How to build brands in the age of digital marketing?


Our guest author, Abhishek Jha, says the fundamentals of building a brand are consistency, long-term planning, and strategy-driven creativity that touches the hearts of consumers.

A famous American marketing author once said, “The art of marketing is the art of building a brand. If you are not a brand, you are a commodity. Every organization has the ultimate goal of achieving or maximizing sales. More so in today’s digital marketing world, where we can track everything: cost per thousand impressions (CPM), cost per click (CPC), cost per lead (CPL) and cost per acquisition (CPA). While this is great for us marketers because it brings transparency and a science-based approach to getting ROI, it’s also essential to assess how the brand is perceived and efforts to build a mark for a long-term recall!

Media spend for quick results

We live in a world where our groceries are now delivered within 10 minutes and that is sometimes what we expect with our campaigns. Creating a sales funnel and investing in performance marketing are the priorities. However, consider a scenario where you need to purchase an insurance policy and in your online search you start getting two advertisements, one from ABD Insurance Ltd with a premium of Rs 900 per month and the second from Bajaj Insurance Ltd of Rs 1,000 per month. , which one would you end up buying? Building brand awareness and not jumping straight into tactical campaigns is very crucial. Media planning should be clearly divided into awareness and performance marketing.

Brand building is forever, media can keep changing

Consumer attention spans may have drastically diminished, but basic human emotions will never change. Every purchase a consumer makes is based on their connection to the brand. A brand should have a larger purpose with a unique proposition. Brands need to build a personality so consumers understand if the brand is going to be funny or serious. It is quite common to say that our TG is everyone from 20 to 60 years old. A brand needs to know exactly who it would like to talk to and on what basis the same communication can be crafted. With a wave of new age businesses, many brands will be built on digital platforms, unlike a decade ago when offline mediums were imperative. However, the principle of a well-thought-out brand strategy will be constant.

A long-term perspective

“Success does not come from what you do occasionally. It comes from what you do regularly” – Mare Forleo. Like success, an iconic brand is not created overnight. There are consistent marketing efforts that allow a brand to be recognized with a strong connection to consumers. A brand must be invested in a long-term image and create a plan with a constant effort to build the brand.

Strategy-driven creativity

“Creating without strategy is called art. Creation with strategy is called advertising”. A brand must think about the positioning it is trying to build with consumers. While branding has its talking points, it’s still important to communicate in a tone and manner that consumers can emotionally connect with. Strategically, the brand needs to act as a publisher and know exactly the middle ground between brand communication and content that would interest consumers.

Set clear goals

Knowing where you need to end up supports the journey. It is important to define the purpose of running a campaign. When a brand tries to educate, it shouldn’t try to sell and vice versa. Altogether, this all helps to generate business for the brand. Key parameters should be clearly defined. Nowadays, quantification allows us to set precise objectives. So, when setting goals, let’s specify whether we’re trying to reach people by maximizing impressions, are we trying to get consumers to come to our website, or are we trying to get them to buy the product through advertising ? On the basis of well-defined and articulated objectives, the creative strategy will naturally fall into place.

Build a brand from your heart

Finally, even in this dynamic digital age, one fact that does not change is the passion with which brands are created. In the race to become the unicorns, what remains constant is that consumers will always buy products and services that serve a larger purpose as a brand. “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it and what you do just proves what you believe in” – Simon Sinek.

The long-term strategy for brand building would be to draw principles that truly represent the brand and communicate honestly. The digital age sees more and more products and categories being introduced rapidly, but it’s ironic that the brands that take brand building seriously are the ones that earn the trust of customers. To conclude, the way to a consumer’s heart is through building a strong brand!

Abhishek Jha is the founder of AdStreet Communications. An integrated advertising agency based in Mumbai.