Becoming human: How to be a more meaningful brand
First published in Issue 5 of Feed Magazine
Close your eyes for a second or two and think of Google. What do you see? Maybe you see a easy to read logo with round, curvy characters; or bright, friendly, almost kindergarden colours; a search screen that is clean and clear of the pop-ups and banners that used to clutter other brands’ pages; or maybe it’s the other Google products that spring to mind – maps, music, mail? What you probably didn’t imagine was banks of programmers, acres of server farms or huge data pipes running beneath the land and the oceans – the stuff that Google actually does!
This is because Google has put great effort, resources and thought into creating what Apple, Amazon, Uber and Slack are all building - brands that relate to people. These brands don’t talk about processor speeds - Giga Bytes or Terra Bytes or Peta Bytes, or even much about AI, they talk about how they can help; how their brands will enable, empower and set their users free to focus on what they really want to be doing.
And while none of us will ever achieve the scale of these companies, the principles of good branding apply to all of us, whatever our size.
VOD, OTT, DSLR – blah, blah, blah
Many broadcast companies are missing the chance to define aims and principles beyond thinking about the tech they provide. This means they miss the opportunity to find ways to be authentically distinctive beyond the charisma of their founders or the short-term lead they have in technical innovations.
This matters for a number of reasons:
Firstly, because all companies are now technology enabled, talking about technology is no longer enough: competitors will catch up quickly and disruptors will innovate solutions that you haven’t yet begun to consider. So, in order to survive, your brand and your relationships have to go deeper.
Secondly, because talent and clients are expecting more. People want to work for companies with ‘purpose’ because they want their work to be meaningful not just lucrative. And clients want to work with firms which make them look good.
Thirdly, because broadcast firms are not standing-out. Have a quick scan through the pages of this publication and you will see brands using near-identical language to describe near identical strategies and propositions. Looking and sounding inter-changeable is bad business. Differentiation – or more precisely meaningful differentiation and perceived ‘added value’ – is the basis of preference and advocacy.