This Is Your Brand On Digital

By Peter Cronin | Thursday, April 28, 2016 | No Comments

While every era comes with its own unique challenges and opportunities, for those operating in the intertwined worlds of marketing and branding, the digital media age is positively bursting with both. Along with the rewards that come with having countless new channels through which to expose your brand, come the new rules and big risks associated with a fickle, sometimes volatile digital audience, and global, around-the-clock exposure.

The digital age, together with the explosion of social media, has given rise to what author and cultural branding expert Douglas Holt calls “crowdcultures.”

“Social media binds together communities that once were geographically isolated, greatly increasing the pace and intensity of collaboration,” Holt says. “Now that once-remote communities are densely networked, their cultural influence has become direct and substantial.”

Able to mobilize opinion and action with unprecedented speed, digitally grown crowdcultures are currently prime targets for some savvy-and-successful marketers. In appealing to this new-in-every-way audience, some established brands are bending the rules and testing some time-honored assumptions.

Among several examples, Holt points to Dove Soap, a traditionally sleepy brand that tapped into one crowdculture’s long-simmering resentment toward the skinny-obsessed fashion industry’s unrealistic portrayal of women. Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign was born and a brand was reborn.

While the rules of branding may be bending, there are some things that don’t change. British digital analyst Al Wightman reminds us that the real work involved in finding your brand’s true differentiator in the marketplace should always precede any marketing efforts, online or traditional.

“Getting to the heart of the brand and business proposition should underpin any activity online,” he says. “Digital demands the same level of strategic planning and direction as any other communications.”

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