Branding can be a touchy subject; the digital persona of your brand feels, well, personal–and even in our most progressive moments a lot of us can fear change. If you’re thinking about brand update, you may intuitively already know what your agency or marketer/marketing team is going to tell you: what worked for you to get you where you are doesn’t quite fit with where you’re going.
The truth of it is that brand updates aren’t like reality-show makeovers–or at least they shouldn’t be. Real success is going to involve collaboration from you, as stakeholders, (to your degree of comfort) with the people doing the work of discovering who you brand will be going forwards. While every professional tasked with this type of project will handle it in their unique way, we wanted to share what our process is at Blink, and 3 key things you need to think about when you do a digital branding makeover.
A framework for your future
At Blink we use the Design Council’s Double Diamond “Framework for Innovation” as a guide to help work through the many of the challenges we’re given. This four-step process is a simple and intuitive way to break a problem down into its core components, giving us an even-paced series of tasks coupled with points where we check in to validate our work with updates on progress.
The four steps are: Discovery, Define, Delivery, Drive
When looking at your digital branding the first phase involves asking questions about who you are, how both you and your audience sees you now, what you’re doing right, and what you think you could improve on.
The second phase looks at the insight from the discover phase in relation to the question of “who are we online”. Nothing is sacred here, don’t be afraid to say you’re not happy with what you see. Transformative change needs honesty. This is also the step where you start to build the list of things you’re going to need to create in step three.
For many the most challenging part of that process is step two: defining what you need. We’ve got a tip that can help: ICE. These three letters aren’t just the three components at the core of the exercise; they’re also the order in which you should work:
We’ve covered identity briefly in step two with the idea of the brand persona. There are many templates available online to help you build that persona out, but keep in mind that there may be disagreements even within your own team as to what that persona looks like. Think about workshopping the process and finding the median where your ideas intersect.
Consistency can be almost contradictory: the look, voice, and feel of your brand shouldn’t be uniform across all your platforms. After all, what you might post on LinkedIn won’t fly on Instagram, what you’d say in person or on the phone isn’t how you’d phrase things in email. The paradox here can be resolved with audience personas: who are you speaking to on each of the channels where you’re looking for engagement? Adapt your brand persona to inhabit those spaces and speak to your audience in a natural way.
In phase 3 you’ll take what you’ve learned in phase one and what you’ve concluded in phase two, and begin to build a persona for your brand. Treat your brand like a person: what do they sound like? How do they feel? Create an actual image of who your brand would be as a person and flesh it out with demographics (the measurable stuff) and psychographics (the emotional/motivational stuff) to get a better idea of how you think your brand should be perceived online. With that persona in-hand, create the material you know that you need from phase two.
This is the part of the program where we put all of that effort to work: going live and driving results. With the service or solution live in market we can start gathering data to see how things are working. These constant checks are part of an efficient monitoring program, letting us analyze what’s working, what’s not, and then optimizing things to be even more productive.
From here we actually re-enter the double diamond loops as needed; branding isn’t a destination, it’s an on-going process of analysis and improvement, keeping each brands one step ahead of the demands and needs placed on it, both internally and by clients or customers.
There’s far more to a digital branding exercise than can be covered in a single blog, but the purpose of this content piece is to get you thinking about the steps you need to take to make a project like this work. If you have the skills in house this skeleton should be an excellent jumping-off point. If you don’t but you’re still looking to make strong moves in recasting your brand online, give us a call.
We’ve discovered, defined, developed, and delivered for hundreds of clients over man years to an incredible degree of success. Call us and we’ll find out if we’re the right choice for your brand.