Marketing and branding were about pushing your message to consumers. You sold them what they never knew they wanted.
Marketing used to be all about the product or service.
What made your product unique from anything else on the market? What was the value-add in your version versus a competitor? Did you have the best price or experience for the money?
Branding was all about the image of that product or service.
What perception did you want your customers to have about your company? What did customers feel about consuming what you had to offer?
Marketing and branding are responses to real-time customer demands and needs. Customers are telling you what they want. You are listening – more than ever – to the consumer, instead of dictating to them what they can or cannot live without.
Marketing is now much more than the product or service. While people still connect with an object such as a particular coffee brand or airline, it’s not enough to sell how tasteful your peppermint latte is or the extra 6-inches of legroom compared to a competitor.
Likewise, branding is now about customer interaction (not to be confused with customer service), corporate social responsibility, online culture and community, and much more.
Making this shift to social media isn’t an easy move. Wait too long to get on the bandwagon, and you’ve lost your first-mover advantage. Act too fast, and you may not have a well thought-out strategy.
So how do you know whether to jump into the next new web trend? How do you evaluate your presence in that landscape? How do you use the new media tool in such a way that no one else is using it? Thinking outside the box and being innovative with the new media tools will help in setting your company, brand and product apart.
Whether it’s a mobile app, interactive website that has nothing to do with your product and everything about your consumers, there’s definitely a niche that you can create for yourself within your industry that will accomplish the original goals of branding and marketing.
Here are a few new media integration examples that are successful at tying together “new marketing” and “new branding” into the digital customer experience:
Sonicare: Adopt-a-Tooth The Sonicare Facebook application keeps the user engaged over and over again by encouraging good dental hygiene through a “pet” tooth. Take better care of our “canine” and be privy to special gifts and promotions.
When someone takes action with their pet tooth, it can appear on their friends news feeds, and is always visible on the owner’s profile.
In today’s social network landscape where the popularity of social gaming such as Mafia Wars and Farmville are growing exponentially, it’s smart for a brand to jump into the arena with the right interactive app.
Coke Zero Facial Profiler Coca-cola claims that Coke Zero has been one of the most successful product launches in its history. In the two years since its release, Coke Zero has sold nearly 450 million cases and is available in more than 100 countries. So why not take this success and broad reach to connect your fans online?
That’s exactly what cokezero.com does. The site says nothing about the product except for a wordmark that includes the tagline “Real Coke Taste. Zero Calories.” Instead, their site is home to the Facial Profiler application, which uses Facebook Connect to troll tagged images of you to help find your look-alike.
The premise? A social experiment: If millions of people like you enjoy Coke Zero, then there surely is another person that looks like you that enjoys Coke Zero.
USAA Mobile App Your new media presence doesn’t always have to be through a web browser. USAA takes personal finance management to a whole new level with their iPhone app. Unique features include:
- Deposit@Mobile — Depositing a check is as simple as snapping a photo.
- ATM Locator — Find the closest ATMs.
- Loan Calculator — Estimate monthly payments on a loan.
- Rental Car Locator — Find the nearest Avis, Budget or Hertz location.
- Accident Checklist — Record accident details to help you file a claim.