Ah Covid. If there’s one good thing to have come out of this epidemic, it would have to be the innovation in transitioning your brand to digital. If you were used to selling from a physical store, sending paper invoices or taking all your meetings face to face then chances are you feel like Mike in Stranger Things when he goes into The Upside Down. Everything is still the same just on a whole new level and playing field. You may still be selling the same products yet HOW you now have to sell them has changed dramatically.
But does this mean all of our hard work building our brands has gone to waste as on some level we have to start again? Or can we keep the very essence of our brand, transcend it into a new experience all while retaining the integrity and reputation we’ve strived so hard to build in the first place?
I think so.
You see, every successful brand goes through continuous evolution. Remember when Apple had a multicolour logo and sold iMacs in every colour of the rainbow? Contrast this if you will to the minimal, (mostly) monochrome, high tech, slick company they are today. Yet in every phase in their growth they’ve managed to remain positively.. well.. Apple.
And the same can be true for you.
Because nothing will ever remain the same except change. So jump on board as we uncover the four essential factors to translate your brand online while remaining true to the OG brand you’ve built to date.
- Communicate your brand story
Humans are sensory beings. And we use all of these senses to create mental references and decide what is ‘good’ and ‘bad’ or ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. In person you read body language, feel the texture of a product, smell the fragrance of a store and all of these details contribute to the opinion we form of a brand. They say we make our minds up about a person within 3 seconds. So it’s easy to see how much information we take in sub-consciously to help us make these opinions. It’s no different online. Yet how can we engage people on all of these levels to evoke an emotional response and help them resonate with your brand? Because if you think telling a story is all about words, let me try convince you otherwise. As critical as good copywriting and messaging is for your brand, people are time-poor and tend to skim. They look for visual cues to help them make their mind up faster and to indicate whether it’s worth their time to continue reading.
This is why your online brand is imperative. Do you ever visit a website and just instantly know it’s for you? That’s because they’ve done their research and know exactly who you are. They know who they are trying to attract and they reflect that in their brand. From the fonts used (are they rounded and welcoming or in all caps and dominating) to their colours (do you use yellows to make them feel warm and welcome or monochrome to ooze sophistication and seriousness). What imagery is used? Is everything pixel perfect and aspirational? Or do you show some messy BTS shots to feel relatable and more human?
All of these things communicate and tell your story. One way or another, a story will be told, it’s up to you to control what that story is when you’re transitioning your brand to digital.
2. Keeping a consistent tone of voice as you’re transitioning your brand
Once you’ve created a solid visual brand and website that strategically connects you with your ideal client, it’s time for them to engage with you further and read more about the brand. It takes 7-22 touch points for someone to know, like and trust a brand so it’s imperative your messaging stays uniform throughout every digital touchpoint. Why? Repetition = Trust. Ever noticed how when you keep seeing a brand pop up, you feel like they must be legit? And even bigger than they are? I thought so!
So how can we emulate this for your brand? It’s all about deciding what platforms you will use (website, social media, email newsletters etc) and ensuring they sound and look the same in every place. Because if they don’t, it’s a waste of a touchpoint and ultimately confuses your customer. It’s like if you McDonalds used different letters for each restaurant. Some had the golden M arches but others had a X, Y and Z. It wouldn’t quite be the same would it? And similar if your brand is not recognisable whenever someone comes across it.
So decide on how you would like to sound (conversational/ serious/ thoughtful) and to take it a step further create a list of words and phrases you always say and never say and share this with your team. Worried you won’t have enough time? Check out this post to help stay consistent even when you’re feeling like spider man (up the walls 😉
3. Optimising your brands digital experience
It’s one thing to have a nice or even a beautiful website. But what do you want your audience to do? You need to be the one in the driving seat here and design a roadmap for the site with the ideal customer journey you want them to take. Decide on the ultimate goal of your website and work backwards to make a step by step plan of all the actions your audience needs to take. Then? Make it as easy as possible for them to take that action. Don’t overwhelm people with information and multiple options. Use clear call to actions to take them from one page to the next and closer to that end goal.
Think about how you shop and experiences you have loved in the past to get some insights. Think about who your ideal customer is and what they want and need urgently. Then tailer your site to suit. Think about the little details such as ‘abandoned cart emails’ or follow up offers if people were on your site but didn’t buy. Think about incentives such as free shipping to entice them. It’s all about making their life easier and making them feel special and though of.
This is 100% worth investing in to get the perfect blend of storytelling, sales psychology and user experience optimisation when transitioning your brand.
4. Innovating your customer experience
When a customer comes into your store you can read their body language. You can adapt your selling techniques and mirror their body language and behaviour, So it can be daunting creating an online customer experience where it’s a ‘one size fits all’ and has to work on everyone. The way around this is personalisation and segmentation. By using the right platforms to capture information about your clients online, you can adapt the messaging they will see through things like your email newsletters and you can make it very personalised.
You can personalise emails to use their first name, filter emails to make sure you’re only sending the relevant customers on your list certain offers and promotions.
You can even add a touch of offline personalisation through things like Hand-written and personalised thank you cards which you can include with your orders. Take it a step further and have a few thank you cards you can use for example one geared more towards males and one for females. There really are so many ways you can tailor the experience and show your audience that you care and get them. It’s just about thinking outside of the box and getting some help to apply things to a digital space. There is a plethora of YouTube how-tos out there (including plenty on handy resources on our blog right here) or amazing service providers that can lend a hand.
So I hope you’re feeling freshly inspired to embrace the World of E-commerce and transition your brand to the next (digital) level.