How to Develop a Strong Digital Brand for Your Business – PRINT Magazine

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Expert shares 7 tips for creating a website that is engaging and digitally visible.

Whether you’re transitioning from a side hustle or launching a brand new venture, a strong digital brand will help you succeed.

Your digital brand is a visual representation of who and what you stand for and how you expect people to perceive you. And, it can be a valuable asset— a consistent brand presence across all platforms can increase revenue by up to 23%, according to the “State of Brand Consistency” report, published by Lucidpress.

“Particularly in this day and age, your digital brand will be the first contact people have with your business,” says Rachel Ritchie, Principal, Creative Services at Portland, OR-based digital marketing and design agency Good & Gold. “If a business aims to grow, scale, and create an audience of engaged clients that remember them and come back, their digital brand needs to be a meaningful priority.”

You are ready to begin? Ritchie lists seven key points to help you build your digital brand.

1. Identify your position

Think about the brand you want to create and how it should be perceived. You should ask yourself why they would be interested in what you offer. Then, consider the impact on their lives. Consider your audience. This includes who and what they like about you. Then, create an image and word collection that conveys your essence.

Keep in mind that when you’re trying to stand out, a compelling part of your story may be something other than what you offer, like where you source materials. You might also consider the way people experience your company. The number one brand distinguishing factor in 2020 will be user experience.

“If people recommend something, it won’t be because of the formulation or the legacy of the business,” Ritchie says. “It’ll be because the product was great and the experience was easy. Experience is a huge piece of the puzzle.”

2. Select a brand voice

Each business is different, so the process for finding the perfect brand tone and voice will be different depending on your market and personal preferences. “Find out what feels authentic and real for you,” Ritchie says.

Your brand voice must be consistent in all channels, digital and offline, including direct mail, print, point-of-sale, presence at trade shows or festivals, as well.

Your brand will feel more trusted and trustworthy to customers if you use a consistent tone. This gives them a sense of core values. Think about how you want to be perceived— your tone can help convey honesty, knowledgeability, reliability, friendliness— all kinds of human values.

Brand voice can evolve over time, Ritchie notes. You can see what people react to through different channels. Evaluate where you’re connecting with your audience, and don’t be afraid to tweak the approach to improve your reach.

3. Make your style timeless

Visitors will first notice the visual aspects of your digital brand. You should choose a color and font that is fresh but not trendy. Create a style manual to provide clarity and direction to your brand’s staff. Ritchie notes that there isn’t one “right” choice of color and style. “Everyone is different, and everybody has their own feelings about color and typefaces.”

“You want to reference what’s out there— for example, high-contrast colors or color blocking,” Ritchie continues. “But you want to stay away from typefaces or color schemes that feel too trendy, so you don’t look like every other site.”

Look for an aesthetic that is timeless and will last. Your website, as well as social and video channels should all be compatible with typefaces.

“Think about how things can spin off in different directions across time,” Ritchie says. “The last thing you want is to need to redesign your website six months from now because it looks dated.”

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