You’ve heard it a million times by now, right? “Too much of anything is bad.” Yet surprisingly, the old axiom still rings true today. Today’s average consumer is getting fatter. Not with food, but with brands. The sheer amount of logos force-fed to us daily is unnerving. And whether we’re conscious of it or not only compounds the issue.
That’s why a publisher’s approach towards branding speaks volumes about the quality of his work. Subtle yet tactful brand strategies work best. An overly aggressive one doesn’t. A beautifully designed graphic, for example, is everything you need to secure your brand in the minds of customers, but there are hidden dangers to consider.
Why is over-branding content lethal?
It desensitizes consumers to your product. Take music, for example. New songs are constantly played on the radio. If a new song is popular, it’s played even more. Soon it starts to play over and over again. You get angry the instant it starts playing and wish it (along with its creator) never existed. It’s a vicious cycle, and it’s no stranger to the publishing field.
It just sounds too salesy. And nobody likes salesy. AdAge observed that some brands, to avoid coming across as greedy hard-sellers, actually skip branding their content entirely. Big mistake!
What are the warning signs of an over-branded publication?
Logos, logos everywhere. Customers purchase digital publications for their quality, NOT to ogle at stylish logos. Of course, awesome logos and awesome brands go hand in hand, but too much of the former can dissuade readers from making a purchase.
Constant brand references. Referencing your brand frequently is a sure-fire way to lose readers forever. And touting its greatness won’t work either; audiences will ditch your content in a heartbeat. Subtlety is key.
It’s a ghost town. Your content doesn’t generate any meaningful discussion, activity, or profit. A lack of engagement can be attributed to other reasons, but over-branding (coupled with its tendency to scare off audiences) may be the culprit.
How can I ensure my branding is just right?
Put logos on the upper-left corner of the page(s), since our eyes naturally look to the left first. Top-left logos elicit stronger brand recall and are considered more unique, according to the Nielsen Norman Group’s in-depth study. Just don’t go overboard with it.
Focus your content. Appealing to everyone seldom works. Instead, establish authority in your field by homing in on a particular topic. The more specialized your publication’s subject matter is, the more likely readers are to recall and recognize your brand.
Don’t reinvent the (brand) wheel if you don’t have to. It’s tempting to try something new when customers are assaulted by options these days. But in a competitive industry like digital publishing, doing so will only dilute your existing brand’s staying power. Remember: readers are looking for a brand that meets their needs and provides value. So be sure to provide content that does both.
How does Joomag handle branding?
Good question. Any publication you create on our platform can be branded in multiple ways. For example, you can upload your logo and have it appear in the magazine viewer, as your publication loads, or set it as the entire viewer background. Those are just the basics; you can also download our free eBook which discusses Joomag’s other branding options in more detail.
In the end, quality will brand itself, not quantity. A consistent yet modest brand strategy will pay dividends in the long run. Brazenly referencing your brand and extolling its greatness, however, will never work. The idea is to lend credibility to your publishing name by engaging and educating your readership in a thoughtful way.