Traditional Brand Building Practice and Online Media Headache

building online brands

Since childhood, we are watching TVC of Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and many other products and services, reading print ads of the car dealership, sales offers etc., listening to radio ads of real estate brands and all.

These marketing channels were effective and who were utilizing strategically, they got very good returns. But there is some perennial problem in these traditional mediums.

a) It is cluttered 

b) It is expensive

c) Problem in measurement

Though these mediums have their own limitation but it was very successful in building brands for giant organizations.

Big players use to do high production and invest huge money in ATL ( Above The Line ) advertising. The formula was simple and it works.

But nothing is permanent here. New technology came in and disrupted this industrial ecosystem of giant play. The Internet has not only changed the media consumption pattern of consumers, in actual, it changed the behavior pattern of consumers. Hence the rules of the game have been changed.

The search engine has destroyed the information monopoly of the brand. Earlier consumers were highly dependable on the company but now they can get information anytime anywhere on demand.

So you can not go to informed consumers with same communication style which you were doing using traditional media. Here you require to reach them with in-depth information which can add value to their knowledge.

Now you can not expect that Jingle and punchlines will create imagery in the consumer’s mind. Sorry ! those days are gone.

Podcast stole away radio listeners. Online video streaming stole away TV viewers.

Social media made people from media consumers to media owners. Your consumers got voice and there is the possibility of virality of those voices looming always.

It is a real headache for brands.

The smartphone further added flavor in this disruption. Your consumers keep this device 24 X 7 with them. This means anytime or anywhere on a choice they can access information, engage with you or give a rant ( Good or Bad ) about your product or services.

Now brands can’t sustain by practicing traditional approach. Things have changed consumers got empowered by technologies and pushing the environment for a transparent relationship.

Hyper ethical expectation from consumers is really pushing the brand to rethink.

Dominic Walsh is managing director of the Sydney and Melbourne offices of Landor Associates has written.”If a brand exists in the mind of the consumer, then surely its modus operandi should be to develop an empathetic relationship with the people who buy it. This, however, has not always been the case. Brands used to push out their messages and consumers either accepted or rejected them; there was no back and forth, no listening, no dialogue.”

Let’s assume the scenario, You won’t hesitate in accepting that Amazon is a big and great brand.but if It does not deliver it’s brand promise then I will simply go on social, reviews site or any possible places where I could share my feeling.

If It delivers a bad experience then I will simply go on social or reviews sites or any possible places where I could share my feeling.

So, Amazone brand identities do not work here, The brand building game has been changed from controlling the communication to designing the experience.

Now your customers have N numbers of platforms where they can share their experience, earlier it was just “peer to peer”.

I would love to share The Lemp Brewpub story. Read it and see how power has been shifted to hands of your consumers.

How A Negative Blog Post Killed The Lemp Brewpub & Kitchen On Social Media

We have come a long way from Industrial revolution. Today business environment is fluid. So branding in this fluid environment requires to think differently and understand digital ecosystem properly & separate from traditional media channels.

Today people wants to have a conversation with brands. They want to hear the story and find a reason to believe.

You can work on followings to build a brand in modern days environment.

a) Design a good experience: Traditionally brand building was revolving around “Identity Designing”. Though identities are still important as it helps your consumer to recognize and remember you but this is a tiny part of brand building exercise.

Now consumer expects great end to end experiences from discovery to delivery. You should make a strategy to create more and more shareable experiences.

b)  Tell a story: People are wired to engage with the story. As brand communication moved from broadcasting to engaging, here your 30-seconds TVC rant won’t work.

People want to know what, how and why. They want the complete transparent story of your organization, your product, and your people.

c) Create deep and helpful content: Your customers first like to do research before contacting you. So when consumers do online research, you are not only required to be visible but also a problem solver.

Let’s assume, I am looking for a refrigerator and researching about it online and I came across a content ” 5 Mistakes you do while selecting a refrigerator”.

My reaction after consuming the content will be like .. Oh ! I was going to do these mistake.

At the time of purchasing the brand who serve me that content will have competitive advantage (Probably Michale Porter had not thought about it 🙂 )

d) Use marketing as services: Your whole marketing program should be around helping the consumers. Marketing campaign with sales pitch won’t help your brand.

Just help, help and help.

e) Don’t broadcast, Just engage: Social media is not TV. It is human and human likes conversation. Please think about it.

Engage with your consumers on social and solve their problems. I have written earlier also that posting your 30 seconds TVC won’t help you on social.


The balance of power has shifted between brand and consumer, making it the responsibility of brand owners to respond. Meaningful dialogue, product customization, and bespoke experiences are the key to future success.

The new paradigm of branding—social branding—bodes well for us all as we move toward greater dialogue between brands and people.

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