The most successful firms have more than just a brand identity. They offer customers a total Brand Experience.
Customers who have had a positive brand experience don’t just recognize the brand. They feel it. It’s about ensuring that customers have a good experience at each and every “touchpoint,” or point of contact with the brand.
As it turns out, this not only boosts brand loyalty, it can also help your SEO, or search engine optimization. This is the key to getting your name at the top of those search results on Google. Although some have argued that SEO and branding are two separate and competing marketing strategies, the fact is, both strategies support each other.
When you create a good brand experience for your customers, your SEO soars because:
- Customers are more likely to search for you specifically.
- Customers are more likely to type in your exact URL.
- Customers are more likely to click on your site.
- Customers are more likely to stay longer on your site.
When customers type in your company’s URL, that is called “Direct Traffic.” It’s the second-largest type of search, behind organic searches. Organic searches are those that occur because someone typed in an inquiry and found what they were looking for that way. People are more likely to talk about/ like/ share information on products or services with which they’ve had consistent and positive brand experiences.
In practice, good brand experience might work to boost SEO like this: Customers scroll through their social media accounts and spy a product mention by a friend. The first time they see it, maybe they gloss over it. But after five or six times – seeing an advertisement, hearing a friend talk about it, reading a blog about it, spotting a five-star online review – there is a higher chance that that person will remember it. (And if you’re using good SEO practices in addition to your branding, you should be targeting customers via these touchpoints.) Then when it comes time that person has a reason to buy a product like that, yours will be the name that pops into their head. The first place they – and millions of others – will start their search is Google. The search engine takes them right to it.
Google rewards those direct search hits with higher page rankings – and they are often driven by positive brand experience.
Another way that brand experience can help your SEO: The better brand experience you offer, the greater your brand reputation and the more likely you are to get those coveted “back links.” These occur when reputable and/or varied sites link back to your site as an authority or leader in your industry. The more diverse these links, the better this is for you. These links are a big factor in determining where your page ranks on a search engine. Even if people mention your brand name – but don’t directly link to it – this works in your favor too. (And forget trying to pay for these back links anymore. Google’s 2012 Penguin update heavily penalized sites that do this. The best way to get back links is with quality content and relevant search results – both of which are a part of positive brand experience for your customers.)
Consistency in brand experience across platforms can help too. Customers know what to expect, and that always helps. But beyond that, Google will look for firms that are consistently branded. While search engines don’t subjectively rank which companies are “better,” they do look for companies that have the same message across platforms (each representing a different touchpoint of the brand experience). A website that has clear, consistent branding, a meaningful message and utilizes the best SEO practices will outrank the others every time.
At Go Media, our graphic design team can help you determine the best ways to create a positive brand experience for your customers.
To learn more about how our team of Cleveland graphic designers can help your Brand Experience, call Go Media at 216.939.0000 or contact us online.
The recent, radical rebranding of Uber had many wondering if the company had taken wrong turn.
Millions scanned their smartphone screens last month for that familiar black-and-white icon to access the ride-sharing network. But overnight, the mark vanished. What they discovered instead were one of two geometric shapes: Circle for riders and hexagon for drivers.
Black, white and gray tones were scrapped for an array of vibrant colors and a wide range of dynamic patterns, tailored to each of the 65 countries in which Uber operates. For example, in the U.S., the logo is now dark teal. In China, it’s red. In Ireland, it’s green (of course).
CEO Travis Kalanick told Wired.com the tech firm wanted a more flexible brand experience that could evolve as it attracts new customers and develops new products.
It was a major shift in gears for a company that has built a fervent following in recent years. Many derided the choice. At the same time, Uber had somewhat of a unique challenge in that its brand is both global and local. The ride-sharing market in Shanghai is much different than that in Cleveland, and the brand needed to reflect that.
So, how do you know if your company will benefit from a rebranding or if you should just ride it out with the one you have?
The very first step to answering that question involves meeting with the experienced Cleveland web design team at Go Media. We can help offer direction. The fact that you are launching a new website or an updated product line doesn’t necessarily mean you need a total overhaul. Still, it’s a good time to hit the brakes and consider whether it makes sense.
Every situation is going to be different, but in general, we recommend a rebranding in cases where:
- Your brand fails to reflect your current vision. This is fairly common. What seemed like a good choice for a name 10 years ago is no longer doing your organization justice. Other times, there is a shift in the cultural context of the name or symbols or colors. The bottom line is the brand should be propelling you forward, not dragging you down.
- It’s tough to differentiate your firm from the competition. If all your branding is too similar to the competition, you may want to consider branching out. After all, the whole idea of branding is to carve out a competitive edge.
- You shy away from doling out your business card or website address. If your website is stale and outdated or the brand just looks unoriginal or boring, you should probably consider an update.
- The business strategy or model has changed. Evolving technology and previously unforeseen opportunities can alter the way your business operates. You should make sure your brand is aligned with those changes.
- You’re in the midst of an acquisition or merger. Anytime there is a merger or acquisition, it should be seen as an opportunity to consider a rebranding effort.
- Your current brand carries a negative connotation. In this age of digital media, a single social media misstep can result in serious consequences for the brand. In some cases, rebranding is the cleanest remedy.
And of course, don’t overlook the possibility that your firm might benefit from a brand refresh versus a total rebranding effort. A brand refresh allows you flexibility to:
- Shift the look, but keep the logo.
- Update the colors and add messaging.
- Expand the design system.
- Update, yet still retain visual connection.
If you are considering rebranding, our skilled team of designers will advise you of the best route.
Contact the Cleveland brand experience experts at Go Media by calling 216.939.0000 or contact us online.