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Friday, 4 April 2014

Why you need a brand definition, not just a digital branding strategy!

At Bright Angles, we receive an increasing number of digital branding briefs. Young entrepreneurs with promising businesses - jewellery, decor accessories, home-made goodies - want to promote their brand through the digital medium. Such briefs are invariably exciting and challenging for us as they involve working with interesting people, with bright business ideas but small media budgets for promotion. Small and medium scale entrepreneurs invariably understand the importance of digital media to grow their brand, and look to us for holistic digital solutions.

First of all, we do not treat these briefs as 'digital  briefs' even though the output that the client requires might be purely digital - a social media presence or a website. We start off with the classical approach of understanding the client's business and defining the marketing challenge. Small businesses benefit hugely from the rigor of this exercise, even if it involves only the externalisation and writing down of thoughts that are already playing in their heads.

Entrepreneurs juggle multiple challenges daily, and while they do think of their marketing, this is often the weak link in terms of time, budget outlay and resource. As we ourselves know from experience, daily firefighting and immediate projects can often subsume the long term exercise of defining the marketing plan, growth strategy etc. Yet without this foundation we cannot move to the next step - which is brand definition.

A digital strategy cannot be developed without first defining what the brand stands for - even if the brand building exercise is going to be largely undertaken online, rather than offline. The principles of brand building require us to go back to basic questions - understanding the category, consumer and brand - before arriving at a solution. Ultimately we arrive at a brand definition that can be easily translated into the digital medium or into a brand proposition for a creative brief. 

And the last leg of the exercise involves defining the digital strategy, with the clarity that comes from knowing who we are, what is our brand personality and what we need to say. When we have completed the two exercises of defining the marketing plan and the brand definition, then the digital strategy just flows from it as a logical extension. Then we know very clearly what is the content, conversations and user experience that we need to create that best reflects the brand. 

At Bright Angles, we believe in holistic solutions that embrace offline and online strategy - very much like the new age consumer whose offline and online life are both realities that a marketer needs to deal with.