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Branding behaviours

10 May, 2011 - Source: Else

If you think branding is about identity systems, logotypes, communications and advertising, then you’re dead in the water.

  • Branding behaviours
    Branding behaviours

If you think branding is about identity systems, logotypes, communications and advertising, then you’re dead in the water.

Because when it comes to snaring some valuable mind space in consumers, brands are all about what you do and less about what you say.

To this end traditional branding practice is moving from being strategically important to simple a commodity.

From being SHOUTY SHOUTY SHOUTY to surface mounted labelling.

Brands are not surface mounted. You agree.

Brands are not about consistency and what things look like. I hope you agree.

Brands are about coherence. About being appropriate in an appropriate channel at an appropriate time.

Brands are about behaviour.

As digital channels increasingly become ubiquitous in our daily lives, a consumer’s first point of contact with a brand/product/service is through a screen. And largely this interaction is a task oriented moment; to check a price, to read a review, to get directions, to download an app. That sort of thing.

It’s in these task oriented, fragile moments that your brand gets the opportunity to make its mark. To be useful. To act accordingly. To provide information. To be be worthy of choice.

The bad news is, 9 times out of 10, this important consumer decision is happening in a playground that you don’t control.

Our level of connectedness and willingness to share has seen an amazing amount of content in the form of reviews, ratings, videos, comments tweets etc all posted across the web about products and services (yes we know that this sentence feels like it’s dusted itself off from 2004), but in essence, we’re have access to the real picture in real time and this alone significantly affects branding.

Notwithstanding the myriad of new channels and devices to talk to consumers through.

The upshot is, that in this post-broadcast era there is no point in brands simply shouting about how good they are or how much faster, bigger, roomier, more luxurious they are because any brand claim is easily countered by a consumer posted and reviewed reality. And this is often unrelenting in it’s honesty.

If you claim to be a unique luxurious boutique hotel and the experience is anything but, sites like Trip Advisor will uproot you. People will find out and they’ll choose your competitors.

People are deciding to buy products based on the opinions of others they have never met, in countries they have never been to.

So brands can no longer just talk the talk, they have to walk the walk.

So what do you do…?

Well, we think you need to deliver the right content/features in the right channel to your various customers at varying points in the customer life cycle.

Easily said.

Actually, easily done if you have method. And time.

With a proliferation of channels, it’s becoming increasingly hard to act with confidence in the right place, in the right way at the right time.

Do you need an app? Do you really need an app? Or does it just feel like something you should have?

At SomeOneElse we see it as our responsibility to help our clients make the right choices and design appropriate experiences per channel per customer type. Because the truth is, while there are amazing opportunities, there are also a lot of Emperor’s New Clothes lying around.

We need to move away from this separation between Branding, Advertising and Digital.


As Marina Willer Executive Creative Director at the mighty Wolff Olins said at this D&AD talk ‘Your brand is not what you say about you, it’s what Google says about you.”

Rock on. Signed. Sealed. Delivered.

At SomeOneElse, we believe that brands come to life through the experience consumers have. They are increasingly having that experience through digitally enabled means, which means that you need to understand who the customer is, where they are and what they are trying to do.

Skills in User Experience, blended with brainiac strategy, smart technology and kick-ass creative will get you a long way there, but the truth is the client/agency relationship needs to change also.

Having worked both client and agency side, we know that the best way to work is not the traditional way. Agencies need to help clients better manage the delivery of design and clients need to allow agencies to help.

But look, this is also for another post, let’s get back to behaviour.

What you say is one thing, how you deliver is another entirely.

Branding now has a utility focus and is as much about hygiene as it is about differentiation.

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