By Conor Brady on 03/21/2019
The single most valuable asset a business owns is its brand. We don’t even call most businesses companies—we call them "brands.”
That’s their essence, and they’re complex things. The modern customer sees very little difference between their experience with a brand and the brand itself. The brand mark is the tiny tip of an iceberg that’s made up of a carefully considered, interrelated series of characteristics, personality themes, values, and maybe more importantly now, experiences.
Brand creation was once the sole preserve of the branding agency (or daring entrepreneurs). They delivered the brand book, which, for a long time, was a physical artifact filled with things like color palettes, brand marks, fonts, conceptual art, and guidelines for tone and voice, and even more. It was an inherently analog solution that often got elevated to the level of “Art” – think of the reissued NASA style guide.
Then digital arrived.
For many years, digital has given brands a platform to reinvent decades-old industries rapidly, and along with it, the very idea of branding. The ability to be ever-present (mobile), dynamic (data), and even a joy to use (interaction design) has enabled new and incredibly strong relationships between brands and modern customers. It's now commonplace to call out disruptive digital natives like Uber, Simple, Oscar, and Airbnb as brands that changed what a brand can be. When we look at how the digital landscape is developing—with the use of voice, sound design, and physical space—branding looks more and more digital every day.
And yet, it’s uncommon for digital agencies to serve as the brand creators and stewards—even though they grasp digital better than anyone, have creative skill sets comparable to branding agencies, and are often far more business driven.
So, here’s the question many brands may want to ask themselves—why are we still creating analog brands in a digital world? If that question seems worth answering, then here is some food for thought.
BE A DIGITAL-FIRST BRAND
Organizations can no longer afford to spend time and money creating brand guidelines delivered in a PDF. Here’s why. When it comes time to use that PDF, it too often falls short of the requirements needed to bring a digital experience to life. Inevitably, a whole range of gaps turn up when the digital team gets to work. And the considerations and decisions needed to fill those gaps are often the very things that will differentiate the brand.
A BETTER BRAND STEWARD
How often do we meet a brand for the first time on a digital screen? Almost always.
A brand’s digital presence has become pivotal to how it does business, understands its customer, and communicates its proposition—no matter if it’s a year old, or a century old; regional or global; B2B or D2C. The aesthetic, the tone, how it moves, how it sounds, how it gets used—these are critical considerations in the modern brand “Style Guide.” Digital agencies are uniquely capable of being both the originator and the steward of such a style guide. They can envision the brand digitally, design it with well-researched use cases, test its efficacy in its native digital environment, and optimize it continually.
Read more here: https://beta.thedieline.com/blog/2019/3/21/why-digital-agencies-are-the-new-branding-agencies?fbclid=IwAR02OHZY3UZOIfgYDHaSllcZuXe2RXTmRT2mp4XYVCH92lYnZ2N6e8M4c5w