We are living in a digital era, that is an unquestionable fact. Big brands understand that if they want to continue being successful, they must adapt rather sooner than later. Companies need to create a digital-first brand or rebrand themselves to be suitable for digital experiences. They can build on their existing basis, but transformation is necessary. What worked in the last decade, may not work today. The market and customers are developing every second and the progress is inevitable.

Customers in the digital era are more powerful than ever

First, it is essential to look at every single aspect of your customer. Big brands often check their main competitors, but that is not enough.  We live in the 21st century and if you want to be successful, you need to understand how your customers react, how they behave, what they need and require. If you try to see things through your customers’ eyes, it will not only enrich your knowledge, but you will also get a whole new point of view. More and more people make decisions based on information they can find online. You must make certain that they will find everything you want them to find. Through their interests, you can also collect useful information which will contribute to saving financial resources on marketing. Then, you can invest in other areas of your business and expand more rapidly. For instance, Group Renault is rebranding to Renault Group. Renault is in the process of transformation and one of the goals is referring to social issues (decarbonization, safety and inclusion). You defy what you want to express. The name is their way of communicating the change. In this case, it symbolises unity and clear direction for the future. 


Source: underconsideration.com

Flexibility. There is never only one right solution

Everybody would like to have the right solution immediately and without any complications. Unfortunately, that’s unreal. Your company needs to test, iterate, and most importantly, it needs to be flexible. Optimization is the key, but you have to find your own way to get to it. If your brand breathes and lives its essence, you have practically won. According to the research firm Altimeter, almost 9 out of 10 companies try to undergo digital transformation.  It is also about learning; you need to educate yourself about the nature of the ever-changing trends all the time. Digital marketing is a powerful tool for establishing your brand and developing reliability. Zoopla, one of Britain's biggest web services providers can serve as an example of flexibility. After more than a decade, they have created an entire searching system, price comparison and many more aspects. Despite having achieved that, they are still trying to develop by refreshing their services and being flexible in the way they target their audience. If you target a specific audience, you will be more effective.

Source: zoopla.com 

 Three words, one meaning: Keep it simple

What you do matters. In the digital era, there is one key aspect of success and that is experience. Research done by Forbes magazine reflects that 3 out of 4 millennials consider money less important than meaningful experience. Your company should get to know your customers, have a dialogue with them on as many platforms as possible. Also, it is important to behave like their partners. Your product is your branding, too. Once you understand how your customer thinks, you are on the right way to be successful. Through a digital-first approach, you can target your audience on the right platform at the right time. Get inspired by Mastercard. This company did a rebranding with the emphasis on simplicity, velocity, and availability. They removed the name of the company from the logo as a reinvention of the brand. Four out of five people recognised the Mastercard symbol without the name. This is the next step in the evolution of this company towards a post-text era. This rebrand is also an effort to become a symbol brand which works perfectly in the digital era. Thanks to the emerging voice control technology, Mastercard also introduced a multi-facetted sonic brand with enormous flexibility.

Source: mastercard.com

Consistency is a queen: You better not ignore her

BMW, one of the most famous automobile manufacturers in the world, posts daily on several channels (Facebook, Instagram, website etc.) which contributes to better awareness and relationships with the people. In the past, there were many more billboards and articles in newspapers, bulletins, or magazines. Today, the focus is predominantly on the online presence. If you are consistent on multiple platforms, your business will benefit from it.  Unlike its traditional counterpart, digital-first branding acknowledges that brands are figuratively (and literally) in the hands of consumers – often via mobile devices. Therefore, digital platforms like the phone, web, and wearables should take strategic precedence over more traditional marketing vehicles. The key to consistency is for a brand to have its brand codes. That is the strategy we always apply when creating a new identity for our client. Such an example can be our client, the global Slovak company Websupport. 

Websupport went through a complex rebranding and not only changed its logo, colours and typeface, but also added a brand new fluent device that helps the brand communicate and stay visible and recognizable across all possible platforms. Furthermore, the brand is now noticeable even when the fluent device is not present in its entirety but only in parts, e.g. its hand making all kinds of gestures. The fluent device is used consistently and works well in all kinds of formats from social media posts, websites, and ads all the way to animated videos. The brand made consistency their queen and now they reap what they sowed. It's become a distinctive asset so effective that the brand now stands out even among its global competitors. 

Story as a king of marketing in modern era

It is said that content is the king, but the content you create should be based on a good story. The story of your product, of your company. Why are you doing what you are doing? Where are you from? What would you like to say to your customers? Why should they buy from you? You can pack all the answers in a story or even several stories. It is up to you, but the storytelling element in 21st century’s marketing is one of the most important aspects. Through storytelling, you are developing a personal relationship with your customers, therefore creating a unique experience and emotion. A good story in the beginning can save you a big amount of money. According to MuleSoft and Opinium Research, 72% of internet users considered changing service providers because of a bad experience. If you are considering rebranding, the story is essential. It will take some time, but it will be worth it in the end. A good example is Carré Noir, rebranded French popular beer Kronenbourg. The project worked with global brand identity and with the history of the region. You can easily understand the motivation behind the change and care about the whole story of the company. It is very important that your story is understandable, engaging, and concise. In practice, you should start with a clear idea of what you want to communicate. Mind maps and brainstorming sessions could help. 

Source: carrenoir.com

Concerns for all: Every company needs to react 

You need to react to the digital age. If you want to keep your momentum, you may need a rebranding. A good example is the worldwide-known fast-food giant Burger King. This year, they unveiled their first rebrand in the last two decades. As representatives said, they wanted a refined design which is confident. Also, when you use a Burger King’s mobile app, you can benefit from it in the form of coupons which can be activated through your phone. That is also a sign of reaction to the digital era. The rebrand of Burger King was not only about the logo. Alongside the logo, they introduced new covers, products, menu, uniforms, and design of their restaurants. In this case, the main benefits are a better functional view of the brand in the digital area. The result is a distinctive and natural look that is different from the others. One of the goals was also to preserve the personality of this brand.

Source: burgerking.com

Be available: Anytime, anywhere, and for anyone 

We discussed that your company should try to see things from the customer's perspective. But there is one more thing. You should try to be everywhere. Today, approximately 60% of searches on the web are done using tablets and smartphones. Companies have to change designs of their websites and make them more user-friendly.   

The Bank Cler as a small Swiss retail bank faced such challenges and rebranded completely. Previously known as Bank Coop, the awareness of the company was very low, the image was outdated and the customer base was shrinking. Furthermore, transparency and honesty are still the biggest challenges for Swiss banks. The goal of the renaming and rebranding was to increase the brand awareness and implement operational and cultural changes caused by digital transformation. The bold new name, which means clear, plain, and simple in Rhaeto-Romanic, differentiates from the Swiss mainstream and traditional banks. The visual rebrand consequently followed the strategy and includes barrier-free web and app usage, branch offices looking like co-working spaces, and even a flexible and less strict dressing code. The bank was able to catch up with competitors in terms of  brand awareness, attract younger customers and even increased motivation of employees.


Source: cler.ch