As more businesses try to compete in saturated markets, the battle to stand out from the crowd is becoming increasingly apparent. RCA’s James Ward delves into the importance of a strong brand identity and how to create one.
Is your identity as strong as your product or service?
Brand is way more than just a logo. It represents everything you do and claim to be as a business – the internal and external face, personality and values you want to embody, uphold and convey. Be it your digital destination, social media profile, or the way you present, market and deliver a service or product – everything you communicate is perceived as the essence of your identity by those who are engaging with it…
So why do companies take shortcuts?
There used to be an assumption that branding is exclusively associated with ‘bigger’ fish in the pond – those who have access to massive budgets, global reach and multiple product or service streams. But in the last decade (or probably two) that stance has significantly shifted.
Now every business, from global powerhouse to shiny new start-up, is expected to have a strong brand identity, to stand for something (ideally unique) that resonates specifically with target audiences. And even more important, that feels the same at every touchpoint – whether a corporate about us page, a marketing campaign for a particular product line, or second round investment deck you’re pitching to the board.
What difference does it make?
There should be no gap, no discrepancy, no misalignment between the quality of your brand and that of your products or services. But it’s all too common for businesses to spend a lot of time, money and resources developing an incredible product range… while completely neglecting the master brand, and wider brand family.
The danger? If it doesn’t all stack up and flow in one fluid movement like everything truly belongs together, then alarm bells will ring in the ears of customers, potential investors, even acquirers. They might question the authenticity of the brand, the professionalism, even the quality – and as the saying goes, you never a second chance to make a first impression.
How does this apply to the iGaming sector?
As an industry, there has always been a focus on game creative, and to an extent just making the technology work – this means that brand inevitably comes down the list of ‘things to do’. Brand awareness is also not traditionally considered a primary driver of revenue ahead of financial incentives and odds advertising (which ironically presents perhaps the most limited opportunity to differentiate).
We believe it’s time for a new phase, where instead of leading with ‘look what we can do’ iGaming brands switch to a ‘this is who we are’ approach – serving up a consistent brand experience that wholly aligns with what customers (and target demographics) need and want. So much so, that they immediately and unequivocally know ‘that’s the brand for me’.
Giles Thomas, former European Marketing Director of SEGA recently echoed this train of thought – citing a ‘lack of defining brands that players love and associate with’… and a sector where customers ‘select their product of choice through promotion and convenience, rather than through brand association’.
What’s the answer?
Whether your customer is the player, the operator, or someone who might acquire your iGaming business, the 3-step strategy is the same across the board. Branding is who you are, products and services are what you do, and marketing is how you build awareness about them.
Step 1, build a strong, authentic identity that tells customers who you are at your core, what you care about, what makes you different or better. Step 2, bring it to life with products and services unique to – and aligned with – your brand foundations. Then, Step 3, broadcast consistent, brand-rich content via digital touchpoints (websites, apps, social, voice, video…), internal and external communications, team operations and player/customer interactions.
We can help you build, evolve and refresh your brand, and create a persistent, consistent and authentic brand identity. Get in touch and we’ll walk you through our approach.