The Digital Space lets brands be…well brands…

26 Nov

I have worked with brands for many years. I have read so many definitions of a brand that it is difficult to sort the personality from the ambition, the assets from the engagement.
The digital age is a time for brands. The opportunity to get together with customers, engage with them, tell them stories and respond to their needs has never been better.
Good brands have always been good story tellers. They let people know about their heritage, their skills, the workforce and the products. Christmas is a time for b2c brands, and for many the arrival of the Coke lorries, the Marks and Spencer and John Lewis tv ads, along side the tree and the nativity, make the season come alive.
But those are still big idea driven ad campaigns. The opportunity in the digital age is to send out numerous small stories. I recently toured a factory in the food sector, and couldn’t help getting excited about the opportunity to tell multiple stories about the brand. Their suppliers each have their own story, from different countries, involving real people and characters. The manufacturing process was amazing, with machines in a sparklingly clean factory, producing and packaging the product. Machines from Germany and Italy, from companies with stories to tell that would be interesting to consumers.
Brands have always wanted to mean more to their customers than simply the name of the product. The logo is a means of identifying the brand, which itself carries around all the practical and emotional experiences created by brand interactions.
Show a class of school pupils the Mercedes logo, step back and be amazed at their level of knowledge about the company, from its geography to the positioning in the market.
Now those school kids are on line, researching their homework, talking to friends, listening to music, reviewing films, playing games, using multiple social media channels, sharing photos and entering competitions.
The challenge for brands is to play in that space, to be engaging, but once that has been achieved, to keep going, by telling interesting stories that encourage interaction.

brands

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