Branding = Experience

Some more interesting thinking on the changing nature of advertising and branding from Adrian and the smart guys at Zeus Jones. The gist is that marketing usually focuses on creating "moments", like when someone sees the TV spot, or is at the PR event, or reads the ad. But, he suggests, the majority of the brand experience is imparted in the day to day usage of the product, that the (to paraphrase) experience itself is where the real brand impressions get generated.

"I think we’ve typically thought about marketing as the creation of moments – communications, events, spectacles, launches, etc. Similarly, I think these moments make up only a very small part of the view customers have of a brand. Instead the vast majority of what informs a person’s view of a brand is the day in, day out usage of the product/service."

My hunch is that Adrian wasn’t always a web guy. Probably started out in print or in TV. For those of us who grew up on the web, with web marketing as the only real marketing we’ve known, the insight – "the experience is the brand" – is pretty obvious.

I wish, oh how i pray, that other marketers, especially the CPG marketers i work with, would get this point, and fast. In the absence of the product itself, the web  is just about the perfect medium to deliver an experience that matches what you aspire to deliver with your product. Let the mass media dothe heavy lifting on the awareness generating, then, let interactive tell your brand story and deliver your experience.

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