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In the past, only big “brand names” had the power to dominate the market: only those who can afford big billboards on Main Street, can hire iconic stars to carry their product, or can afford more than 30 seconds of air time on television and radio have the means to be seen by customers. Back then, the “name” was the branding.
But today, in the age of technology and digital marketing, brand names don’t hold as much weight as it did in the past. So, is branding still important?
The answer to that is a resounding yes.
But it’s no longer branding your “name” that’s important, but branding your “identity”.
Brand Name Vs Brand Identity
With so many media platforms available – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Google — getting your brand’s name out to the market is easy. But audiences are no longer passive and prefer to follow brands that connect with them on a personal level.
This is where brand identity comes in.
According to Investopedia, brand identity is “how a business presents itself to — and wants to be perceived by — its consumers” and is different from a brand (or brand name) which is the company’s logo and name used to distinguish itself from others.
When brands interact with their customers online through engaging and meaningful posts, this is growing a brand’s “online identity” and helps connect with customers to make the brand more likable.
Building Your Identity Online
For digital marketers, making a brand likable online is a big challenge. It’s not enough to just post anything on social media and ask customers to like your brand; every post must have something that your target audience can resonate with.
There’s no set way of doing things online or a kind of post that can win your brand instant fame and virality, but in order to “resonate” with your market, it’s important to be authentic.
Customers nowadays can sense when brands and digital marketers are pulling their leg, asking them only to like their brand for their own profiteering agendas. And because customers have the power to choose – and even block – the content they take in, inauthentic marketing becomes a poison to your brand that can slowly kill it.
What It Means To Be Authentic
But what does it mean for a brand to be authentic? Does it mean that you need to always be honest and ethical?
While it is good to always be honest and ethical towards your customers and brand supporters, being authentic means standing by your brand’s vision and ideas, and communicating these ideas with audiences.
By connecting with customers who hold the same ideals as your company, you form a strong bond with one another that could lead to referrals — and eventually sales.
The word “branding” has come a long way and its meaning in marketing has changed dramatically over the years, but no matter what medium or platform you enter, branding will still play an important aspect in the growth of your brand.
Finding a solid brand identity that resonates with a volatile market is no easy task, that’s why hiring a team of professionals to help you is important if you want to thrive in a growing digital marketplace.