We are as marketers and digital strategists to focused on the tools and arenas we want to be “on” rater than our job; to connect consumers and participants to the brand.
Marketing and brand building is not about being “on” anything. It’s about uniquely communicating our ideas to the customer in a situation where your brand is given the opportunity to mean something with the result of establishing a relationship with the participant.
We need to approach digital marketing value first. Not selecting platforms first, and then try to uncover value through a clever choice of strategy.
In order for us to understand the New Brand Landscape we HAVE TO deconstruct our linear models for distributing content, take one step back, and start understanding how and WHERE people connect to our brand, and then start putting the pieces together in the right order – if there is any order at all?
I attended a brilliant talk Thursday by Jess Greenwood, Deputy Editor at Contagious Magazine. The talk ran through a range of ideas and exemplified them with campaigns, many represented in Most Contagious 2008, and all exploring the new digital landscape. But after seeing all this, we are stuck with wondering how and why do I get there? How do I come up with these great ideas, and not limit myself to the regular receipt:
- Old model: Campaign site + banners + Facebook + mobile + large amounts of expensive media = Great Success
as compared to the
New model: value + situation + incentive + existing landscape = arena
(although it’s not linear like this)
Understanding the New Mindset:
1. Brand building is about communicating a unique value with the goal of connecting to people, resulting in extended loyalty and preference.
Communicating value is THE purpose of a value driven company, not banners, display ads, Facebook or blogging. The tools are not the goal, the purpose is. And the purpose is: Value, communication, loyalty and preference.
2. People only care about brands in situations where they are relevant. If I’m baking a cake, I don’t care about Nike, but if I’m exercising, Nike is everything.
This gives that brands need to focus on identifying the situation in which they mean something – the situations are the only events where customers would give a damn, and they are the arenas where the competition between brands occur.
3. Identify your value in the situation where you are important, it’s still not about your product, it’s about identity. Whirpool figured out that no one would hang around talking about dishwashers for weeks on end, and created The American Family Podcast, where Whirpool talks about the Family – for the 264 episodes. Beat that!
4. Figure out how to become accessible. How do participants and customers get a hold of you when they care.
This is where many brands fail, choosing only to be accessible online, via the laptop’s browser, when the customer is at home, after putting his children to sleep. Brands need to shed the notion of having an appearance, and start thinking about accessibility.
5. Landscape. What your competitors are doing are just as important to you as your own activities.
First of all “you can’t out-amazon amazon”; unimaginatively trying to challenge a market leader at their own game has failed many. Secondly, as Dove has demonstrated when developing their Real Beauty campaign, a result of admitting that their old adverts where so similar to their competition that changing the product shot inside an ad with a competitors product, made the ad seem for them, rather than Dove. And thirdly, if everyone else is doing it already, it’s probably easier to win by creating a new idea. In the food world everyone wants to become an online distributor of receipts, but there seems to be little understanding that many food brands are not about food, (like Whirpool being about the family, not cleanliness or appliances)?
So the golden rule of the new marketing landscape would be, given that the uniqueness of communicating your values will be as important as the values themselves: Build your own game.
6. Small successes, it’s all about moving your competitor through the snakes and ladders game board, every step is a success. Make sure you build and measure for all the small steps, with your eye on the final price.