In today's digital age, branding is no longer a matter of systematic implementation of clear, clever, creative & timely ad placements. It has evolved into an art of emotionally connecting with your target audiences through right marketing messaging, in manner, medium and moment of their choice, intending to improve the way they experience your brand.

Table of Contents 

  1. What is a brand
  2. Digital Branding
    Digital vs Legacy/Traditional Brands
  3. Digital Branding Strategy
  4. Brand Consistency 
  5. Your Value Proposition
  6. Leveraging Inbound Marketing 
  7. Setting - SMART GOALs 
  8. Buyers Persona - Know Your Audiences 
  9. Competitors Analysis
  10. Personalization & Segmentation
  11. Measuring your brand

What is a brand

A brand is a name, logo, design, color, image, sign, symbol, words, sentence or anything else that one business uses to differentiate itself from others.

According to Wikipedia “A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. Brands are used in business, marketing, and advertising. Name brands are sometimes distinguished from generic or store brands”.

Digital Branding

Act of marketing, promoting and advertising of a brand using the digital medium is called the digital branding or online branding and sometimes referred to brands online authority.

Easy availability and accessibility of digital channels, combined with raging audience appetite, has made it imperative for B2B businesses, (Enterprises and SMEs, alike), not only to have an online presence but also to have clear, consistent and defined messaging across all digital channels.

Today, brands can gain, instant success ( Strange Things) or failures Baskin-Robbins-Stranger-Things( Pepsi-ad with Kendall-Jenner) Kendall Jenner Pepsi Adover the internet. Though an “overnight success” sounds tempting it's not viable or sustainable.

A sustainable brand building takes time, effort and a systematic approach. It encapsulates everything that you are already doing (website, content creation, social media, marketing) and more. It’s a herculean task to make a brand stand out and appeal trustworthy to the target audiences.

You not only need to have a big voice, that can be found by the right audiences, at the right time, but also has to have 'key differentiators or niche areas of expertise' to demonstrate the unique experience that your brand represents

Digital vs Legacy/Traditional Brands

  • A digital brand focuses more on user experience and post-sales activities, positioning itself in the lives of customers, whereas a legacy brand is focused on positioning itself in the minds of customers and presales activities.
  • A digital brand engages customers as Users, where a legacy brand engages them as a Buyer.
  • Digital brand spends on post-sales advocacy and renewals where a legacy brand spends on pre-purchase promotions, discounts, and sales.
  • Legacy brands spend more on traditional media advertising, whereas their digital counterparts are often discovered on social networks and word-of-mouth.
  • Legacy brands focus on creating buyers for its offerings, whereas digital brands are focused on creating users for their offerings.
  • Digital brands are concerned about user experience and what customers are saying post-purchase to each other, whereas a traditional brand is worried about what they say to customers.
  • Legacy brands try to influence customers perception along the purchase path, whereas digital brands are worried about overall customer experience post-sale, at every touchpoint.

In the end, a brand is what its audiences and customers perceive it to be and its success and failure are determined by its customers.

Digital Branding Strategy

Strategy, in spite of being a word favored by the shiny suits of the world, really just means thinking about why you’re doing something before you do it. So starting your digital branding strategy is as simple as deciding what you want to do, how you’re going to do it, what you eXpect to happen, and when and how you’ll measure your success.

Brand Consistency 

For a brand to be recognized, they needs to maintain a consistent brand experience across all channels, no matter which channels your customers choose to interact  with your brand –  website, blog, email, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube  – they should all demonstrate the unique experience that your brand represents. From logo, colors, fonts to design & over all visual look and feel, brands should strive for same consistency, making it instantly recognizable across all channels. 

Your Value Proposition

Your value proposition is a promise of value to be delivered. It’s the main reason a prospect should buy from you, and not from your competitor. The core of your competitive advantage, and it is the most important thing people will take with them when considering your brand.

A brand needs to convey clearly  - What they do - defining clearly what they offer, How  they do it - describe exactly how they do what they do and For who for they it - explaining areas of  specialization or vertical and articulating how it sets them apart from others". 

Leveraging Inbound Marketing 

Inbound marketing is based on attracting, engaging, and delighting people to grow a business that provides value and builds trust.


Brand awareness: Do you want more people to know about your brand and get your
products and services more widely known?

Acquisition or lead generation:  Do you want to reach people who’ve never bought from you before and bring them into your buyer’s journey?

Growth from existing customers: Do you want people who’ve already bought from you before to buy more frequently or a different kind of product? If possible, set a specific goal – one with metrics attached to it and a time limit. These might include:

  • X Number of leads from a piece of downloaded content in 1 month
  • % of old customers buying a secondary product within the year
  • % Follower growth on social media within 2 weeks

A brand strategy consists of long term specific goals and a clear roadmap to achieve them. Taking into account brands tangible and intangible (name, product, services, logo, website, and far more - the visceral and frequently intangible) aspects of the company's identity.

Setting Your Marketing Strategy

A well-defined brand strategy becomes the backbone of a successful company, especially for online enterprises that typically lacks a physical brick-and-mortar store.

Setting - SMART GOALs 

Start with setting up smart goals. The types of goals we’ve set out above on page, pick one to concentrate on. Really understanding  the  goal  you’re  trying  to  hit  is  the  first  step  to reaching it.

Buyers Persona - Know Your Audiences 

Get to know your audience!

