areas that constantly need improvement. Hence, actions required to level up the performance will be fast for you to execute.
Elevating Brand Perception
Great digital customer experience is respected and relished forever. This will help you in building a better brand perception in the competitive market.
What customers value most is effectiveness in service and great experience which makes their purchase journey worthy. This will generate repeat sales for the business.
Takeaway – Embrace digital customer experience as a key strategy to leverage your business growth
Digital world is replacing offline business at a fast pace. Disruptive technology is refining business models and data is being used to impact businesses positively.
Successful organisations are leading the economy because they are among the first ones to innovate or adapt themselves to new trends. Technological innovations are an opportunity for businesses to grow by adding more value to the customers’ life and capture higher market shares.
The sooner you align your business growth strategy to deliver an impeccable digital customer experience, the more likely you are to outbeat the competition.
Scoring beyond the scoreboard with an impressive and cohesive brand identity.
The most important asset of several successful brands is their brand identity. Being impressive and cohesive is what makes an identity impactful. An impressive and cohesive identity helps in appealing and connecting well with the target audience and in furthering good business.
How does an impressive brand identity add mileage to your business?
The identity of a brand serves a purpose which is much beyond just establishing a distinctive mark for identification. The first perception that your target audience will form about you is largely dependent on the identity that your brand bears. Having an impressive brand identity is the first step towards changing your brand’s perception for good. The advantages of having a good brand identity can be extended to the following points.
1. Differentiation and Recognition
A brand identity is a mark of distinction that differentiates your brand from its competitors and gives a distinct personality to your business. An impressive and easy to remember identity helps the audience to recognise a brand easily – technically termed as brand recall.
2. Resonating with the target group.
The major purpose of creating a brand identity is to form a strong bond with the target audience by resonating well with them. A business stays in business as long as the audience is able to connect with the brand. Many parent brands that cater to diverse groups establish several sub-brands that are specifically dedicated to serve a particular segment. The high end fashion brand Armani has several umbrella brands under its name that cater to distinct target groups based on the psychographics of the audience. One common identity would not have been enough to appeal everyone. The need to establish different sub-brands came with the need to appeal specific target groups.
The brand Armani Exchange is aimed at teenagers and street fashion lovers, whereas Emporio Armani is targeted at young adults between the ages of 20 and 30. Emporio Armani is the brand that teens are supposed to graduate to, when they become adults. The Giorgio Armani is yet another signature label from the group. It is the most expensive Armani label and is available only in 75 boutiques worldwide. Emporio Armani and Armani Exchange are cheaper, diffusion line, aimed at a younger demo, at a lower price.
Here’s an article that gives a deeper understanding by comparing the above mentioned brands of Armani.
3. Improving brand retention
An impressive identity works as an essential force that elevates your brand in creating a deeper emotional tie with the customer. Forming a connection increases the possibility of remembering the brand which also enhances the retention value.
4. Establishing clarity and focus
Since, the identity of a brand is intentionally designed to cater to a particular segment, it brings in convenience for the business owners to exercise clarity and focus towards their objectives, which in turn affect other important business decisions.
5. Driving customer expectations
The kind of persona that an identity portrays enables the customers to keep and maintain a certain level of expectations from a brand. This reduces the chances of the brand being misinterpreted by the customers.
Brands like Nike, Adidas and Puma are all associated with sports, but Puma is more of an Athlete brand unlike Adidas and Nike which are more linked with soccer or football. Looking at what the brand identity portrays, customers purely expect Athlete shoes from Puma rather than expecting it from Nike which is more of a footballers fit.
6. Establishing value and trust
A good representation of your brand identity often makes your business look serious, sincere and organised. This perception developed in the minds of the audience allows them to trust you more, thus increasing the value of your offerings.
The measure of impressiveness
An impressive brand identity does not mean exaggerating, overly depicting or complicating your message which drifts the focus away from the brand’s core values and ethos. The message conveyed by a brand should come out crystal clear and transparent. The following set of parameters can be considered to come up with an effective brand identity.
Being simple is often misinterpreted with the thought that it restricts from being innovative. Simple and minimal identities are easy to grasp as compared to complex visual elements that either convey to much or do not convey anything specific and create confusion.
