A Starter’s Guide to Digital Branding
August 19, 2019
Joe Hui | NOKUA Design | Brand Consultant
Nokua Star: Joe Hui
September 25, 2019

Traditional vs Digital branding:
which is better?

By Andy Lai


Traditional vs Digital Branding:
Which is Better?

With the digital age whipping up a near perfect storm that engulfs us with new technology every day, many different companies find it hard to market themselves to attract more potential consumers into their fold.
Even so, there are still many companies that do not know the differences between traditional and digital branding.
Not knowing the intricacies of both branding techniques may invariably bring your business into a standstill, with no new or old audiences knowing about your product and services.
In this article, we will tell you the differences between the two, and in the end, tell you which one among the two you should choose for your company.

What exactly is the difference?

Traditional branding consists of mainly physical media, such as newspapers, billboards and magazines.

You may find many of these mediums employ static ads and vibrant visuals that can be easily remembered and seen from afar.

Digital branding, however, consists of many new mediums that never existed two decades ago, such as online video content, banner ads, landing pages and so on.

Many of these mediums can be interactive, and conveys information much easier because of the ability to use video as a tool to educate others on your products or services.

traditional marketing
Traditional branding usually employs physical mediums that try to capture your attention when you pass by it.
(Picture source: lyfemarketing.com)
Digital branding employ mediums that can be seen online and can be specifically targeted to a certain group of audience.

The audiences

Branding has always been about your target audiences. Which age group do you really want to attract to frequent your products and services?

In this case, traditional branding usually caters more to the older generation and beyond, all of them whom have become accustomed to absorb information through newspapers and magazines.

However, their much younger peers siphon their data and what they want to know from the Internet itself, thus being more tech-savvy than the former.

Deciding which medium to use is vital because not only does it allow you to get in touch with your target audiences, you can also gauge their feedback and apply it on your business model, thus helping your brand to grow and improve.

The older generation are more susceptible to traditional mediums as they are exposed to it since young.
The younger population are generally more in touch with technology, thus being exposed to more digital mediums.

Tangibility versus flexibility

The other thing to note is: how do you keep your audiences engaged and remember your brand?

For traditional branding, it is all about being tangible.

Your logo imprinted on a pen that can be given out to anyone? A flyer that contains all your products and services? A simple, stylish item that can be easily given away in any event space?

Traditional branding does all of these, crafting a well-meaning branding strategy that a digital medium simply cannot perform.

shutterstock_266636894 (1)
Digital branding can be seen in various types of formats, thus being more flexible than traditional mediums.

For digital branding, the flexibility of the mediums means you can do whatever you want – as long as it is online.

A flying cat spewing rainbows as it flies from one end of the website page to the other?

A cheeky landing page that bluntly throws flak towards your competitors? Articles written by professional writers that promotes your brand?

Digital branding’s mediums are not always well defined, but when utilized, they open up a wide array of opportunities for your brand to shine, giving them a digital identity.

Catering to your brand

The measuring of your brand should happen before you choose a branding strategy, because not only will it affect your reputation, it will also affect your budget.

Traditional media is now being used as a reinforcement for larger, established brands. A simple billboard with their logo will allow you to know they are, well, still here.

Brands such as Adidas and Nike do not need to do much digital branding to get the word out; many know they already exist.

If you are a smaller brand, traditional branding works less effectively for you. Not only are you taking a huge chunk of your budget for this, you are also not guaranteeing reactions from your consumers.

Bigger brands like Nike can utilise traditional mediums to display their products/services without being afraid of not being seen.
In contrast, smaller brands employ digital branding to spread awareness toward themselves.

However, digital branding is catered to the masses, which means your brand has an opportunity to stand out in all digital platforms.

Smaller brands mean smaller audiences, and possibly niche ones too. Digital mediums such as social media and banner ads help to bring awareness to your brand.

If you understand which branding strategy your company should employ, you will save quite a bit of money and also allow your brand to grow under the right circumstances.

The right answer

There is no right or wrong answer to which branding strategy you should employ, but for cost-effectiveness and a faster, wider reach, digital branding is the way to go for most brands.

Why? Because it is a low risk, possibly high reward solution for your brand to be seen by many in the Internet, without sacrificing that much resources for your company.

Fleshing your brand online also allows you to track and restructure your branding strategy as you see fit, hijacking local trends and setting new ones as a result.

That is not to say traditional branding is not good enough for your brand. Digital branding just does what traditional branding does, and better.

There is an uptick in digital marketing methods in 2017 in comparison to traditional marketing methods. Source: marketingcharts.com

No matter what type of branding strategy you are willing to employ, it is important to note that in order to package your brand, you will need to first understand your brand and what you are trying to achieve from it before spending your budget.

Let's talk.

No matter which branding strategy you want to employ, we’re always moving people to action.

We would love to work with you on your project. If you’re looking to develop or strengthen your brand with either traditional or digital mediums, then let’s talk about working together.

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