Many companies that came to prominence in the age of the internet understand that their brands exists both on and offline. However, more traditional brick and mortar companies—those that sold goods when a shopping cart was something you physically pushed in a store— may find themselves struggling with creating their online brand. Here are three considerations for those companies as they look to ramp up their online presence.
Offline Brand Reputation Influences Online Behavior
Technology may have leveled the playing field for new, upstart businesses, but when it comes to brand loyalty, research shows that established, offline brands have the advantage.
One academic study found that offline perceptions of a brand translate to a higher degree of online loyalty. In fact, well-known brands “have greater-than-expected loyalty when bought online compared with an offline environment and conversely for small share brands.” Any well-established brands that are not taking advantage of an ecommerce strategy should strongly consider it.
Additionally, as a smaller brand transitions to an online marketplace, that company must have a dogged determination—and maybe some clever digital marketing strategies—to overcome their better-known counterparts.
The Front Door To Your Business Is The Web
Many storeowners have tasks besides stocking the shelves and cashing out customers. They understand that cleaning the windows, sweeping the porch and picking up parking lot trash are key to establishing curb appeal to bringing business inside.
Yet, as Susan Jacobs of All-State Legal pointed out in a recent Fox Business article, “Today’s consumers are increasingly likely to first encounter your brand online than off, and even those who get their first impression of your brand in print often follow up with a Google search.” In other words, all that work done to make an engaging physical space could be lost on many of the modern consumers.
Just like you wouldn’t have a dirty entrance to a store, you need to ensure that your online presence is welcoming. Brand consistency between your main website, blog, shopping cart, social media and banner ads is not only necessary, it’s key to making that important first impression to the modern shopper.
Taking Social Seriously
Sure, there is a lot of discussion of funny cat GIFs and photos of food on social media, but the digital world is ripe for conversations about your brand. A study released by Twitter at the beginning of May looked at how users were exposed to brands and whether they took action. In a sample size of 12,000 people, Twitter found that half of the respondents mentioned a brand 15 or more times.
The report goes on to say that, “With so many people following and mentioning brands, it’s not surprising that a whopping 99 percent of Twitter users in the study were exposed to a brand-related tweet in the month of January alone.” The study drives home the point that social media users are being exposed to brands simply through their own personal contacts, regardless of any paid online advertising.
But does all this brand exposure drive results? The answer is a resounding “yes.” The study found that 54 percent of the Twitter users have taken an action after seeing a brand mention in a tweet. Those actions include checking out the company’s website or Twitter profile; an online search; simple consideration; or even retweeting the brand mention.
Looking or help with your online brand? Connect with Rackspace Digital, the team of infrastructure specialists for content, ecommerce and mobile applications.