Why did Red Bull spend $30M to sponsor a record setting skydive? Why does Taco Bell have a hotel in Palm Springs? World records have as much to do with energy drinks as hotels do with mexican fast food yet these were brilliant marketing campaigns for both brands. Modern brands today understand that there are two paths to consumer attention: paying an intermediary for it or earning it with content.
Advertising costs will always and forever rise. A century ago it was the New York Times, decades ago was NBC, ABC, and CBS. Today it is Facebook and Google. There will always be intermediaries that have consumer attention that you can pay to siphon off that attention to your brand. The costs for that attention will always rise and the platforms will always shift.
The only true path to long lasting customer relationships is for brands to become media companies and to own that consumer attention directly. Kylie Jenner launched a line of makeup on top of her personal brand. Does anyone actually think Kylie is a great makeup artist or chemist to devise the best cosmetics? Of course not, but she is a trendsetter and influencer with massive reach. Dollar Shave Club launched with a viral video and today publishes Mel Magazine. Sure the original viral video was great but when they needed a new way to reach consumers they understood the psyche of the 20-40 something male and launched their own magazine targeted at that demographic.
The concept resounds with all of us because we’re living it out. Everybody can think of a brand they know and love that crosses the line between content and commerce and back again. Within our portfolio at 365 we have a few key strategies that we believe are not only affordable to execute on but are effective in today’s environment.
In a world where commodity products are an Amazon order away the ability for a brand to differentiate itself depends on more than just the products that it makes and the packages they are in. It depends on the brand itself. Becoming a media company in your target market segment is the surest and strongest way to build a brand.