Digital branding is a demanding management task, requiring comprehensive attention to detail and the highest levels of expertise. Digital branding means brand management in digital media and technologies. Employing its particular capabilities, digital branding seeks to raise the profile of the brand and to systematically shape it over the long term. Successful digital branding is not an isolated instance, but rather a piece of holistic brand management: visitors should experience digital offerings in the same way they experience the brand in television, radio and print. Following a primer on brand management and the particulars of digital media and technologies, the reader experiences how to present a brand using digital brand storytelling. In the latter portion of the eBook, the reader will learn advanced methods and techniques used to generate strong, ownable emotions around a brand.
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We would like to express our sincere thanks to Janita Gall and Jerrold Freitag for the great collaboration!
Prof. Dr. Dieter Georg Herbst
The question of how to further improve digital branding has occupied me for many years. Along my search for answers, I devour books, speak with consumers, consult with colleagues and closely follow the latest research. What motivates me? I wish to create beautiful things in order to make the world more beautiful. Digital branding offers enormous potential in this regard: stories, images and powerful emotions go hand-in-hand with digital brands.
As an internationally recognized expert in Digital Brand Management Iconsult worldwide for companies, organizations and individuals.Moreover I amhonorary professor for Strategic Communications Management and Head of Department of the masters program Leadership in Digital Communication, Head of the accreditation courseDigital Brand Management around the Worldat the Berlin University of the Arts (Germany), guest professor at the JiaoTong University in Shanghai (China), chief instructor for Corporate Communications and Social Media in two EBMA programs at the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland) as well as lecturer for Digital Brand Management at the University of the Arts London (Great Britain). I work and teach worldwide. As a member of the Council of Internet Sages I look ahead with other visionaries into the digital future.
Thomas Heinrich Musiolik
Annoyance, boredom and disappointment with most brands drives me to look for the perfect brand code. I want to experience and feel brands. I want brands to excite me. I want to feel their passion and contagious energy – I want a mind orgasm.
That is how I approach the quest for the perfect brand code as director of the Digital Brand Lab and in my role as post-graduate researcher. Which brand code stands for what? Which feelings and emotions does it evoke? How does it need to look in order to facillitate multisensory brand communication in digital media with the end game being to turn the the brand of the future into a liveable experience in the digital world and ensure an unforgettable mind orgasm.
In addition, I have authored various books and articles in professional marketing & communication journals. My goal has always been to improve lives functionally and emotionally. You can count on my wizardry, a little insanity and a thirst for knowledge: I will make the world a better place and change the future.
2 Chapter 2: Unique Aspects of Digital Media and Digital Technologies
2.1 Unit 1: Introduction
2.2 Unit 2: Where Brands Live in Digital Media: Digital Brand Environments
2.3 Unit 3: Unique Aspects of Digital Branding: the "Big Four"
2.4 Unit 4: Accessbility
2.5 Unit 5: Connectivity
2.6 Unit 6: Interactivity
2.6.2 Person-to-machine interaction
2.6.3 Person-to-person interaction
2.6.4 Person-to-content interaction
3 Chapter 3: Digital Productions: Digital Brand Storytelling
3.1 Unit 1: Introduction
3.1.1 Increase in Importance of Digital Brand Storytelling
3.1.2 Storytelling’s three components
3.2 Unit 2: Effect: Storytelling is brain-friendly communication
3.3 Unit 3: Core elements: people, action and the stage
3.3.2 Elements of action in the story:
3.3.3 Stage and props
3.4 Unit 4: Dramaturgy: the hero’s journey
3.4.1 Actions: the hero’s journey
3.4.2 Examples: brand stories
3.4.3 Tools: Ladder of Abstraction and islands of understanding
3.5 Unit 5: Unique aspects: digital brand storytelling’s big four
3.5.1 Integration: multimediality
3.5.2 Accessibility: location-based branding
3.5.3 Connectivity: smaller pieces of information within the main thread and secondary threads
3.5.4 Content interactivity: users creating new forms of storytelling
3.5.5 Problems with interactivity
3.6 Unique aspects of digital brand storytelling
3.7 Unit 6: Scope: Digital Brand Storytelling Environments
4 Chapter 4: Emotional Boosting toward the Strong Digital Brand
4.1 Unit 1: Introduction
4.2 Unit 2: Emotional Brand Coding – Expressions of Strong Digital Brands
4.2.1 Four Types of Codes
4.1.6 Digital Brand Code Book
4.1.7 Three approaches to a clear positioning
4.3 Unit 3: Multisensory impressions in digital media: the strong brand speaks to all the senses
4.3.1 The importance of multisensory experiences
4.3.2 Multisensory boosting
4.3.3 Multisensation and our digital brand
4.4 Unit 4: Emotional Boosting: Importance of people
4.4.1 Effect of people
4.5 Unit 5: Mirroring: we think, feel and act like others do
4.5.1 Four important types of mirroring
4.5.2 Checklist: people as motif
4.6 Overview of methods and tools introduced in this book
4.8 List of Figures
4.9 List of Tables
Brands within digital media are becoming more and more important for brand management as a whole. The corporate website, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are already all standard brand management tools at most companies. The following examples illustrate just how important digital brand management has become:
►Many brands are present in digital media and thus available worldwide.
