Sunday, December 04, 2011

Branding and Digital: Part 1

+ You so often hear about branding and broadcast, print or even out of home. But what about in relationship to digital? Social? Email? 

I recently watched Art & Copy. Yes I'm late to viewing this film. But that's not really relevant. I spent an hour and a half listening to some of the greats talk about the business. Talk about branding and the work they've done. Folks like Lee Clow, Hal Riney, George Lois, Dan Weiden, and Mary Wells Lawrence. They talk about finding key ways to talk to people. Finding the nugget of truth about a product or life and wrapping them together. Making someone feel something. Telling a story of what the company could do for you. Campaigns like "Just Do It", "Think Different", and "I Want My MTV" struck a chord. They're as Weiden says like lightening striking. Concepts and ideas that resonate with the population and become part of pop culture.

It's all about branding. But what is branding? Branding is defined as "the promoting of a product or service by identifying it with a particular brand." So, then what is a brand? 

David Ogilvy's defined a brand as: "The intangible sum of a product's attributes: its name, packaging, and price, its history, its reputation, and the way it's advertised."

The American Marketing Association defines a brand as a "Name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers."

For a very long time, the role of branding has been held by TV spots, radio ads, print ads, billboards and the other rash of tactics in the realm of traditional advertising. That role has been all about storytelling, image and the emotion it conveys to the customer.

This is what i learned in school and what I practiced at the start of my career when my bread and butter was radio spots, print ads and the like. 

These days I spend all my time working in the digital world. And I try to apply these concepts to the work I do on a daily basis. But how does any of this thinking really translate to the new media that's out there? Or does it?

For the five or six of you that actually read this blog when I post something new, this is what I want to explore. Because I think what is going to finally happen in the near future is that we will see much more of these concepts brought into the digital workplace. And for sure, this is already starting to happen. But I have a sense that it will blow up even larger in the next few years while taking some different turns.

Stay tuned.


no said...

Really nice post.

I think 'the media is the message' is bunk. The message is the message and it's been the same from cave paintings to the digital world. People rely on the newness of technology as being a crutch. They think new is the be all and end all. But I personally think the message is the same and always will be. If you can reach 'em on a cave you can reach 'em online.

Jane said...


I've hit pieces of this before but it's something that personally resonates for me. It KILLS me when a client says that something isn't branding because it's digital. It's ALL part of branding. But, digital is expected to be more hard sell with price points and what not.

Anyway, more to come ;)

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