Brands are transforming themselves and I would argue they are becoming more and more important. They exist beyond the ads and the products, they are trying to find new ways to get inside your home and be part of your life in the form branded content, branded entertainment, branded utilities and branded space. L’Equipe, the Parisian based daily sports newspaper invented the tour de France only to sell more newspapers, its branded content with a pinch of engagement.
New social forms have emerged from all kinds of new network-based social behavior. These conversations between customer that are previously unknown to each other to the extent where over 50 million people are able to interact in a single online space, generating billions of web site page impressions every month. The question is how should brand play a role here. These social webs are exploding everywhere and this can no longer be ignored by any brand.
The structural nature of consumption of information and content are in a state of flux as we enter a world where content will be increasingly delivered through all kinds of networks that can be personalized and entirely self-scheduled. In that world, the viewer – not the broadcaster – whoever that may be, will decide what is consumed, when, how, when, and with whom you share it with.
We are in a transition from interruption and intrusion to engagement. When distribution is trivial, unlimited, and available to all comers, marketing to a captive audience sitting on a cough in front of a box is the thing of the past and creating "quality" product/service/content is paramount. Content is now a part of any product (and its experiences). Consumers will consume only what‘s relevant and what entertain them most, not what is marketed to you them in a repetitive fashion. By providing branded experiences, brand can extend engagement rather than disrupts it, by doing so it strengthens its contextual involvement and connection with the consumer.
With the emergence and convergence of the mobile phone and the internet and location-base-system we suddenly have immediate access to our co-workers, our friends and family members and know where they are at any point of time. We are getting used to living in a connected age where we naturally and increasingly draw on our participation in various networks for information, assistance, information and support.
The language of our post-modern world is not broadcast-branded-content pushed to our TV box that we consume passively. This kind of traditional marketing has become adversarial in the eyes of customers. Customers have changed and adapted to this new always-on, always connected, media fragmented world, where they seek value by searching, where they are not waiting for you to interrupt them with unwanted messaging, where they look to their peers for voices of authority. The behavior of sharing user-generated-videos will evolve and new behavior will emerge. What we are seeing in YouTube I called it “socialcasting”. Does this signal the end of broadcasting? Consumer will spend more and more time interacting with each other and mashing-up content rather than passively watching low quality content. I think we have yet to see the full impact of this phenomenon. This will determine the new of our post-modern culture which I define as follow:
This postmodern culture is characterized by the density, the intensity, and the fragmentation of the instances of communication, by hyperreality that continuously creates fresh vidoes and meanings based on the same signifiers, and by the incredible array of brands and products that impose their own rules and procedures as a way of life. The postmodern consumer thus transcends the state of being the subject positioned in society to satisfy one's individual needs. And everything seems so hyperreal's. Please share your thoughts.