Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Forget the product, it´s all about the brand

For majority of companies, a brand is just a tool to sell products. A necessity to increase the value of a product line or a factory. Their eyes are on the product, which for any company is short sighted.

If companies would shift their focus from products to brand, they could discover new opportunities that a strong brand can create. Take Angry Birds. A Finnish game company that set out to create positive brand experiences for their fans now has wide set of products ranging from toys to soft drinks (a cola that in some markets outsells Pepsi and Coca-Cola on a weekly level). The mobile game they started with, only brings about 30% of their revenue (depending on the media that reports). Their ToonTV now distributes content from Disney and Sony as well as stuff from Stan Lee turning them into a media house. Red Bull has also made content a thriving business, by shifting the focus from an energy drink to "the world of Red Bull". Jamie Oliver is a household name in food industry, because he is not focusing on one single product, but on the brand called Jamie Oliver and the potential it has to grow in to new business areas (knowingly or unknowingly). What all these brands have in common is that they constantly develop new ways to use the brand to engage, not just optimising single product sales.

At the same time media companies have less and less capital to produce content for the ever increasing demand and this opens new possibilities for brands to create compelling stories that build awareness and drive business. In a fast moving world, who else has the knowledge and the expertise to produce specific quality content but the brands. It´s just a matter of turning sales in to positive brand experiences for the fans.

In the future this is also necessity for brands. As more channels appear and the major ones try to monetize their audiences, it just get too expensive to reach the hearts of fans through plain marketing. Brands need to start producing quality content that we all enjoy and share. In social media or in real life.

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