Redefining Branding in the Digital Age

Redefining Branding in the Digital Age

Brands are living, breathing entities that have huge growth potential if they are given the right attention, watering, weeding, and love. That is especially true in the digital age, however while many of the traditional branding marketing rules are still true, there are some new truths that have entered the game. Better Mousetrap

In the book A Better Mousetrap by Simon Pont, he outlines the new truths to brand marketing as the following:

New Truth 1: Time, in memoriam, doesn't help, isn't necessary

Traditional brands were typically built over time - they had history. Today, digital brands can "come out of nowhere". They don't need a back story. Meeting a new need, one you never knew you had, is more than compelling enough to build a tribal following.

"Foursquare started out in 2009 with limited availability in only 100 worldwide metro areas. In January 2010, Forsquare changed their location model to allow check-ins from any location worldwide. As of January, 2013 the service had over 30 million people worldwide and over 3 billion check-ins." - Source: Wikipedia

New Truth 2: 'Useful and relevant' has been usurped by 'indespensable and immediately satisfying'

Successful digital brands are needs-based and, more specifically, "immediate need" based. 

  • The need to find information, acurately and right away.
  • The need to learn.
  • The need 'to buy'.
  • The need to 'connect' with others, to 'be in the know and in touch'.
  • The need to pass comment, criticism, judgement, approval.
  • The need to have a voice.
  • The need to not feel alone.

'Brand-in-hand' is taking a back seat to 'brand-at-fingertips'.

New Truth 3: Hearts and minds can be won in cyberspace

While you can never wear or taste a digital brand, that doesn't make them any less real. It exists not on physical but emotional dimensions, fulfilling and gratifying. 

New Truth 4: Digital brands don't peddle desire, they peddle dependency; they are narcotic

Desirable physical brands are brands you want to 'have', to possess, to go out and buy. Social media brands, for example, are digital brands you want to spend time with, be in the company of. With digital brands, the thrill lies in the ongoing experience.

"The Spanish social hub Tuenti ( now boasts 90 percent domestic penetration amongst 14 to 35 year olds, and an average daily use of 82 minutes per person (2011). And these are not 82 passive, lean-back minutes. These are 82 minutes of highly engaged 'me' time."