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Digital First Branding: Rhythm’s Approach & Deliverables

Digital First Branding: Rhythm’s Approach & Deliverables

When was the last time your brand re-evaluated its entire brand identity system? Maybe your logo, tagline and color system worked in more traditional marketing channels like print ads, store-front signage and TV ads, but what does today’s more digital consumer experience when they engage with your brand online?

At Rhythm, we often find that traditional branding firms are still operating from an offline-first, top-down approach, where the consumer is told how they should feel about a product, service, or an entire brand. This has traditionally worked well through physical products like brochures or packaging designs, tv and radio ads. But today, every brand lives online, and can be experienced first hand by users, often times as one of the first touch points.

The brand guidelines we get may show the space needed around a brand’s logo when placed on a direct mailer and we may be shown how colors should look on business cards, but these guidelines do not show how social channels should be designed, how the logo should change or become fluid on a mobile website or within a mobile app, when and where taglines should drop off or how the interaction functionality should be designed and developed to make for pleasant online experiences.

At Rhythm, we develop brand identity systems with a digital-first mindset. We work with brands to help them understand the whole experience a consumer has with their brand both online and offline. We focus first on digital touch points and then make sure that offline efforts including print advertising, TV spots, radio, events, etc. are aligned with the digital experience and further compel audiences to move from offline to online.

Rhythm’s Approach & Deliverables
When we work with brands on a DigitalFirst Branding Strategy, we take the time to really understand how their business operates, what their overall business goals are, who their target audiences are, past and current marketing strategies and channels, competitive landscape and more. Most important, what are the digital capabilities of the brand, and how can the brand distinguish itself from the competition in the digital space.

Clearly, today’s consumers are expecting a lot more from brands than they ever have before and they are looking to digital to make their lives easier, more convenient, and deliver greater value. Rhythm works with brands to develop the following:

Verbal Expression

  • Brand Promise
  • Brand Characteristics (Values, Attributes & Personality)
  • Organizational Statements (Purpose, Vision & Mission)
  • Tagline
  • Brand Manifesto
  • Market-Facing Messages
  • Digital Capabilities

Once the Verbal Brand Expression is established, we focus on how the brand is visually expressed in the digital space. While typography, colors, images and compositions are still vital and important parts of a brand's visual expression, we need to focus on the elements that become a crucial part of a brand’s DNA in today’s digital landscape. We define transitions, animations and micro-interactions. We take a look at how a brand should be expressed through an overall User-Experience strategy.

Visual Expression

  • Digital Style Guide
  • Logo Mark (with defined variations for specific digital channels)
  • Color System
  • Typography
  • Favicon
  • UI Style Kit (with micro interactions)
  • Imagery (photography, illustration and parameters)
  • Expression Guide – visual story-telling with strong focus on digital

The Digital Brand Book
Once complete, we deliver a Digital Brand Book - a microsite that contains the Verbal and Visual Brand Expression, and all the brand assets needed to keep a brand up to date and consistent. This Digital Brand Book can be shared with vendors, PR agencies, other partners and the internal team.

The digitally-driven consumer has changed the ways in which brands operate and engage with audiences. If you're thinking it may be time to have your brand experience re-evaluated from more of a digital-first approach, give Rhythm a shout.