One of the most important concepts in modern digital marketing is branding. Branding allows a company to align its mission through every facet of its presentation, which is used to attract customers and build a following.
In other words, branding will communicate the company’s overarching goals in a way that users will immediately recognize. Certain visual designs are used for different business goals, while marketing teams will use certain buzzwords to attract a specific consumer type. But just like branding can be used to attract the perfect consumer, it can also be used to hook unsuspecting users without delivering on the insinuated product or service. Consumers see a specific design and product and assume that a company will be reliable based on its killer branding… even if that’s not the case.
Let’s look at two examples of accurate branding and pitfalls to avoid.
The tighter the competition, the more important branding becomes. For example, the US legalized sports betting in 2018, which has led to a huge influx of betting companies. Each group focuses on a more granular aspect of betting, which is highlighted in free bets offers. Some groups are branded for DFS users, which will be pulled to their company for their fantasy deals. Others will highlight their varied betting markets, which makes them popular with general bettors interested in new sports. Some offer bets on non-sports-related events, which further differentiates their company.
The idea is that no branding will be entirely alien from other offers; the tighter the branding, the more the details matter in terms of what a company offers. Look for these subtle differences.
Looking at the Fine Print
In the above example, each company will use branding to stand out from competing groups. However, some companies will glom onto the success of others; beware of companies that overuse buzzwords.
For example, the cleaning industry has shifted to offer more eco-friendly and non-toxic products to homeowners. However, these buzzwords (‘eco-friendly’ and ‘non-toxic’) have become overused in branding. Worse, they’re not always accurate representations of a product. In other words, cleaning solutions that say ‘eco-friendly’ aren’t legally bound to actually hold up to that title. It’s a vague word that helps companies attract consumers, who may have trouble gauging whether the product is actually good for the environment.
Beware of branding that immediately endears you to a company through the use of certain words or visual designs alone. Always look out for substance rather than just style. Keep in mind that most companies will go to great lengths to break down their specific mission statement when they’re truly innovating, which can often be found on a website in the ‘about’ section.