Digital Branding Firm Identifies Four Key Themes That Summarize Mid-Sized Client Behavior and Point to Promising Future

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According to Delia Associates, an NJ-based digital branding firm that services mid-sized companies, client activity points to a positive outlook for the balance of 2013 and beyond.

“We’ve observed broad-based confidence, assertiveness, and expansion among the many brands we serve,” commented Ed Delia, president of Delia Associates. “Four key themes precisely summarize our clients’ activity to date in 2013, and all support a highly optimistic outlook for the present – and future – state of business.”

1.    GO GLOBAL. BE LOCAL.

A number of clients are broadening their reach as they introduce brands to expanding global markets. This has been evidenced by an uptick in demand for not simply translation, but ‘trans creation’ of brand messaging and imagery that acknowledges distinct cultural, linguistic, and visual nuances of each targeted region.

Companies both large and small are taking advantage of digital communications to reach out globally, with the realization that a “one style fits all” approach simply will not work. By carefully crafting messaging to appeal to specific regional wants and needs, and at the same time staying true to core brand standards, companies are more effectively extending themselves globally, while applying a localized touch.

2.    SMART AND MEASURED EXPANSION

Companies are getting smarter about managing their brands and staying true to core brand competencies. Delia commented, “Temptations to over-extend a brand seem to be everywhere. But time and again, we’ve seen brands both large and small fail because they strayed too far from their core competency or identity.” Delia cites Harley Davidson perfume, Gerber baby food for adults, Crystal Pepsi, and BIC disposable underwear as documented examples of brands that stretched too far. “But with each brand misstep,” Delia adds, “we get smarter about what works and what doesn’t, increasing the likelihood for future success.”

Many Delia Associates clients are introducing new products, announcing product extensions, and adding services. Delia commented, “What has been universally consistent is the thoughtful and responsible manner in which they are making these introductions, so as not to overextend beyond core competencies. Making strategic moves in this fashion will allow new offerings to tie into and support existing products and services in a way that both future and current customers can understand, appreciate, and ultimately buy into.”

3.    RE-ENERGIZING BRAND IMAGE & STORY

Delia summarized, “If I had to point to two words most used with new clients in 2013, they would be, ‘It’s time.’” For a number of Delia Associates clients, 2013 marked the year of reenergizing their brands with increased enthusiasm.

In some cases, companies also began the process of stripping away marginal product or service offerings as they turned their attention to their best performing and most lucrative offerings. “This is a common occurrence during an upturn of a business cycle; companies refocus on what they do best,” Delia explained. This often results in refinements to brand image and messaging as companies channel their distinctive value with greater focus, confidence and authority.

Companies in all market sectors have now fully accepted that their online brand presence has as much influence on customers and prospects as their offline or in-person activity. “Everyone is watching everyone online, with decision-making being directly influenced by what they see and find – the good, the bad, and the ugly,” Delia remarked.

Others companies have become more introspective as well, as they re-think value propositions, the telling of their brand story, resetting the vision toward a bigger future, and consideration of the legacy they wish to impart on the world.

“There is also a genuine and broad-based energy evidenced among many of our clients that suggests we have entered into a fresh period of imagination, creativity and innovation. ‘It’s time’ – time to think big, be bold, and visualize the attainment of dreams,” Delia noted.

4.    ENRICHING THE ONLINE EXPERIENCE . . . FOR VIEWERS & CUSTOMERS

Clients are readily recognizing that content means more than words on a screen, and they are now also making greater use of online video, info-graphics, expressive visuals, in addition to an array of content deployment methods. The result: A true rich-media experience with multiple ways for buyers to interact with brands.

Responsive design in website development, previously an added feature, is fast becoming mandatory as companies recognize that the desktop is no longer the primary location where viewers go to receive information. With the continuing rise of web-based content consumed on smart phones and tablets, companies are adapting to deliver brand content and messaging more effectively through mobile devices.

“Even those on the fence about the benefits of online marketing have become ardent believers in the power of search, and in the importance of being seen,” stated Delia.

He added, “We’re also seeing more clients connect the dots as digital brand communications become more integrated. They are recognizing that buyers consume content in different ways, and formulate opinions about brands based on input from a growing variety of sources. Brands need to connect the dots, ensuring a unified front and consistency of messaging to buying audiences.”

Customer portals also have become more sophisticated as brands seek to further connect with their best customers. Delia noted, “We’re seeing more companies – especially B2B organizations – introduce more sophisticated functionality to their websites, with more viewer engagement and participation opportunities, and also commerce capability.”

AT THE CORE . . . THE CUSTOMER

Central to these themes is the connection of brands to customers, whether existing, new, or prospective. By connecting, strengthening existing connections, and increasing the number of connection points between brand and customer, organizations will prosper in any economy, whether improving, static or even in decline.

ABOUT DELIA ASSOCIATES

Based in Whitehouse, NJ, Delia Associates is a leading digital branding firm with expertise in brand development, website development and search marketing. The company’s proprietary brand development process, called the Brand Leadership Solution, has helped hundreds of brands achieve improved positioning, visibility and measurable growth. Delia Associates’ technical team of developers, search marketing specialists, content writers and social media strategists routinely exceed industry standards for search program performance. Entering its 50th year in business, Delia Associates services a global clientele of mid-sized businesses and organizations.

For more information, please visit: http://www.delianet.com.

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Ilena Della Ventura
Delia Associates
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