Digital branding is one of the most crowded professional fields today. Companies, both small and large, jostle for position to ascend the Google rankings and weave creative stories into digital content — all with the goal of expanding the online presence of their clients and generating organic traffic.
The reason digital branding is so competitive is because of the sheer size of the market. How do you value the swaying interest of millions of Internet users? Its upper limit is potentially boundless, but marketing spend is expected to reach $1.3 trillion globally by the end of 2020 — one of the most peculiar years in recent memory.
For Jaiden Vu, the founder of digital branding firm Black Peached, the competitiveness of the field is an afterthought. Black Peached prefers to target smaller companies, and Vu is relying on the aftermath of COVID-19 accelerating some enduring trends in the digital branding market.
What kind of advantage can digital branding firms gain in the age of advertising and social media?
I had a chance to ask Jaiden Vu, who let us in on his perspective of the market today and where he expects it to be in the next few years.
What first caught your attention about digital branding and convinced you to launch Black Peached?
What first caught my attention about digital branding was the global reach. Just the ability to connect with millions of people around the world alone became very enticing. I decided that I wanted to start building myself a personal brand.
I viewed it as a way of making other people aware of my presence, which in turn creates value in what I will have to offer in the future. Once my brand took off, and I was actually getting paid to be on social media, I felt like I could turn it into a business.
From there, I realized I wanted to pass this knowledge onto others that may have little to no knowledge in the social media space. I wanted to help them create a brand that will make them money in return. Thus, Black Peached was formed.
Scaling digital brands is a very competitive field right now. What distinct advantage or edge does Black Peached use to differentiate itself from the crowd?
Yes, it is a very competitive field right now, but I don’t focus too much on how saturated this industry is. Instead, I focus purely on providing genuine results to my clients and make a real impact on their bottom line. Our distinct advantage is that Black Peached focuses on helping clients understand the ins and outs of how to properly build a brand from nothing and generate genuine quality leads/customers that will add to the bottom line.
Most of your clients are smaller brands, e-commerce, stores, and other small businesses. What kind of opportunities do you view as overlooked when it comes to digital brand scaling for smaller clients?
We have this method called “Intent-Based Branding,” where a client purely focuses on branding around their offering (their solution to a problem). This is one of the biggest opportunities that I find most brands, even the big ones, lose sight of. The goal is to generate helpful and informative content that will educate the target audience.
Most brands focus on just putting out flashy content or entertaining videos. But now we’re bogged down by ads and an endless stream of non-informative content, so to earn a consumer’s trust is to find ways to make an impact in their life before asking them to buy into your brand.
What are some of the biggest current challenges in helping small businesses to penetrate the lucrative digital branding market?
There are many challenges to taking on a client with a fairly small business, but the one that stands out the most is simply trust.
Black Peached focuses on crafting trust with our customers even long before they become a customer — and even after. We want to be as informative and transparent as possible to our customers, so we will walk them through the beginning, middle, and end process of how we can help and where their business can be situated after the work we’ve produced.
All of our attention is on servicing our customers to the best of our ability to earn their complete trust. Without their trust, it would be very tough to guide our customers along the way.
Recently, we’ve seen the rise of social commerce embedded into major social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok. How do you think the intersection of social media, e-commerce, and branding will impact smaller brands, especially digital native brands?
My honest opinion on this is that if COVID-19 has not been a wake-up call, then it’s almost impossible to convince any brand (large or small) that social media is the end-all, be-all to staying ahead in the market. Nowadays, we can just sit back and look at how most successful companies are winning; they’re building a presence online, which is the only way to sell.
I will even go as far as saying that most businesses should put 80% of their efforts on properly creating a digital blueprint for themselves. As business owners and entrepreneurs, being adaptable is a quality we must live by because the market dictates who wins and who loses and most definitely — nobody wants to lose.
What social platforms and content mediums for digital branding do you think will have the best value capture for engaging large audiences in the next five years?
This is actually a tough question. I wouldn’t be surprised if LinkedIn and TikTok became the two major mediums in the next five years, replacing most other platforms.
LinkedIn is very powerful as a business medium to reach organic consumers that have a business mindset. Whereas TikTok is amazing for its fast organic exposure, which is exceedingly helpful for creating a strong audience and brand loyalty.
Unfortunately, we don’t focus on those two mediums (LinkedIn & TikTok) as we do with Instagram and Facebook right now — our two major staples. I think Facebook and Instagram will continue to be the best mediums to grow a brand and sell a product for the time being, but I may be wrong. The future is yet to unfold.