►Consumer purchases at eShops and orders by cell phone are steadily on the rise.
►Consumers recommend their favorite brands to one another on social networks with increased frequency.
►The internet is growing exponentially via developments in technologies, the opening-up of markets, etc.
►New applications and access points arise like mobile, smart phones, the iPad, tablets, etc.
►Social software solutions are popping up at a rapid pace.
Many companies are planning increases in their digital marketing budgets over classical channels in the near future.
Despite much potential, many shortcomings
Despite the potential, there are still shortcomings: brands on the internet are boring, consumers interrupt searches, online stores are abandoned. In addition:
►Many brands’ digital media presences do not correspond to their images in the offline world. Consumers become confused.
►Many consumers do not find the information they are looking for. Many websites are undifferentiated and boring. Result: site visitors stay only briefly. Confusing websites and meager offerings at online stores bother online shoppers.
►Consumer dialogue does not happen although digital media presents the ideal possibility for it.
►Real digital brand experiences rarely occur, whereby it is precisely those experiences which distinguish brands and connect to consumers.
►Many brands fail at cultural difference: how does a company sell chocolate in China or cars in Korea? Why are consumers in Africa so interested in athletic shoes? Companies waste billions of dollars annually because they do not translate their brands into other cultures.
►Facebook and Twitter are prevalent and well-liked in the west – not so everywhere in the world. There are other networks in those places with different rules of engagement.
►Companies are helpless once users decide to unite and boycott a brand: Greenpeace attacked Nestlé on social networks to protest the destruction of orangutan habitat from palm oil production for KitKat.
Result: wasted potential, mistakes or crises on the internet cost companies a lot of money
Summarizing the mistakes suggests the following focus points:
Companies think too much from the standpoint of the brand:they simply shift classical advertising ideas to the internet without considering its unique, digital attributes. Such offerings add no value and are therefore not interesting. They just repeat what we already know. After all, other media like television and radio were only able to assert themselves because they offered something new.
Companies think too much from the standpoint of the internet:they push technologies to the limit, but the brand comes up short – the brand image does not correspond to the one the user knows from classical advertising channels.
Brand and media expertise is required in digital media
Standard solutions made up of the product side, historical details, tips, gimmicks, greeting cards and contests are no longer viable paths to distinguish brands or to connect with the digital consumer over the long term. Nor does loud, provocative advertising suffice to steer user attention toward a web offering.
We will concentrate on doing it differently
►We offer website visitors a one-of-a-kind experience. They do not experience anywhere else what they experience with us. They meet people they would not normally meet. They feel things they would not usually feel. They see things they would not normally see.
►We take our consumers seriously, we greet them warmly and guide them carefully and without tricks and detours to their desired destination.
►We do not burden them at the front door with disconnected advertising, we do not leave them waiting for minutes before we make them feel welcome as our consumer.
►We empower them to find what they are looking for.
►We stimulate their senses and entertain them.
A part of brand management as a whole
Digital branding is a part of brand management as a whole. It contributes to building the brand image by leveraging the attributes particular to digital media and digital technologies. Digital branding addresses the following issues:
►What are the unique attributes of digital media on the internet, on cell phones, smartphones and in other digital media?
►What do digital technologies like augmented reality, virtual reality, Bluetooth or QR codes bring to the table?
►How does one capitalize fully on the potential of these technologies?
►What are some differences around the world in digital brand management?
►How do these digital technologies uniquely contribute to an increase in brand value and thereby to the value of the company?
►Does digital branding stress certain brand features? Does it forefront new features?
►How will digital brand management look in the near future?
What is a brand? As simplistic as this question sounds, it is equally as difficult to answer: is a brand a product? Or the image of that product in the minds of consumers? When we ask brand managers at any given company, we get as many different answers as the number of brand managers we ask. I propose:
A brand is a product or service that rewards the consumer with a unique and powerful emotion when they purchase it.
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