Last year’s surge in e-commerce sales will not be remembered as a pandemic-era phenomenon that eventually gave way to a return to brick-and-mortar normalcy. Instead, it will be marked in time as a dramatic acceleration in a trend that pre-dated COVID-19. Indeed, one study found that the pandemic had sped up the shift from physical to digital commerce by as much as five years.
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As customers grow increasingly tech-savvy and become accustomed to online shopping, their digital expectations inevitably increase. It is well-known that shoppers have little patience for any friction along the customer journey – whether it is slow page load times, irrelevant product placement and recommendations, insufficient payment options, and so on. But customers also expect brands’ online presence to have an appealing, engaging look,and for their message to have relevance to their lives and interests.
That is why brands should consider undergoing a brand refresh that will resonate with new audiences, reintroduce themselves to existing customers, and help them stand out in an increasingly competitive online landscape.
Here is what you should know to ensure that your digital refresh drives meaningful results.
Winning new audiences and re-engaging current ones can be challenging tasks, but they can be made far more manageable with a unified brand voice that conveys your brand’s identity, tone, and purpose in a compelling way that your target customers will appreciate.
That is where robust data comes into play.
As with all other aspects of your online presence, your refresh should be anchored in a deep understanding of your target audiences. Before going all in, you should market test end-user personas to gauge what type of experience and voice your customers would prefer to engage with. This will help guide what stories you tell and the key messages that you want to stand out.
It will require you to break down any organizational silos that hinder a holistic understanding of your customers. Different departments within your business – sales, marketing, customer support, and even technical teams – possess a wide range of data and insights that can help your brand gauge what customers are looking for, what may be lacking in their current site experience, and how you can bridge the two. That is why a collaborative approach to a brand refresh is a must.
Making It All Pop
While not all customers may be able to articulate their precise needs and expectations, sometimes all it takes is an eye-catching visual element to convince them that they have found a brand with which they would like to engage. Imagery that acutely symbolizes what your company has to offer – think the Nike swoosh, the Amazon arrow, or the Apple apple – is especially effective and memorable.
How you distinguish your brand should be true to your brand’s culture and values. The values that foster a strong brand identity may include integrity, dependability, enthusiasm, and dedication. Reinforcing these attributes in day-to-day operations will help bring the external brand to life – making for a unified refresh.
Take the Amazon arrow, which has been part of the company’s logo since 2000. The arrow stretches from the first “a” to “z” below the company’s name – hinting at how the e-commerce giant aims to meet all its customers’ needs, from A to Z. The arrow also doubles as a smile, which is precisely what the company hopes its efficient deliveries will make customers do.
Just as you cannot afford to silo the data and expertise of different departments within your organization, it’s fruitless to pursue a rebrand that’s only focused on one or two of your brand’s assets. An entirely revamped website is no small feat, but it should be accompanied by changes to your brand’s presence on social platforms, its digital campaigns, and all content it produces. The language, imagery, design, and layout of your company’s assets should all support a cohesive brand identity that your customers will recognize as distinctly your own. This can be a major boon to your bottom line, as a 2019 study revealed that companies with consistent branding can boost their revenue by 33%
But the bottom line should not be the only focus of your brand refresh. For a brand legacy with integrity, your goals need to be bigger than profits. Focus on driving transformational change, rethinking what is possible, and fostering a dynamic, vibrant brand culture. Where real innovation goes, profits are sure to follow.
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