Digital branding: Leveling the playing field

At every brand touch point offline, there is a discrimination between a premium brand and a mass-market brand. Luxury brands like Gucci, Prada will always have a statement store at a signature address while a mass brand will have its store somewhere in the suburbs in a make shift state.

Why? Simply because, the rentals and the cost of running a statement store with its well trained staff and other add ons, is massive in the offline world. Most brands can’t afford these luxuries. This is where brands can and should switch to the first brand touch point: the online world.

The online world presents a complete level playing field, the cost of developing, hosting and running a website or any digital asset is more or less the same. All the walls are broken in the online world. No matter at what price point you trade your stock or how much profits you make, you can afford the same quality of assets as any luxury brand would.

If you understand the world of open source, you will find that there are tons of options and ideas to turn your digital brand experience into a premium journey. In the long run this will elevate your brand from a mass brand to a mass premium brand.

The best examples of this can often be found around you. The products launched on Kickstarter, online funding platform are simple web assets which are no less than any of their luxury competitors. Some of the sites, Vanhawks, Brydge that takes inspiration from Apple site or Hexo+ a content based experience, to name a few.

So invest in digital first branding.

Unlike the traditional way of thinking where one starts the entire brand discussion from the production cost of the TV commercial or the marketing collaterals, which severely cramps the room for thought, in a digital first branding mindset one starts with the best brand experience in the digital space and then takes it to the other assets.

The writer is Neeraj Gulati, managing director of Ingenuity at IPG Mediabrands.

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