There was a trend identified by many brand and digital strategists a few years ago, due to the behavioral changes ushered in by two-way communication media.
Its name? Brands as publishers.
Its theory was that brands no longer could act in a way where they simply advertise and then iterate products every five to seven years. They had to begin acting as publishers, curating and creating content to engage in an always-on world which then required a whole new set of skillsets to implement a modern brand strategy.
It also required brands to update its products as often as its content. But many companies didn’t understand that behavior and several thought the more they tweeted, posted on Facebook or produced videos, the more they would persuade customers to buy more.
How disassociated from reality they were with that logic.
This of course ushered in the new (old?) wave of content marketing into the mix. If brands were publishers, then that would require massive amounts of content to push and amplify to an audience much like how The New York Times, Mashable or BuzzFeed would operate.
Many brands are still defining what this process means using hierarchical organizational charts to do so. Of course, this means that the people who do the day-to-day work the least, have the most say in the work because businesses and brands still use an operations process defined in the 19th century by railroads.
Now behavior is shifting again. And this time it’s not going to be a simple incremental change. While brands staffed up with writers, copywriters, designers, illustrators, etc. to be “publishers,” now the pivot is into a more dynamic realm.
Brands are taking the role of broadcasters.
What this means is that brands now have the ability to be the media rather than have to beat it. Much of this disruption is the result of the democratization of tools that allow any of us to take the airwaves of the world wide web.
What used to require a TV network, an AM/FM bandwidth or a cable signal can be brought to life on a Facebook or Twitter feed, a YouTube or Twitch channel or with a SoundCloud account.
Of course, simply creating the content won’t mean you will reach people nor will they react. This is the creative angle brands keep missing. They think customers want to know more about them but the pivot is that they want to know more about the world around them and how you can help them adapt to it.
If mainstream broadcasters are simply reporting about the world around them, can companies now define how to evolve in this world with no rules, lack of best practices and disruption?
Or will they simply broadcast more branded content junk that will get many turning away faster than you can say, “skip this”?
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Branding Strategy Insider is a service of The Blake Project: A strategic brand consultancy specializing in Brand Research, Brand Strategy, Brand Licensing and Brand Education