Few people critically evaluate the application of the various branding models. A good starting point is the work of Douglas B. Holt. Concerned to situate his theory of cultural branding in relation to other approaches, the author of How Brands Become Icons identifies four major approaches to brand building:
Cultural Branding> Emotional Branding> Viral Branding> Participatory Mentality Branding.
At the outset, cultural branding specifies best what should actually be done to implement a brand strategy in the context of consumer society and social media. The challenge of viral branding is to be more cultural. In addition, the wave of social media has led many to forget that we are now part of a new mass communication. People’s advertising and consumer power are often celebrated without however discussing the role of brands – people expect original, surprising, ideologically challenging proposals from them, not just creative reproductions. The brand you want to become an icon needs to conquer with relevance, you need to have your own voice. In fact, the great attraction of social networks are not brands, but people. The lack of interest of users in relation to most brand content is clear when we look at the reasons for not liking pages of companies in the network.
The content has become repetitive and annoying over time. Learning the lessons of the few successful cases of viral branding has been the big challenge of marketing (74% of people who connect to Facebook are looking for news, according to Millward Brown research). The tremendous breakthrough in social media has led brands to invest in online fanfare. They expect through them to strengthen the personal connection with consumers and to develop more effective buzz marketing actions. Unfortunately, few companies are achieving impressive results. The problem lies in a limited understanding of the social life of brands. The confusion starts with the fan concept itself. A brand that establishes itself as a cultural icon thanks to the myth that it promotes in its communication. That’s why you need to put brand stories at the center of your strategies.
To conclude, one of the seven characteristics of a strong and successful brand, according to Philip Kotler: “The brand must have one or more seductive narratives.” If your brand does not have a story as cool as Jobs’s garage and Woz, according to Kotler, creates stories for her, as did Starbucks by adding a mermaid to the logo. After all, what would the mythological being-fish-woman have to do with coffee? The image was chosen for referring to Seattle’s nautical roots , the American city where Starbucks was born, and because of the history of coffee, which crossed oceans.
Beto Marques – Managing Partner of Gorilla Comunicação and VP of Communication of ADVB.