It is said, "Marketing is what you do, branding is what you are".
The excessive prevalence of the social media is both a boon and a curse for the brands.
Just like getting to launch new products, run promotions, take advantage of the seasonal trends at the same time, engaging with the loyal customers in a more personal way are the pros of the digital age.
At the same time there lies a very high risk of potential brand infringement by the online scammers, hackers, impersonators etc that sometimes results in huge damages to the reputation of the company.
But irrespective of the cons, social media is a powerful marketing tool that helps you put a human on your brand and connect with your customers on a more personal level. Today you need to promote and protect your brand across the vast social media landscape. Branding, marketing and advertising all are the tools that you use to help promote your business. As one strives to push the boundaries with their marketing activities in this fast digital environment, they need to ensure that they maintain the fundamentals of brand building for long term success.This means it's of utter importance to build in healthy doses of social responsibility and brand accountability. In the digital age, brand marketing is highly competitive, and more important than ever.
Branding in the digital age
One must keep this in mind in the world of social media and digital marketing, your brand is visible across multiple channels on a global scale. This constant exposure creates a need to keep your marketing messages tied to your brand ideals in an authentic as well as transparent way. Branding is a tool for developing and maintaining a competitive advantage. With the increase in population in the digital world, it is becoming highly important to stay in this competition where it's increasing every single day. Getting access to easy mobiles and the Internet, users are now more aware about the terms of products and services that different brands are providing all across the globe for a single item. In order to stand out in this highly competitive race one must ensure high quality of products and customer services, so that the brand can be well distinguished from Rest. At the same time, with being able to interact with one another more easily users have access to opinions of other users very easily, which heavily influence their purchase decisions, which may not always be very fruitful for the brand or company. In addition to paid and owned media, strong digital branding has the advantage of earned media – such as communities and brand advocates. One must keep this noted that, branding is not only about one's product or service – it’s about your social engagement, customer services, sales process, your employees and everything in between – think about how digital has changed the above.By being able to manage your brand accountability, in the correct manner you can get people to fall in love with your brand and stick to it. This is important because consumers tend to make buying decisions for emotional reasons.If you employ quick, public social media interactions that are consistent and authentic, you can foster the kind of goodwill that creates brand ambassadors with the social media influencers. This can help in successfully managing the negative online comments and reviews that might otherwise destroy the reputation of the brand. Nowadays people being very concerned about mother earth are more inclined in buying products from brands that generates less waste or are engaging making an effort to bring a change in the world. Surveys show that consumers like to support brands that are good citizens because it makes them feel like they are also making a difference in the world.
The way we define and demonstrate what a company stands for, and the efforts to improve the company’s reputation over time, should be regularly informed by relevant and timely input that can help companies understand what people think and feel about them, interpret these perceptions and act accordingly to engage people effectively. In this scenario, while the challenges of effectively managing brand and reputation have grown in the digital age, they have also become easier to address by helping automating and accelerating relevant processes. It's important to note that corporate reputation matters to everyone in the company from employees, leaders, and investors to the customers and overall industry your organization is a part of. Social platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook are places your company can do a lot with. Includes:
showoff employer brand and work culture
be transparent about your business
share a brand personality
engage with customers at a more personal level
highlight your customers and employees
So, just in order to get the most out of your integrated digital marketing, make sure that you don't overlook the importance of brand building which is more important. Define your brand and what it stands for, think about what drives it and focus on how customers perceive your brand for every aspect of your business.
However, basic principles of branding and brand management are still, and will continue to be, central. Key concepts like identification, differentiation, and brand positioning (Samuelsen et al., 2016) will not go out of fashion, and may be even more important in the digital future.