Branding in the New Age of Content Marketing
Brands are becoming commoditized. A study conducted at Northwestern University studied people’s affinity to brands over the last 10 years and what they found is a steady decline of people’s perception of brands. This applies to both the retail outlets as well as the products being sold by those channels. Funny enough, the strongest overall brand preference was actually for Clorox Bleach! Kleenex, Gatorade and Charmin are among the few products not caught in the downward spiral.
So why is this happening to brands? Because marketers have stopped telling stories. Marketing has shifted to gimmicks, gizmos, deep discounts, apps, celebrities, deals, price promotions. While these may be effective methods to live sales, especially in the short term, it doesn’t build long-term brand loyalty.
So why is this happening? Some answers include the recession, value shifting among consumers, product commoditization, growth of online shopping, increased media fragmentation, expanding use of search, flash sale sites…etc. It’s not one thing, it’s the combination of many variables.
When you run regression analysis on the variables, however, you don’t find much correlation with these variables. What you DO find, is a direct correlation between the decline of TV and the increase of Internet and social media. These two factors combined are KILLING brands. The emphasis has shifted from person/Brand interaction to only person/person interaction. Brands are being shut out of the conversation.
Brands should be all about content and stories, not just gizmos and gimmicks. As social media rises, brand preference will continue to decline. Brands have to figure out how to deal with this reality. Brands have to re-think all the traditional approaches and concepts. Brands need to move from attitudinal to behavioral models. Brands need to move into co-branding techniques and reciprocity (think YouTility marketing). Brands need to treat their Big Data like gold and mine it for insights.
Media intensity is the influence a channel has AND the time they spend on that channel. Of all the media channels that were studied by Northwestern, BLOGS have the HIGHEST MEDIA INTENSITY score of any channel, tradition or digital. If you were unsure of the need for your company to have a well run corporate blog, put your fears aside – You absolutely need to be blogging and blogging well. The best corporate blogs involve many writers. These blogs are commonly called collaborative blogs. We do a weekly webinar on collaborative blogging at Innogage. If you’d like to learn more about how you can effectively run a collaborative blogging program and beef up your digital content marketing, please register for our free webinar.
Special thanks to Don E. Schultz, Professor from Northwestern University for sharing his research and insights at Content Marketing World
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