Digital-first Rebranding Strategy for Maximum Impact


insight digital first

There is no question that we live in a digital world. Often your customers, internal stakeholders and prospects connect more with your digital assets — your website, an app, or social media –than they interact with your organization in the physical world. So why do we still primarily think about logo refreshes and brand identity updates in the context of business cards (who uses them anymore?), stationary, and swag?

Now is the time for the digital-first rebrand.

Traditional vs. digital-first rebranding strategy

Too often brand repositioning is mostly focused only on the logo. And when companies take on a brand refresh, they concentrate too much on print marketing materials and use of that logo. But your logo is only one piece of a much bigger brand identity picture. With your web presence, mobile applications, and cloud-based products offering the greatest opportunities for brand positioning, a rebrand has a significant opportunity to reshape not just your look and feel, but also your approach to storytelling. The most valuable return on your successful rebranding investment is deepening the connection with your target audience, and focusing on the most impactful brand identity platforms first is key.

Managing traditional vs digital

Analog to digital rebranding process can be awkward

When you are undertaking a rebrand, nowadays it’s more important than ever to think about the digital applications first. Sometimes a traditional approach to branding strategy can make digital implementation flat out difficult. Making sure your logo and visual identity can work in responsive layouts, uses colors that work on-screen or has digital-ready fonts are just some of the design concerns. Legibility in the digital world has a whole different set of brand considerations. Even your brand voice has to be approached differently online or on mobile.

Sometimes a traditional approach to brand development can make digital positioning flat out difficult.

Defining your digital brand image

In today’s world, your UX telegraphs your brand personality. It defines the experience, so it’s important to be purposeful in your choices. By thinking about digital applications first in your rebranding process, you can be sure to prioritize the experience of your brand identity from all perspectives. That doesn’t mean you won’t consider traditional marketing materials. It just means, to be successful, you focus first on what is often the most exacting one – digital:

  • Website
  • Apps
  • Cloud-based Products
  • Social Media Properties
  • Logo Animations
  • Videos
  • Online Advertising

Even traditional product companies need to be thinking in this way. In today’s world, digital has to be part of every marketing culture. Digital design is transforming products and industries at every turn. We all have to be ready. And the old-school approach of applying offline marketing collateral in an online world doesn’t work anymore. It just adds rebranding process complexity and launch cost that aren’t ok in today’s agile approach to business.

Immediate application of your refresh

One of the best things about a digital-first brand refresh is the immediacy of your opportunities to put it to the test. From reskinning apps, to refreshing your website, to updating social media streams, a new, more robust story and accompanying updated look and feel can be out in the wild extremely quickly. And there are advantages to this semi-instant gratification (ok, a new website takes some time, but compared to the print world of the past, it’s light years faster). You can have pretty immediate feedback on the impact of your rebrand work. From direct input from customers and prospects via social, to measuring web engagement through metrics like clicks, time on page, bounce rates, and web form completion, you won’t have to wait too long to know the reasons you’ve struck the right chord with your target audience.

Ready for a digital-first rebrand?

If your brand launch has been stalled or you’re experiencing the frustrations of fitting a square offline brand into a smooth digital presence, then it’s time to consider a digital-first brand refresh. For you, it’s a consciously different approach. For your target audience, it’s just about a new, seamless experience that’s unique to you. And that kind of successful rebranding is everything in marketing today.

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