Using new media to activate your brand
By Christine Hall, Landor
New media is ever-changing and seems to have a different definition depending on whom you ask and what day it is. It is alternately referred to as media design, interactive user experiences, and digital, social, and mobile strategies. Wikipedia defines it as “on-demand access to content any time, anywhere, on any digital device, as well as interactive user feedback, and creative participation. Another aspect is the real-time generation of new, unregulated content.” As the entry implies, this definition is likely to evolve over time.
At Landor, we use the term “media design” and approach it through the lens of brand storytelling and branded content generation. Media design extends beyond social media, mobile applications, and websites to include brand films, motion graphics, 3-D illustrations and animations, architectural projections, digital photography, and digital publishing. We focus on seamless, branded consumer experiences, so our media design is found not only in the virtual world, but also sometimes in live events and retail environments.
New media is a broad enough idea to include everything from video to interface design, print ads, and packages that are chipped to communicate with your phone. As Big Data becomes personal, tech-savvy consumers will want enhanced integration between their online and offline shopping experiences. Research shared by the Advertising Research Foundation confirms that consumers are using multiple overlapping sources for decision making, online and offline, and this is changing the traditional path-to-purchase.
Narrating a strong brand story that is consumerrelevant in today’s environment has become increasingly challenging, but new media can help brands tell stories in multisensory ways previously never dreamed of. Can you imagine a package that projects an animation of what’s inside? How about a shelf strip that tells a story as you walk down the aisle? How would your innovation pipeline change if you could test future product ideas with consumers without ever making mockups or taking photographs of models? What if a digital sign could sense that your consumer is frustrated and then helps direct her to the right product? Would you dare project a story onto the side of a building in front of a crowd?
This is the world of new media. There is no box to think outside of, only your imagination and willingness to try something new. If you think your brand is too traditional for new media, look at what other brands—in and out of your category—are doing, and then think again.
So, how do you know what’s appropriate for your brand? When should you invest in new media internally and when should you include consumergenerated content? As you consider the role of new media for your brand, embrace it, but base new approaches on time-tested branding principles; they can be used as filters for making consumer-relevant activations.
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