The impact of branding
In the first part of this article we’ve discussed what branding is and what are the effects it has on a psychological level. We’ve got to the conclusion that when it’s done right, branding has many positive effects and it can change the way people perceive that brand, while increasing its value, brand recognition and many more. You can check the first part here.
Digital vs physical branding and advertising
Maybe some of you are curious what are the differences between a digital brand and one that also has a physical location - that it’s more “tangible”, let’s say (for example, software solutions industry vs fashion industry).
First of all, we should mention that there’s a term for describing the mix between digital and physical sides of marketing - phygital.
Physical branding can be represented by a store that has a physical location, a billboard, a banner and so on, while digital branding involves advertisements that can be either graphical, texts, links to a website, an online shop or even a landing page. Everything that’s in a digital format can be considered digital branding. In terms of costs, sometimes it's much easier to create a digital brand than a physical one, but both require time and effort in order to grow, depending on the strategy behind it, the objectives and the size of the brand.
In the last years, most brands are trying to integrate both, digital and physical branding. It is very often found that a physical brand, also has a digital presence, while those brands that have started their activity in the digital environment (often offering services) are also expanding in the digital environment, resorting to physical advertising only in certain periods or during certain promotional campaigns.
Physical advertising is more memorable, more emotionally resonant and more personal in the consumer’s minds, especially if they can interact with this type of advertising. That’s because consumers are very aware of the fact that digital advertising can be seen by a lot of people and it becomes harder for them to build a personal connection with that brand. However, the brands are working hard to be creative and to leave a unique mark in the way they communicate with their communities. Of course, the impact is greater when both options are integrated, but depending on the type of brand and target audience, it may make much more sense for the focus to be stronger on one of the two.
The impact of news and advertising - a different form of branding
According to psychologytoday.com, over the last 10-20 years, the way the news are reported to the masses has changed significantly. Nowadays, we’re being bombarded by all sorts of news and notifications everywhere. The problem occurs when all such information is very emotional, visual, shocking and negative or fear-laden. This affects mental health and increases anxiety, depression and stress reactions. In the last two years, the world faced a subject that brought a lot of stress and agitation to people's minds - the Covid-19 pandemic. At the beginning of it, many people were confused and didn’t know if what we were being told was actually true or not. Social Media was a great environment for people, brands (that were referring to the vaccine or the new restrictions in a positive or negative way) and influencers to debate the opinions they had. And this diversity of opinions and ideas made it even more complicated - because by our very nature, we have strong beliefs and we can’t get away with them because we feel they define us, in a way. So, instead of helping us to become more flexible and open to hearing different approaches, we started to believe even more strongly in what we already had in our minds. This is how all sorts of groups or communities that were debating one perspective or another started to appear and even blame those who had a different opinion.
More recently, the amount of news we’re reading, hearing and watching about Russia's attack on Ukraine is leading (even in the areas surrounding these countries), once again, to fear, confusion and actions based on emotions (for example, going to the ATM and withdrawing all the money a person has, in cash). When we are in an area affected by such problems, it can be helpful to be afraid - because it will lead us to fight for survival, but if we are not in the risk area and the negative news causes us a lot of fear and anxiety, maybe we need to start managing the content we consume and in what quantities. If our routine is to hear as much as possible about these events without any limitation, not only will we harm ourselves, but we will spread our negative emotions around.
According to startuptalky.com, aggressive marketing is an offensive strategy that uses exciting tactics to generate a response from the audience. Using aggressive marketing strategies helps to grab someone’s attention about what the brand has got to offer. This kind of marketing can be done through different strategies: email marketing, discounts, pop-up windows, telemarketing, clickbait and so on. The main problem when these techniques are used constantly or way too much is that they can cause a feeling of frustration and generate rejection, mistrust and in the end, it can lead to a reputation crisis for the brand. For a small brand, though, it can lead to an increase in awareness and more people who will find out about the existence of that brand. And if more people will know about a brand, more people will start talking about it, especially if it has a marketing strategy well done and prepared behind it. And if more people will talk about it, the brand will get more and more famous - like a snowball. Even if it seems like aggressive marketing is a negative thing, when done in a controlled way, it can translate into a positive and beneficial impact for the brand. For big brands, an aggressive strategy could have the role of drawing more attention to that brand than to the competition and/or attracting new potential customers to discuss the brand, the campaign it had and so on.
This being said, advertising and news can sneak into our subconscious and meddle with our lives in unexpected or surprising ways. It can lead us to miscalculate certain risks, shape our views of different topics, countries or communities and possibly influence the health of entire economies. Nevertheless, branding helps to stand out in a saturated market. It gives credibility and increases customer loyalty.