As you may have guessed from my previous post “Let me brand my cloud“, I use web apps with mixed emotions. While I rely on them to keep my business going, they dilute my brand in the eyes of my clients.
Most web apps and services has an branding option, but changing default colors and uploading a logo is far from branding in my book. Some apps and services has extended the possibilities of what you can change within their app/service. But this only creates more work and headache for me as a user. In the end I have to individualy customize every app I’m using.
The web apps today needs to strip away the styling completely from their service and let us, their customers, submit our branding from an external source.
The most unobtrusive way of doing this would be creating something like a “OpenBrand” standard. It is inspired by OpenID. The OpenBrand would be a unique place/url/identifier that contained information on colors, typography, grids, logos and other styling related elements.
I publish and manage my brand from one central location. Whenever I sign-up for a web app I submit my OpenBrand, and the web app takes care of the rest for me - “branding” itself according to my preferences.
The OpenBrand standard would also make it really easy to re-style a whole existing cloud. Simply update the OpenBrand info and in an instant all the apps in the cloud will be re-styled.
App provider advantages:
Most of us don’t hesitate to switch to a better web app if one rolls around. Supporting OpenBrand would become a competitive advantage.
The app that supports OpenBrand makes my brand stronger, and that’s why I would choose it over its competitors.
Sure, app providers would loose some of their own branding ability with OpenBrand, but that’s just part of adapting to a new reality: brand loyalty equals loyalty to my brand.