A call from a recruiter that went sideways yesterday left me thinking about a comment of his which I had let slide because it didn't make sense to me. I think he said that brands are being replaced by content. I suspect he meant the buzz is about content, not so much about brands anymore, not quite sure.
Social media has reduced the fast-changing realm of marketing, communications and branding to phrases and keywords. Everyone nods when they hear the word content, which means everything and nothing. Semantically, content is stuff.
As many are pointing out when brands talk about their content, 'content' isn't something people go looking for. Content is stories, articles, ads, commercials, interviews, promos, videos, films, pictures, illustrations, photographs/photos/images, documentaries, advertorials, native advertising. For CMS systems it can be any little collection of words. It's research, infographics, charts, diagrams, cartoons, slide decks, pitch decks, speeches, presentations, PDFs... Any collection of stuff, assets which can be organized.
Even ubiquitous-sounding content management systems can be back end systems designed to organize data and assets for internal technology teams or front end marketing communications systems which help brands push stuff/content out.
And brand. So if a brand is not a logo, as Marty Neumeier wrote the book on, now I'm telling clients explicitly that their brands live in their UX design, in their customer care, in the words and images they use in social media, websites, print, promotions, blogs... everywhere their company, product or service pops up. Everything a company does feeds the brand experience for the people they're reaching.
Companies and people brand everything they create, implicitly or explicitly. That's why successful brands use strategic planning and great creative to get outside their bubble and connect with target audiences.
So to me, content is stuff and brand is everything.
Brenda van Ginkel
Every brand that is making a difference to people or the planet deserves to stand out and be noticed. I write about creative direction and brand strategy for entrepreneurs and those supporting them, packaging concepts with messaging for growth and audience engagement in a crowded, noisy digital space.