Is the Shift to Digital Leading the Way to the End of Branding?
...or is this a new way of building brands?
By Laurence Bernstein Managing Partner, Protean Strategies | May 31, 2015
"Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but usually manages to pick himself up, walk over or around it, and carry on" - Winston Churchill
Before getting too deep into the topic, we need to clarify what we mean by "digital". Aside from the obvious (we don't mean digital in the sense of electronic technology that generates, stores, and processes data in terms of two states: positive and non-positive), even if we limit the discussion to digital marketing applications, we can become confused. So, for the sake of this discussion we are referring to communication, advertising or sharing media that are electronically transmitted in digital format.
This expressly excludes digital apps that are designed to enhance or enable the experience but are not intended to advertise or sell, etc. A hotel's concierge app, for instance, that advises guests on restaurants in the neighborhood, Is not what we are talking about, nor are digital check-in apps or mobile key entry, etc. (Yes, I know and fully agree that these experiential enhancements are just as much marketing and brand building as anything else, but so are the people and the physical built structure - including these would lead to an idiotic discussion about digital versus analog or digital versus not-digital, which would help nobody).
So, digital refers to communication, advertising or sharing media that are electronically transmitted in digital format.
Recently my friend Leslie told me she was going to Portugal for her summer vacation. When I asked why (after all, Portugal, lovely as it may be, is not the primary luxury destination for rich Canadians - yet), she told me there was a hotel in a little town outside Lisbon that she wanted to visit and enjoy.
When I asked how she knew about the hotel and why she wanted to go there, she told me she had seen a small ad in a lifestyle travel magazine that made her so fall in love with the idea of being a guest there that she went online, googled the place and learnt about it on the hotel website. She checked it out on Trip Advisor, asked her Facebook friends and then booked her two week holiday.