Before we dive into the bulk of the content on this page I want to make one thing clear; no matter how much branding changes over the years (i.e. the methods used become increasingly more digital), the traditional aspects of branding will still apply. There will still be a need to put effort into the way in which a product or service is packaged, pricing will still be taken into account, and you will even need to think long and hard about your distribution channels. What this page is more about is the shift towards the idea that new brands will start to build up their following through digital channels (i.e. cheaper online options) as opposed to expensive TV and printed media advertising. Let me explain.
The way in which people consume content has changed drastically over the past couple of years. Don’t get me wrong; people are still watching TV shows and there are some absolutely fabulous ones being produced but people are consuming this type of content in different ways. The days in which people viewed this content the day it was shown on TV has long passed us by. Sure; some people may watch the TV show when it is broadcast but the increase in services such as Netflix, TIVO and even On Demand websites for the TV networks has greatly changed the times that people view this type of content. This means that advertising through the TV is nowhere near as effective as it was in the past. The only way in which advertisers will not be taking a risk with their advertising buys on TV is when ‘event TV’ is happening e.g. the Superbowl or perhaps the final of a huge reality TV show. When advertisers purchase space on the TV they are paying for a slot. They are not paying for the amount of people that see the advert (well they are, but only to a very small extent). This is why the future is in branding online. Many advertisers are starting to realize that targeting their brand messages is going to be a lot easier.
When people brand online they will, for the most part at least, only be paying for the people that view their advert. If one person sees it through the content delivery service then they will pay for one person to see it. If one million people see it then they will be paying for those one million eyes. Advertising in this manner is a lot more cost effective as, providing you choose your target market well at least, you will only be paying for those who you have pre-qualified for your product or service to see the advert. You will even be able to set your overall budget to ensure that you do not spend more than you need to.
This is why I believe the future of branding is online. I believe that dollars will shift from the printed and visual media scene over to the online media scene. It makes sense. It is a better way of spending money. The companies that will benefit from this the most are the newer companies who will realize right from the beginning that online branding is the most important (this is where most people will find out about their company after all). Over the next few years we may even find that a few bigger brands struggle to keep up with online changes. After all; we all know that established companies are reluctant to change (part of the reason as to why Kodak is no more).