If you don’t understand enough about who you’re trying to reach, you’ll struggle to deliver a message that’s relevant enough to cut through. Make  your  own  buyer personas  –  fictionalized,  general descriptions of your key customer groups.

  • Think about who your customers are and group them into 3 or 4 buckets.
  • Take each of those and create a character from each.
  • Give him or her a name, a photo, a personality and a few favorite things. Our biggest tip: rank them! To get started download buyers persona template here 
Buyers Persona Template


Competitors Analysis 

  •  Brands that might have a similar look and feel as a brand to you, or be other brands that your target customers use frequently too. You want to know what you’re up against, and you can learn vicariously from both triumphs and mistakes. Get inspired by your competitors’ wins, and use your differences to highlight what’s unique about what your offering.
  • Indirect competitors – brands that may offer different products but compete for the same space or budget as your offerings. 

Personalization & Segmentation 

Once you’ve identified your buyer personas, use them to position their company, website, and social media presence to:

  • Develop highly targeted content that appeals to buyers’ needs, goals, and interests.
  • Place content in the channels where prospective buyers are most likely see them.
  • Develop highly targeted content that appeals to buyers’ needs, goals, and interests.
  • Place content in the channels where prospective buyers are most likely see them.
  • Draw buyers in with well-formulated ads, strong images and branded links that contain a call to action.
  • Attract better, more qualified leads that maximize ROI.
  • Provide customer insight across business teams so that everyone understands the lead’s needs, goals, and interests.
  • Improve the quality of the persona over time by examining your customer base and refining the persona accordingly
  • Design products and services that are better-suited to the target persona.

According to a recent survey, successful digital brands ‘not just do things differently; but they think differently’, compared to legacy brick & mortar or traditional brands.

Measuring your brand

To understand a brands value, inbound marketing relies on understanding how connected or engaged a brand is with its customers. Herewith engagement means how emotionally connected a brand is with its audiences, to improve the way they experience it.

A higher emotional connect is not only a mantra for generating more customers but also retaining them and eventually turning them into your brand ambassadors and promoters. The crucial success factor, in this age of on-demand marketer, 'Your Customers Are Your Best Marketing Channel & Brand Ambassador'.

Engaged Customers

According to a recent HubSpot survey, 70% of emotionally connected customers, not only spends twice the amount they spend on other brands, but also 81% more likely to promote the brand with friends and family.

Today consumers are more concerned about what customers are talking about the brand than what brand is saying about itself. Brands identity has become central to its perceived value and needs to be grounded in a clear and well-communicated value, setting them apart from its competitors, and emotionally connecting with its target audiences.

Customers are the sole reason for a businesses existence and they need to recognize and understand the same. Companies must understand how to measure emotional connection with its customers.

Unfortunately, a majority of companies are simply using dated or wrong methods to understand the qualitative aspects of audience engagement. Things like audience sentiment, value alignment, and the integration of a brand into daily life and everyday conversation. Either they don't understand how to measure emotional engagements or don’t feel its effects and tend to settle for a lower level of engagement.

Engaged vs Unengaged

Companies who truly understand how engaged they are with their target audiences and customers focus on the right message and the right channel to help them grow. There is a much higher chance of converting an engaged lead into a customer, an evangelist and brand ambassadors then unengaged lead or a customer.

Engaged audiences are much likely to give you a glowing reference for future business then unengaged, whether they’re already a customer or not.

An unengaged prospect or customer is unlikely to buy from you or be a repeat customer, they are more likely to be brand detractors and might cause damage to the brand.

Measuring Your Brands Engagement Level

However, measuring engagement isn’t as simple as “engaged” versus “unengaged.” There is a much more realistic and nuanced framework to quantify, measure and increase engagement, called “Seventh Level Engagement”, derived from framework originally used to measure the engagement levels of students in a classroom.

There are a lot of meaningful parallels, from the engagement level of students in the classroom and an audience to a brand, including the difficulty of MEASURING that engagement.And that’s where the Seventh Level Engagement comes in and becomes helpful for businesses.

Seventh Level Engagement

The lowest level of engagement – or disengagement – to the very highest level of engagement.

The bottom 3, we have

1) disengagement

2) unsystematic engagement and

3) frustrated engagement;

Top four levels we have

4) structure-dependent engagement

5) self-regulated interest

6) critical engagement

7) literate thinking.

At any given time, a brand will always have some portion of their audience that falls in all seven of these buckets. It’s not realistic to expect that your entire audience is at the highest level of engagement at all times.

That said, when you strive for the seventh level, you’re guaranteeing higher levels of engagement because you’re taking the time and energy to reach the highest level with your customers.

The best brands will have the majority of their audience at or near the highest levels of engagement and will be actively working to keep them there. However, there always be some portion of their audience spread among all the other, less engaged stages.

Taking action to move the folks who are less engaged up to a higher engagement level. Brands should first, identify audiences at each level; second, take an action to move them up to level by level; and third, having goals and metrics for actually measuring that progress.

Golf coaches around the world have long known this, to hit a perfect shot, focus on swing and follow-through.

B2B businesses looking to exploit the potential of digital branding unlocked, need to rethink their strategy, organization, investment, and measurement. The key to success here will be to think about the prospect as future users and not as a buyer.



Topics: B2B, Digital Branding


Written by Parvind

A seasoned technology sales leader with over 18 years of experience in achieving results in a highly competitive environment in multiple service lines of business, across the Americas, EMEA & APAC. Has a strong understanding of international markets having lived and worked in Asia, the Middle East and the US, traveled extensively globally.