Claudia is Zivtech’s Web Design Co-op, and she’s currently an Interactive Digital Media major at Drexel University. As part of her junior/senior year capstone project, she and her peers are conceptualizing a product that bridges the gap between content creators and brands.
Claudia’s focus is on how brands can remain authentic in a saturated digital space. I recently sat down with her to discuss how she thinks brands can maintain authenticity in a digital space.
When I asked Claudia to describe brand authenticity, the first word that came to her mind was transparency. She said that brand authenticity means communicating an honest and consistent message to your audience that your brand believes in.
The difference between an authentic and an inauthentic brand? According to Claudia, an authentic brand is more concerned with building a lasting relationship with its users as opposed to simply racking up page views.
Claudia’s interest in brand authenticity began when she realized that the web is becoming increasingly more saturated and there is a growing need for brands to distinguish themselves amongst their competitors.
But how can you differentiate yourself from the thousands of brands competing for your audience's attention? Claudia says, through a well-established brand voice. A brand’s voice is a brand’s personality and when you have a clear, recognizable brand voice, people are more likely to connect with you.
Create a cohesive digital experience
When a user experiences a brand in the digital space, it can affect the way they perceive the brand. For example, if the brand is curating a social media presence that is related to current digital trends, but nothing else about your brand is related to these trends, your user may feel disconnected from your brand values.
Claudia believes that it’s best to strike a balance between digital trends and brand identity. She says that the more a brand tries to adhere to certain trends, the more they tend to blend in with their competitors. The best thing to do is cultivate a digital presence that aligns with your brand’s message.
It’s important to maintain a certain level of consistency across digital platforms. Your core values and beliefs shouldn’t change, but you should always tailor your message based on the channel you’re delivering it through. By doing this, Claudia says that you’ll be offering your customers a cohesive cross-platform experience.
Use your website to your advantage
A brand’s website is one of the most important parts of establishing an authentic brand. Your website is likely the first place prospective clients, employees, and partners will go to learn more about you.
According to Claudia, including pictures of your employees, fast facts, and testimonials on your site gives your brand validity and makes you come across as being personable and approachable.
From a design perspective, Claudia suggests that a brand’s website includes a consistent tone not just in the messaging, but in the graphics as well. When you're designing your site, Claudia stressed how important it is to think about why a user might visit your site and how they will interact with it.
She says good, responsive web design is the difference between presenting static information to a user and having them actually engage with your content. Maintaining brand authenticity in a digital space means that your website flows like a narrative and tells a story about who your brand is and what it is your brand believes in.