The fast food joint McDonalds could have used a burger in their logo but they created their initial ‘m’ inspired by the two golden arches that Mc Donald’s used as a part of it’s identity for long. Despite, the logo being a simple yellow form on a red background, McDonalds has one of the most appealing logos in the world
Imitation might seem to be a safe game but it will not make you distinctive. To stand out in the market, it is necessary to push creativity but remain as original as possible. Originality will make you look unique among your competitors.
The relevance of a brand identity lies in communicating the brand’s goals and values in a right and desired format to the audience. Sometimes, even the most appealing brand identities are unsuccessful because they do not communicate well with the intended target segment.
The brand identity has to be put to several uses and incorporated into various marketing touch-points without being compromised on its relevance and impact. Therefore, an identity should be versatile enough so that it can be applied to various mediums of communication.
Acquiring the right target group as the potential customers is important to make business. The visual identity could be diverse and experimental around a particular concept or theme but should not drift away from the intended target group.
A memorable brand identity is not easy to execute but ranks highest amongst the various qualities that an identity should have. A person who has witnessed a brand element even once should be able to recognise and recall it when he/she comes across it the next time. Take the example of MasterCard with two circles intersecting in its logo. Both the red and yellow colours used for the identity have a unique tone and weight that makes it simple, remarkable and rememberable by the audience no matter how many times it has changed in the past.
It is important to ensure that the effectiveness of the brand identity remains long lasting. Instead of being trendy, a lot of brands prefer to be classy in order to achieve longevity so that the identity remains timeless. Consider the logo of Google which has remained constant since the beginning. To refresh the logo from time to time, a few minor tweaks or changes in the font style have always worked for Google.
Consistency of the brand elements enables to attain uniformity across all mediums of communication. It avoids confusion. The recurring use of the same elements becomes a strong factor to remember and recognise a brand easily.
Key elements of a brand identity
A brand relies on two major components to render an image of its personality to the audience – the visual identity and the verbal identity.
Key elements of the visual identity
The visual identity of a brand creates a unique persona of the brand which cannot be conveyed through words alone. The visual identity of a brand is eithercomprised of some of the below mentioned elements or a combination of it.
- Colour Palette
- Photography or Image style
- Illustration and Icon style
- Environmental Design
The visual identity of Cafe Coffee day shows the remarkable use of the single inverted comma replicated everywhere in its identity from the menu and packaging to banners and in-store design.
Key elements of the verbal identity
Visuals alone cannot communicate everything. It is mostly supported with words to enable verbal communication. The verbal identity of a brand includes the following basic elements to describe it verbally.
- Brand name
- Tone of voice
Here’s an example of Airbnb to understand how its verbal language communicates values and internal work culture. It has been designed to be conversational with its audience and express a sense of unity and belongingness.
Why successful brands stress on maintaining a cohesive brand identity?
A cohesive brand identity is one of the practices that converts a brand into a super brand.
The system of branding works to extend the identity of a brand to multiple touch points. To create a desired impact on the audience, it is important to maintain consistency in the brand language. A uniform brand identity throughout all the communication channels leverages the impact with the following advantages.
1. Accurate first impressions
First impressions are important in business to engage the audience which further result in making or breaking a buying decision. A streamlined representation of a brand helps in forming memorable first impression with high recall and retention.
As mentioned earlier, a cohesive brand shows your seriousness towards your business. This allows the customers to respect and value you more for the professional ethics that your brand displays about you.
Outlining the same concept into every facet of your business, all marketing touch-points help in building customers’ trust and credibility into your business. With this thought, the audience assume that the quality of your brand’s offerings will remain consistent too.
A strong brand is recognisable even without the use of its logo. This is achieved by the repeated use of same brand components. Therefore, extensive use of the consistent brand language further develops recognition.The telecommunication network giant, Vodafone used a consistent layout divided in white and signature red colours for all its previous print and commercial advertisements which were recognisable at one glance. Also, the commercial ads were weaved around the iconic pug and the zoozoos that strongly added to Vodafone’s identity in the past. Vodafone’s new identity launched in October, 2017 follows the same level of consistency in brand language despite the zoozoos characters being withdrawn.
The recurring and uniform use of the same brand language will increase the possibility that your customers recognise your brand. The use of some unique elements sets a brand apart from its competitors in the industry and hence, makes it memorable.
