Your brand’s digital presence is a lot like a wardrobe, if you think about it. And just like a wardrobe, you have to decide for your brand where to invest your resources and how long you expect each investment to last.
There are levels to this game. Some people lean to the side of fewer pieces of higher quality to create a capsule wardrobe. Others feel most comfortable channeling their feelings for each day or dress to match the aesthetic of a certain event.
Whatever your personal approach, the clothes you wear are a representation of yourself – and the ways you present your brand in the myriad digital channels are also part of the identity that others perceive about your brand.
- Building Your Digital Wardrobe
- Find Your Style
- Take it from the Top
- Choose a Few Go-to Bottoms
- Set it Off with Statement Pieces
- Find Great Footwear
- Amplify with Accessories
- Seasonal Change Out
- Don’t Skimp on Storage for Storage
- Get Ready with Me
Building Your Digital Wardrobe
Okay, so maybe you don’t wrap yourself in H1 headers and match your shoe choice based on the correct marketing automation flows, but a brand’s perception is dictated by the multiple touchpoints a user will have with it.
How can you be sure that the way you present your brand is accurate and compelling? Beyond what each tactic (read: piece of clothing) communicates, think about how the pieces function together and be sure to stress test each item before you roll it out – that squat test has surely saved a lot of us from absolute embarrassment.
If you’re in the market for a digital wardrobe refresh, be sure to have a firm grasp on your budget and your personal/brand aesthetic. Next, call in your favorite fashion consultants (or me!) and get to work.
1. Find Your Style
In your closet: The pieces in your drawers or hanging in the closet should feel congruent with your personality and evolve alongside it. You likely are not wearing the same items you were 10 years ago; garments suffer wear and tear and fashions change – and so do you. And just because someone bought something for you doesn’t mean you need to wear it.
Your digital wardrobe: The same can be said of your attire. Maybe you try a few pieces that are not what you would typically gravitate toward or are colors that both excite and make you nervous. Brands do the same thing – trying on ways to stay in tune with their expression. It’s typically not going to be the same appearance a decade apart, but the core tenants of the persona likely will be.
As always, there are exceptions. I am a huge fan of the super sassy social persona that Wendy’s has curated. It stands apart from the brand you interact with in store, yet brings a renewed interest in the brand when competing against a wave of chicken sandwiches coming from all sides.
Back to your brand, think of your wardrobe as your digital brand – it should be mostly consistent but flexible enough that it can evolve over time time based on the channels it’s using and changes that have to be made from a business perspective. Try out some new headlines or imagery, but overall you need to be comfortable in your look.
2. Take it from the Top
In your closet: The piece that is most visible on those pesky Zoom calls and therefore is most seen and associated with you sits right below your face: the top. It’s the first thing people see and remember. I always have a lot more tops than bottoms, and they have the widest range of colors and cuts; the same could be said of the interactions and ways you curate content with your audience. Most times, the entirety of an outfit that I build is because of a top I want to wear, and therefore is the core of the identity of your outfit.
Your digital wardrobe: What and how you communicate needs to be a good representation, and is often what you see most often in interactions and recollections. No matter who is creating these pieces, the voice should be consistent and all working in unison to support your core user journey and pillar content. Your organic social, therefore, what comes up most closely associated with your brand at first glance, needs to be considered.
3. Choose a Few Go-To Bottoms
In your closet: A good pair of jeans is the core of any wardrobe – even if the majority of your time is spent in athleisure. Solid bottoms are the less flashy piece of an ensemble that can pair with just about anything and need to fit some custom measurements for your specific waist, length, and overall construction. Bottoms are tried and true and something you can depend on.
Your digital wardrobe: The same can be said of your website. This is the core of all your digital activities and the primary touchpoint for brand interactions, whether your business is B2C, B2B, or nonprofit. You need to invest in a long-lasting, customized platform built to your specifications – investing in that flattering fit and insisting on high quality and durability.
4. Set it Off with Statement Pieces
In your closet: Some occasions call for a little flair, whether it’s a cocktail dress for a special occasion or a snazzy blazer to elevate a look. These pieces typically sneak up on you rather than being easy to find when you are in desperate need – so I’m always on the lookout for them.
Your digital wardrobe: Similarly, user research is something that you can do implicit or explicitly, but sometimes when you identify a problem it can be larger than you think. Keeping a pulse on the attitudes and considerations of your audience is important to ensure you’re meeting their needs.
5. Find Great Footwear
In your closet: Before you walk out that door, you need something on your feet to keep you in motion. Heck, I even need them when I’m working at my desk during the day. You have different kinds for different activities and occasions, be they sneakers for some support in exercise, sandals to breathe in warmer weather, or heels to add a little height.
Your digital wardrobe: Marketing automation is where you put the message into motion, priming the sales funnel and being able to make moves by staying on your toes. By creating drip campaigns and setting up specific tracking, you can pull workflows together and create real traction.
6. Amplify with Accessories
In your closet: I’m of the camp that less is more, but key pieces are essential; this could be the belt to keep those pants in place, a bag to hold your laptop and keys, or the perfect earrings to pull the look together.
Your digital wardrobe: Paid Media is what really sets off a campaign, honing in on the best offerings or being the quick win to help generate leads. There are many paid media channels out there, each with a purpose and value specific to each brand and customer segment; knowing how to pair these is key to nailing the look. Adding paid media works best once the rest of your outfit is set, allowing you to add that touch of polish and intrigue to your message. You need to be aware of the best ways to layer these for maximum impact while being confident enough to experiment with with them a bit.
7. Change Out Seasonally
In your closet: Eventually, drawers get full, you run out of hangers, and/or the seasons change. Inevitably, you have to audit your closet. It’s a chance to go beyond the typical daily fit selection or laundry interactions and review the pieces for what they have to offer.
Your digital wardrobe: Similarly, SEO audits and content performance reviews are critical to do at least on an annual basis. It’s also good to periodically review other aspects of your marketing stack that could use a fresh look as you adjust your roadmap.
8. Don’t Skimp on Storage
In your closet: A phenomenal wardrobe will feel inaccessible if your closet is a mess and your drawers have zero organization. The way you access your wardrobe is important, as is having enough hangers to hold your many pieces. I tend to over-index on black velvet hangers, then organize by color, then by length. This level of visibility makes sure I can find what I need so I can easily pull out the outfit that fits the need of any given day.
Your digital wardrobe: Being able to access meaningful data without being overwhelmed to make decisions efficiently is the goal of any true KPI-driven dashboard experience. These should align directly with annual goals, and encourage discussion and optimization to make goals a reality. So, reporting is the way you take a step back and evaluate how well each part is working for you, and make decisions on what you should do next.
Regular updates to your wardrobe and your marketing are key to staying on top of trends. Here is a visual break down to understand how these two go hand-in-hand and can maybe even serve as a reminder to do more updates once it’s time to change one, then the other.
Get Ready with Me
Maybe you don’t view your closet the same way I do – a shrine to self-expression after a 12-year private school uniform suppression. You don’t have to! Similarly, your brand’s approach to digital expression may not need all the bells and whistles – and that’s okay. But you do have to outfit your brand in a way that is authentic and effective, and I would be very happy to help you figure out the parts that are most critical, and how to keep up with them!
Want to talk about your digital wardrobe? Let’s chat.