How to Build a Digital Brand That Lasts
Today's digital advertising makes brands more visible simply because there are more places to display a brand. As they spread and consumers learn about them, they take on a personality of their own.
Digital brands can have a lot of staying power, but many of the top brands have faded from prominence in recent years. With so many other brands waiting in the wings to replace them, staying relevant in a crowded marketplace is demanding.
Entrepreneur notes that brands become more visible when their logos and media are visible in more places. As these brands become more prominent to consumers, they turn into household names. Today's digital advertising makes brands more visible simply because there are more places to display a brand. As they spread and consumers learn about them, they take on a personality of their own.
The Brand Personality
Investopedia defines a brand personality as human characteristics that a particular business brand name represents. The push to humanize brands came around in the late 90s, with consumers getting tired of the stuffy corporate look most significant brands were going for at the time. Brand personality exploded in the 2010s, with social media branding taking over as the preferred way to interact with consumers.
Brand personalities became less about the brands themselves and more about how they wanted the consumer to see them. However, even through all of this, a personable brand didn't automatically stand the test of time. There needed to be some added element that reflected on the business. While it helped get brands noticed, it didn't do enough to keep them in the public eye.
Understanding the MACE Framework
For a brand to be resilient, it needs to have essential, specific characteristics that keep it relevant. Digital media and spaces don't have the permanence that signs or billboards have. While traditional advertising is still in some aspects of brand marketing, the digital space has overtaken it.
Now, with a few dollars, a brand could splash itself in a position where all of its core audience could see it and recognize what it offers. However, seeing a brand and having it stick in a consumer's brain are two separate events.
For a brand to remain relevant through the long term, it must understand the MACE framework, which is:
Mastery: This aspect refers to a brand's ability to leverage its consumers to purchase non-transferable assets as a show of support. Businesses leverage their customers' loyalty for using their product and give them "special treatment" in the form of purchases available only to select customers. This interaction allows the brand to curate a "fear of missing out" (FOMO) and a chance to reward those consumers that are most likely to become brand evangelists.
Accessibility: Where do consumers go to get your products? Are there products for users of all levels? What about options for more advanced users? Accessibility of a product makes it more likely for the product to both support its growing consumer base and reach out to new customers. Allowing the product to have different levels helps keep the dedicated (and most likely, most financially invested) customers engaged. Newcomers don't need to focus on complex and expensive products and instead choose something more suited to their likes and budget.
Cadence: A brand's presence in the world doesn't exist in a vacuum. Marketing comes from designing new content and leveraging a community to create more content. As brands start to grow and spread out, their content will interact with the public. Marketing materials like ads and mascots might get a makeover treatment from artists, both as practice for their style and to pay homage to the brand identity. One of the most effective ways to set the cadence of news about a brand is to be transparent with everything, including failure. As consumers look at humanizing brands, this can help the brand make more of an impact on its consumer base.
Ensnarement: While this sounds like an underhanded tactic, it's basically describing how "sticky" the brand is. Primarily, ensnarement deals with product development. Systemization is where a business publishes a line of related products to encourage buyers to collect them. Being the collectors that we are, humans are drawn to getting all of a particular type or set. Spawning products are another way to drive ensnarement. Spawned products come with their own reasons to share with others and get them involved—little by little, one group branches out to ten then to a hundred.
Useful in Several Areas
The MACE framework isn't just confined to certain brands but may be applied to any product. By including these aspects into a brand's marketing, they create a way to stick around for longer on the digital stage. If anything, it underlines the importance of brand messaging and how critical the internet has become to maintaining a company's relevance.
Businesses that don't learn and adapt to this changing landscape are doomed to fade away. It requires constant updating and learning about what the community is working on and providing content for them to use. However, it's still the most secure way for a brand to ensure its relevance in the twenty-first century.