Brand and Digital: Designing for the Digital Brand
In today’s world, brands have the potential to reach audiences in more ways than ever before. The power of digital allows us to engage with brands all over the world – 24/7, 365 days a year.
With new digital channels comes the need for brands to communicate effectively and consistently, on and offline. Brands have to be nimble enough to flex across channels and platforms. But here lies the problem: as digital efforts are expanded, companies find their branding isn’t fit for purpose. Why? Because digital wasn’t part of the thinking in the branding process.
Traditionally, brand and digital was siloed, with the respective work split between agencies. The brand agency created the visual identity to be executed online by a digital agency. But with the move towards an increasingly technological future, comes the need to consider digital as a core part of brand creation.
A positive digital experience
We spend the majority of our waking hours immersed in technology. Most of us actively seek out digital experiences over real life exchanges because for the most part they make the process smoother (think high street bank vs. online banking; Nationwide vs Monzo). It’s no longer enough to just exist online. Brands have to thrive online. They have to work harder than ever to appeal to different audiences, across more channels than ever before.
How people experience a brand has never been more important – after all, experiences are what people remember and connect with the most. Yet with technology and consumer behaviours changing at a dizzying pace, the ability to react to an ever-evolving landscape can be challenging. Crafting visual identities with digital in mind allows brands to be more flexible. More ready and willing to adapt. The value of having both brand and digital insight is crucial for the longevity of brands now. You can future proof your business.
Digital thinking in the branding world
Often the problem with the traditional process of branding is that a brand’s identity can’t be shoehorned into an effective online experience. Whilst a lot of companies pin their commercial success to their online efforts, major touch-points are often overlooked. Online, customer journeys can happen from beginning to end without any human interaction, so trust has to be built on a more abstract level. The brand has to resonate at every single touch point.
A digital team can take into account the intricacies of different platforms and how that may impact the overall user experience online. Brand applications can be experimented with, tweaked and tested in real world settings. Results can be quantified by metrics and data. This gives brands the ability to be braver and bolder with their approach; ensuring it connects with their audience with the confidence of data-backed insights.
Brand and Digital
Businesses are investing more into digital, whilst also realising the importance of having an impactful brand. The two don’t have to be mutually exclusive. The best branding works well on and off screen. Better still, digital interactions can help to actively reinforce a brand identity. Think Strava – to give kudos; Tinder – swipe right; Facebook – like button. These digital quirks are not only synonymous with the brands themselves, they are ingrained in our culture.
Having branding and digital teams around the table gives both expertise equal merit. Our Digital Designer, Mike agrees: ”Housing both brand and digital under one roof at Fiasco gives us freedom to collaborate and share ideas across teams. This ultimately leads to a more robust and creative end result, as our thinking is aligned. As a digital team we’re not trying to interpret a brand through inherited assets or second-guessing brand guidelines. We have a seat at the table and are helping to shape them from the outset.”
Involving a team who specialise in digital at the very beginning of the process allows the brand to be pushed and tested for digital, even in its infancy. Arguably, the earlier a digital design team is aware of a project, the sooner they can start to seed ideas. Mike adds: “Inspiration for creativity can come from anything, anywhere, any time. Having insight of the project pipeline means you can bookmark things as you stumble upon them.”
Where brand and digital collide
One of our recent projects with an award-winning sleep and mindfulness app for children, Moshi, highlights the importance of working as a joined up team. Initially appointed to rebuild the Moshi website, the project quickly became something more and led to us sharpening up the Moshi brand with the website at the centre. Having both brand and digital teams under one roof allowed the brand team to finesse the visual identity with digital team chipping in with UI considerations. Thanks to the streamlined process, Moshi didn’t have to juggle multiple creative agencies. The result is a first-rate brand experience. You can read more about the creative process in our Moshi case study.
Above: A recent example showing how online touch-points reinforce Moshi’s brand identity.
The future of branding
In an age where culture is so heavily reliant around online interactions, brands can no longer afford to treat digital as an after-thought. Having both brand and digital teams working closely together creates design systems that reinforce brand identity across every asset and touchpoint, whether that’s on or offline.
At Fiasco we bring together brand and digital to create the extraordinary. If you’d like to speak to us about a future project or collaboration, drop us a line here.