Every practice of online branding starts with a brand objective. As there are multiple brand objectives, each online branding strategy will differ.
However, online branding, in general terms, has a similar definition as digital branding.
It is the practice of achieving brand objectives online with the aid of the internet tools available. Most commonly, online branding occurs on social networking platforms, including Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube, etc.
Unlike offline branding, online branding opens up the doors to more creative, versatile branding activities.
Traditional media often are heavily regulated, and one has to pass through many gatekeepers. Online branding, on the other hand, decentralises the process.
Everyone can participate in the branding activities and hence higher engagement.
Corporations in Malaysia are no strangers to online branding. In fact, about 40% of Malaysian internet users discover brands via social media ads and search engines.
For sure, these brands in Malaysia must have done something right with online branding.
For that, let’s look at the top 5 examples in Malaysia that excel in online branding.
1. McDonald’s Malaysia
McDonald’s could be argued as the biggest fast-food chain in the world. There are very few brands that do online branding as masterfully as McDonald’s Malaysia.
The last time McDonald’s Malaysia garnered a colossal amount of attention was its humorous series of advertisements about McDonald’s Malaysia Drive-Thru.
This time around, McDonald’s Malaysia took to TikTok to maintain its brand’s relevance with its #BigMacTikTok Challenge. With influencer marketing tactics, McDonald’s Malaysia was able to gain more publicity and, therefore, brand engagement.
TikTok started as a platform where people, mostly youngsters, shared short clips of their dances. After some time, the platform picked up momentum, and many Millennials and Gen Zs jumped on board doing the same thing.
Since McDonald’s Malaysia’s main target audiences are youngsters, it makes perfect sense that TikTok was McDonald’s Malaysia’s platform of choice.
As a result, there were over 1,500 TikTok videos submitted with the aforementioned hashtag, inducing millions of engagements and increases in sales.
2. Oh! Media
Aside from its expertise in social media branding and advertising, Oh! Media is also renowned for its in-house online branding activities.
Since its establishment in 2008, Oh! Media has witnessed its gradual yet incessant growth across all its social media platforms. The crux of its online branding activities lies in its content customisation for different platforms.
While it always shares trending stories and the latest news on Facebook, its content strategies for Instagram adopts a different approach.
Instead of serious content, Oh! Media will post food reviews; the daily routine of its founder, Khai Hassan; and even adorable cats! Generally, the tone is more informal and has a more personal, intimate touch to it.
Its idiosyncratic approach to its in-house online branding may be for its brand positioning and to craft its unique brand identity.
That way, it can distinguish itself from the other agencies in Malaysia.
3. Malaysia Airlines
The Malaysian tourism industry had taken a massive hit since the pandemic. As a result, Malaysia Airlines suffered from the same fate.
To continue its customer brand engagement, Malaysian Airlines took to social media platforms to launch an interactive campaign.
As Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) became a trendy Internet sensation, Malaysia Airlines rolled out its own version of ASMR. Its ASMR simulated passengers’ complete experience of travelling overseas — from the announcement of checking in to landing at the destination.
The ASMR was incorporated into a 30-minute-long video and posted on its official YouTube channel.
Aside from YouTube, Malaysia Airlines posted snippets of the ASMR on other social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. The campaign, as a result, inspired many engagements in the form of user-generated content.
The campaign has also successfully resulted in a 100k increase in subscribers on its YouTube channel.
Albeit a novice of TikTok, Malaysia Airlines created a milestone with its TikTok followers number, skyrocketing from 500 to over 15,000 due to the campaign.
The moment you read the word “Digi”, you immediately thought of the colour yellow. Such is the paragon of a strong brand identity.
Digi gained the reputation of being one of the top telecommunication providers in Malaysia.
Its high brand awareness is attributed partially to its online branding strategies. Looking at all its social media platforms and websites, you can tell it embraces and emphasises brand consistency.
Except for Maybank, no other brand has such an inseparable association with the colour Yellow as Digi.
Its website design, Instagram aesthetic, and Facebook Page are imbued with the colour yellow. This visual identity consistency facilitates the public’s retention of the brand.
Aside from its visual mastery concerning online branding, Digi also regularly posts lighthearted content on Instagram as part of its online branding strategies.
Some of them are humorous, while others look aesthetically pleasing. This content strategy is partly the reason why it has over 103k followers on Instagram.
5. Starbucks Malaysia
Starbucks Malaysia’s MY Cups of Kindness campaign is the perfect example of the combination between influencer marketing and online branding.
Attributed to Starbucks Malaysia’s careful monitoring of social media, it spotted the opportunity to work with Neelofa, one of the most renowned Malaysian influencers. When Neelofa tweeted her desire to learn how to make Starbucks beverages, Starbucks Malaysia invited her and devised a campaign.
Both Neelofa and Starbucks Malaysia announced the campaign on Twitter, which garnered huge amounts of attention and comments.
A percentage of sales generated from the campaign will be donated to Neelofa’s charity of choice. As a result, there were many positive comments and shares.
Such an online branding strategy not only increased brand engagement but also improved its brand reputation.