Brand identity in the digital age - Part 1
"It's only a website"
Think twice before you start
Do you remember some homepages from the early days of the internet? From todays point of view they look akward as back then there weren't many ways to display content properly. Often they were constructed from plain text and images and badly layouted with tables and simplified styling. But they were easy to build and manage ...
Today a proper website is much more than a bunch of pages to provide interlinked colorful information. There is a more demanding expectation of the visitor to get entertained while consuming the offered digital goods. Modern Websites include nice graphics, interactive elements, videos and are expected to work smoothly on all devices and display sizes. By including forms, contact and chat functionality they also work towards a bidirectional way of communication.
What has not changed over all the years is that a website is still a central point of representation and communication channel for information to the visitor.
To get started easily and safe time one can buy a predefined "professional" website theme on the internet from one of the various theme pages. One can also hire a web designer and initiate a little project to get some customized pages. There are also services offering a quick and dirty way of home page building.
All this might safe some initial time - but such services can never do the work for you to deeply think about what you want to offer and promise. Some of them might also lock you into static things - making it hard to later add new ideas or expand to different use cases in a flexible way.
So it's still a challenging task to think carefully about the structure and the content that needs to be made available to transport a message.
Before starting any activities in that direction one should think about a single thing:
"What is the story to tell?"
Because a webpage is primarily a medium for story telling. And a good storyteller has an innate ability to attract people to listen to them.
You need to combine this question with another one:
"What is the brand and brand identity for the upcoming adventure?"
Because if you start a website journey afterall then it is never a digital one alone.
Be it a commercial company, an organization or a community: one will not only be presented in the internet on a single site (often called the "homepage") but also on many additional sites to represent the journey in social networks and elsewhere. One will soon need to offer it in the real and non-digital world too - when anonymous visitors get converted into customers and participants.
So it makes sense to think about the brand and brand identity first ... before one devote thoughts to the website only.
Designing a brand
A brand provides a kind of framework to shape the way people feel and think about a product, service or a mission. A brand has to give a promise. A brand promise statement is simply the customer expectation codified in a one or two line sentence.
Our astares journey is about ideas, software and technologies who can be utilizied towards an easy and usable digital future. It all should be there to enable, not prevent. People should leave utterly complicated setups behind and be able to solve problems with next generation innovative ideas and tooling.
We think there is always a way to a solution and to find it one has to follow new paths. This can only be done seriously with a solid background and experience as one requires knowledge to separate the wrong paths from feasible ones. Creativity is required and thinking outside of the box - leaving behind things preventing to solve a problem. So the primary promise is to deliver:
Competent solutions beyond limitations
That's what astares is all about.
A brand is also about personality. When expressed properly, brand personality positively affects a consumer's attitude towards the brand. If the brand personality is similar to their own people will identify with the brand and will more likely align with the offered goods, ideas or services.
An interesting paper "Dimensions of Brand personality" from Jennifer L. Aaker (published in 1997 in the Journal of Marketing Research) includes a model dividing into five major dimensions:
- Sincerity - Down-to-earth, Honest, Wholesome, Cheerful
- Excitement - Daring, Spirited, Imaginative, Up-to-date
- Competence - Reliable, Intelligent, Successful
- Sophistication - Upper class, Charming
- Ruggedness - Outdoorsy, Tough
It's already clear from our initial promise statement that the third is the one to choose here:
Also because only reliable and intelligent solutions can ensure lasting success.
Note that when you define your brand personality, you give people a reason to choose you. With a clear and consistent brand style people will recognize and remember you.
A brand identity is also associated with specific qualities to focus on.
In our view people depend on these qualities for a primary reason: to get the job done right.
Read more about branding in our next blog post , so stay tuned.