Most marketing experts or CEOs are under the misconception that branding is a one-time thing. You spend on it for a few years (preferably one or two) and then stop!
That is not the case. For branding to be successful, it needs to be a long-term exercise. You simply cannot stop conveying your brand story or defining your brand promise one fine day.
In other words, no matter how excellent your branding is right now, you can improve. If Bennet Schwartz is to be believed, the biggest room in the world for brands right now is the room for branding improvements!
For brands, there are two possible options when it comes to pursuing branding- offline and online platforms and mediums.
Given how digital growth has taken the world by storm, businesses need to make sure that they are active and aggressive with regard to their branding in online ecosystems.
In this article, we are going to look at both offline and online branding. We will discuss some of the advantages and list down, which medium should work best for your business.
Online Branding: Meaning and Definition
Online branding has gained quite a reputation in recent years. Given how search engines and social media platforms have become such a huge part of our lives, there is no denying the fact that brands need to focus on online branding.
The following are some areas of online branding that businesses should focus on for greater performance-
- Social Media
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Email Marketing
- Paid Advertising (PPC)
- Content Marketing
- Listing Sites (Amazon, eBay, etc.)
- Q&A Platforms (Quora, Reddit, etc.)
- Review Sites (Capterra for tech and software)
As you can see from the list above, there are so many different platforms and approaches that brands can work on to boost their online branding efforts.
Offline Branding: Meaning and Definition
A very simple way to understand offline branding is to think of it as any medium or platform that is not online. Another way to look at offline branding is to understand it as traditional marketing and advertising platforms or channels.
Before the internet-age, took off, all businesses had in terms of marketing and promoting themselves were offline channels. The following are some offline mediums that are used by brands in this regard-
- Television advertising
- Hoardings, Banners, and Billboards
- Newspaper advertisements
- Airport, Metro, and Bus Terminals
- Physical Marketing Events
- Leaflets, Flyers, and Brochures
You might think that given how we are all too focusses on online platforms and marketing, that the above may have died down. However, that is not the case. Offline branding platforms continue to be in great demand and are increasing in value and attraction for businesses.
Benefits of Online and Offline Branding
In this section, we are first going to list down the benefits of online branding and then follow it up with the advantages of offline branding.
Major Benefits of Online Branding:
- Online branding is all about data and numbers. This means that you can measure and track results and performance.
- In terms of reaching out to target audiences, the use of software, targeting, and data make it easier.
- Many feel that given how everything is quantifiable, online branding is far more cost-efficient and ROI-driven.
- Digital branding allows you to ensure that mobile users are being addressed and targeted. Given how much we use smartphones, this is a major benefit.
- It allows for building long-term relationships with customers. Being a two-way channel of communication, it can allow customers to reach out to the brand.
Major Benefits of Offline Branding:
- Human beings are all about touch and feel. This means that offline branding is great when it ensures that customers have something tangible to hold from the brand.
- Small areas like picking up brochures or sharing business cards help in improving human networking and relationships.
- Mediums like newspapers are tuned to ensure that people who are reading them are attentive. Ads in newspapers are likely to be read in detail and with attention.
- Allows brands to create something new, interesting, and exciting for the users. A smart jingle, a viral tv ad, and so on are great ways of getting attention.
- Finally, offline branding can help give a sizable boost to your online efforts. It can complement and work in unison to evolve a simplified appeal for the brand.
The Bottom Line
Depending upon the nature of your business and its operating model, you can choose between offline and online branding platforms and strategies. One thing that should be pointed out is that having a preconception that something will not work for your needs to be eliminated. No matter what your business niche, scale, or size, when used constructively, both offline and online branding can help you achieve success.