Digital Brand Identity

Tria-mockupDigital Brand Identity is a relatively new buzzword floating around the internet. Not maintaining your digital brand identity can have serious implications for your business or organization. There are a new breed of companies setting up shop promising reputation management. They react to negative stories or social media posts about your organization and attempt to clean up the mess afterwards. While most of them do a good job, we hope, digital brand identity is much more than reacting, instead it is being proactive. We live in a digital world where all brands, from governments, to businesses and even individuals are now fully accessible on-line.  If you don’t believe that, then go ahead and Google your own name.

In a digital world you have to assume that your message will be copied and often broken up into smaller bits when shared across the internet, because that is exactly what happens. Simple techniques such as putting your logo and contact info on your graphic displays, blog postings, and e-mail will insure that you keep your digital brand identity long after your information has left the house. Don’t let your message get lost. Take for example Pinterest, where images and infographics are “pinned” and put up on personal and organizational boards and then shared to others. Your hard work could be admired but quickly forgotten if you don’t plan for your digital brand identity by clearly putting your logo and other contact information on those images. Photographers for example have practiced putting their branding on photos, in essence creating a digital brand identity or in their case an “analog” brand identity for decades. With facebook and twitter, images and infographics (often your front lines in the digital brand identity “war) get shared by your fans to their friends.

Every organization should implement a digital brand identity methodology and begin internally with their own website and related branding as well as with their clients. As a company you can tag every image with your phone number and website. How do you do that? Simple, with an infographic you would put your contact information directly on the image. For regular images on your website it’s a bit more complicated but still a relatively simple matter. On every webpage you have an opportunity to “tag” an image, in the image description area, where you are supposed to describe the image. In fact for certain sites especially large corporate sites and government sites you are required to describe the image. We recommend this to smaller organizations as well, to become compliant with the Americans for Disabilities Act. Of course you can describe it, and also add your website and contact info. It will be picked up by search engines and every link back to an image of yours will have your digital brand identity stamped right on it. Blog posts and posts to message boards can also ensure your digital brand identity when you end your post with your brands logo, (if they let you do that) and your web address and other contact info.

Branding is nothing new. Governments have been doing it for thousands of years with flags as their logos, and businesses for perhaps hundreds of years. It is no coincidence that every nation has its own digital brand identity in the form of the letters following the dot on internet addresses, for example –  In the past people would talk to themselves about this company and that. The difference now is that many of those talkers are on facebook and twitter. Perhaps it was a bit simpler to maintain a brand in a past without the instant peer to peer communication we now have. But living in the future has its advantages too. Cellphones are much more useful than rotary phones and likewise a digital brand identity is much more useful than an analog brand identity.  Maintaining your digital brand identity while being more of a challenge can also give you far more rewards. Because of the viral ability of the internet smaller entities are on the same playing field as those with much larger budgets. YouTube, facebook, twitter, Pinterest and other social media services give your organization a chance to show your unique digital brand identity (in the past simply called your brand) to billions.


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