A set guidelines of your brand language increases your work efficiency by saving your time that you would otherwise put into thinking about what your new print advertisement or billboard should look like.
Just as the way you do all the things describe your habits and personality, the incorporation of your brand language into multiple facets reveals the personality of your business. The identity is a bond and experience that keeps your customers loyal towards your business. Apple has been widely known for its design aesthetics. It strictly follows its brand guidelines to communicate with its customers. From the interface on iPhones to its product website, they have established a persona that is unique, recurring and powerful. Here’s an article that describes the success of Apple with the use of cohesive brand identity. Globally recognised brands like Nike, Skype, Google and Twitter besides several others have been cohesive in their communication and hence are easy to recognise by the audience. Take a look at this article to see how these brands exercise consistency in their brand language.
How to make your brand go grand?
In order to maintain cohesiveness in your brand language, the following can be replicated in all your communication mediums.
- Standard logo
- Standard typographic treatments
- Consistent key colours and colour palette
- Uniform photography or image style
- Consistent illustrations and icon style
- A standard tone of verbal communication through tagline, slogans and other verbal elements.
Read this article to get a better understanding of why retaining consistency in the above brand elements will impact your business.
Have a look at the Nike Football Brandbook to see how they maintain cohesiveness in their communication.
Why successful brands stress on maintaining a cohesive brand identity?
Coming up with an impressive identity which is cohesive is not a one time exercise. It is not enough to keep you in the business forever. Successful brands constantly keep refurbishing their identity to remain connected with the customers that keep moving ahead with time.
Why did Instagram, Apple and Uber had to rebrand?
The purpose of rebranding for different organisations could vary. Broadly, rebranding serves either one or combinations of the below mentioned benefits.
1. Staying in pace with the target group
The changing needs of the customers change their expectations. With time, the current identity might become outdated and might not connect well with the audience anymore. Hence, brands have to keep revamping their brand identity in order to align with the target group.
2. To look new and fresh always
With time, certain elements in the identity start looking obsolete or outdated. Therefore, to keep the customers satisfied with their experience, brands have to continuously improve upon their representation to look new. In 2016, Instagram came up with a new identity, to look new and acquire more users. Here’s a story of its rebranding which shows how it doubled its user base in just six months.
3. Align with new trends
Although successful brands carry a timeless identity, but some minor tweaks are necessary to match with the current trends. Outdated design hampers the experience of the customer with the brand bringing down the brand’s effectiveness. Apple has rebranded itself several times, to align with new trends. It keeps improving the type face, UI and UX of its website and other touch-points to stay ahead of the competition. The story of Apple’s logo evolution and apple.com website is worth scrolling through.
4. Business expansion
Sometimes, a brand expands itself by establishing business into new industries. In such cases, the identity has to look versatile in all forms. Brands rebrand their identity to remain effective in all the industries and remain connected to the audience.
5. Addressing a new target group
Business grows with time and so do the customers. To acquire new customers or target groups, it is important for the brand to resonate with them. In 2017, Airbnb came up with its new brand identity with the intention of being more universal and unified in its brand language. Catering to a wide group globally with different personas, the brand wanted to connect well with them and communicate a sense of belongingness. Read this article to see how Airbnb has developed its unique visual language that is universal, unified and conversational.
6. To reflect mission and values
The evolution of the goals of a brand evokes a need to come up with an identity so that the values, mission and vision are clearly communicated to the audience. Rebranding of Uber narrates a story that is far beyond just communicating its values to its customers. Uber rebranded itself to follow and imbibe its own values in its internal work culture. Gradually, such steps taken in rebranding not just help the organisation but also enhance its value in the consumers’ perception. Read the full story behind Uber’s rebranding here.
Takeaway – If invested properly, Brand Identity has the potential to leapfrog a business to the next level.
The return of investing in an impressive and cohesive brand identity may be difficult to measure but it surely leads into improved conversions by building an image that aligns with the brand’s values and aspirations and developing a strong bond with the customers.
Forming a great first impression is vital for any business to engage with its audience. Recurring and cohesive use of brand’s visual and verbal language increases the recall and retention value. Consequently, an impressive presentation of a brand can mark the success of a brand.