Brands are everywhere. You may not realise it, but often the success of a company can be determined by the strength of its brand. The development of digital has started to change everything, especially in both Media and Publishing industry. It has caused basic things to become more complex, but it is important to note that some of the basics, such as a brand, need to stay the same.
This change can be seen significantly in the Media industry. Pre-internet, everything in media had its place: TV, Radio, Newspaper etc.– all held in structured categories allowing company advertising to go through the media in order to reach an audience. This pattern has shifted though with the use of the Internet. Consumer habits have changed as they have been faced with an abundance of information from a whole range of sources, meaning this segmentation has started to merge into one broad bubble of ‘Media’.
Richard Keith, (Journalist, Editor at Future & Global Publisher) during one of his lectures, made two key points that in media you need to hold onto: ‘The message not the medium’ – simply suggesting that company’s companies can get caught up in all this evolution of differing mediums to gain information from, whether that be through social media or viewing device platforms. Fundamentally, if the message (information) isn’t any good then experimenting with a range of mediums can be pointless. He also raised the point of: ‘Disintermediation’ – the idea that the middle layer (Media) is being removed from the communication between the companies advertising and the audience, raising the point for the justification of having a ‘Brand’.
The importance of the brand can also be seen in the Publishing industry, even more so with the growth of digital and eBooks. But also with the rise of self-publishing and distribution platforms taking it on themselves to ‘blur the lines’ between publishers branding and their own platform branding. A good article developing this thought, in terms of book covers, is worth a read by following this link.
A lot of companies are recognising the importance of their brand and making sure they spread this over the array of mediums, especially the social media landscape. Richard Keith shared the statistic that despite this, 50% of people are actually confused by brand messages.
Seth Godin makes an important point that we, as players in the media and publishing industries, need to remember a brand isn’t the same as just having a logo. A brand is every element of a company including the way we speak to customers on the phone, to the way we write to clients. It’s forming this brand idea for the whole company not just the visual elements you see on the side of a product.
Richard ended his lecture leaving us with three points anyone can adopt to hold a strong brand, but particularly in media and publishing, and I will leave you with the same important information:
- Tell a compelling story – from start to finish (every element is important)
- Understand the audience – if you don’t know what they want then you won’t be able to successfully give it to them.
- (Create great content) – if you complete the above you will be well on the way to creating great content.