Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 5, 2010 02:30 PM
Digital media is changing the branding game. The former conversation about brand promise, equity, and image has been replaced by a new discourse about building platforms, proving utility, and interaction/ entertainment buzz.
The first Internet banner ad appeared in 1994; in 2000 advertising first appeared on Google.com, and a few years later the first Tide commercials showed up on YouTube. Today, people are “friending” the BK king on Facebook – marking a steep trajectory as the arena for brand building has shifted from print and TV to the multidimensional, 24/7 real-time media of digital.
Historically, brands reflect the media milieu: logos are predominant in print, jingles in radio, taglines and image in TV spots. But the advent of digital tools has brought a mash-up of data, messaging, and functionalities – and all bets are off. Strategic decisions about branding are no longer defined by technology… or past performance. Digital branding deals with behavior.
Brands such as Bravo and Zagat are using Foursquare to direct audiences to real-world places with program tie-ins, as is HBO’s "How to Make It in America."
Pepsi’s Refresh project is a prime example of an ongoing relationship between consumer behavior and brand. The very nature of the Internet cultivates a behavioral metric: how many friends do you have, where do you shop, where have you traveled. Add to this Twitter or Blippy and another layer of inter-connectedness manifests.
Consumers plus products plus technology results in a new kind of online brand experience. The digital playbook requires a balance between gain and the cost of a consumer’s interaction. Brands must deliver something more than just a promise, such as a service, a reward, or an interaction. Image, message, and brand trust are simply analog echoes from another era.