Four ways to brand your business in today’s highly evolving tech scene

What exactly does this entail? Ownership of multiple devices, engaging with brands via social media and being in-the-know of big tech trends are just a few characteristics of this new consumer.

Just take a look at the stats:

• One-fifth of the world’s population owns a smartphone, and this statistic is increasing exponentially
• More than a third of these phone owners indicate that mobile is their primary device for web access.
• For e-commerce sites, the number of visits and transactions made from tablets and mobile phones is growing more than ever before, while the number of transactions made from traditional desk consoles is steadily decreasing. In fact, 32% of online purchases are made with mobile devices.
• Last year, Apple celebrated it’s 50 billionth download from the app store

Businesses have caught on to these trends as well, and have adjusted their digital media strategy accordingly:

• Digital ad revenue surpasses broadcast television revenue ($42B vs. $40B)
• This year, over 780 applications are submitted to the iTunes app store per day on average, and over 1 million apps are currently available for download to date.

These days, customers often see a brand’s tech savviness as an indicator of its competence. This adds another layer to small business branding – not only does your brand have to effectively communicate your value proposition to your customers, you’ve also got to make sure it is keeping up with today’s digital marketing arena.

Here are some things to consider during the branding process to help you accomplish both goals.

1. Logo and website design
Staying up-to-date with current design and web trends is essential in positioning your brand as adaptive and cutting edge.
How’s your logo looking these days? In case you missed it, Apple’s iOS 7 release last year was a design game changer in many respects. Its flat interface discourages companies from using gradients and realistic effects in their app and logo designs, and encourages them to jump onto the flat design bandwagon.

As for web design, while you want to make sure your website is aesthetically appealing and current – occasional updates are important- on a more technical level, your site should be functional and easy to use across all platforms. The implementation of responsive design, which reformats your site to be viewed on all screen sizes, is crucial given the stats listed about consumers on multiple devices.

2. Style sheet

Consistency is key in building a trustworthy and contemporary brand, and the most efficient way to maintain your brand’s consistency is through the creation of a brand style guide.

A style guide should consist of your brand’s mission, target audience and personality. What messages are you trying to get across to whom?

Aesthetic qualities are also important components of your style guide: typography/font choice, color palette and the imagery used on branded content need to be recorded. This will help ensure unified values and tone amongst company employees as well.

3. Email marketing

Whether in the form of seasonal promotions or monthly newsletters, your business will most likely be engaging in some form of email marketing. To avoid spammy and outdated emails, make the content worthwhile and relevant to your industry. What value will readers receive upon opening your email?

Just like your website, your emails should incorporate a sleek design. Keep it clean and minimalist with one clear call-to-action.

4. Social media curation

By now, you should be aware that social media is very much entrenched in everyone’s day-to-day. Customer support is conducted on platforms like Twitter and Facebook, and exclusive promos are offered via social media to followers.

Social media platforms are also a great place for consumers to see what brands come recommended by their peers. Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool, and has been further empowered by the rise of digital connections through social media.

This means your brand should have a social media presence from the get-go. Focus on building followings on the major channels in the social media arena – Twitter and Facebook. Depending on your industry, you may find that other platforms are more relevant for your business. For example, a Pinterest account will be fitting for a fashion business, or a YouTube account for a digital multimedia company.

Once your accounts are established, stay active. Post share-worthy content and respond to customer queries in order to keep your followers engaged.

With these modern marketing aspects in mind, you can successfully engage the fleeting attention of today’s digital consumer.

99designs is based on a “crowdsourced” design contest model, where a customer submits a design brief explaining what they are looking for and designers from all over the world submit a variety of design concepts. Over the course of the week, customers review the designs, give feedback and ultimately select their favorite (which is often the hardest part of the process!).