While digital media mitigate the impact of advertising, brands are looking new ways to attract consumers. The latest ways is to publish stories like journalism. The strategy of the “native advertising” is to hide the commercial imperative, due to that readers think of consuming a newspaper or a magazine.
Instead of brands, real people with tones of voice will be the interface between consumers and products. What businesses need to do is debrand.
With native advertising, brands tell stories in a way that readers are already consuming stories. By linking the message to the platform, brands can attract loyal customers and even make their content viral.
BRANDED CONTENT: A SHORTSIGHTED CON
But branded content isn’t a long game. Here are the reasons;
- Intent: The essence of the brand content is to deliberately blur the line between advertising and editorial content.
- Logic behind the content of the brand itself. It is deceptive to use a set of totally different qualities – good stories – to sell a product that inherently has nothing to do with these qualities. Hiring a high quality filmmaker will not improve the quality of your energy drink. Trademarks cannot offer what they advertise.
Here’s where debranding comes into play.
Instead of brands, real people with real tones of voice will again become the interface between consumers and products. This is the heart of the debranding.
And it is in line with today’s network company. Traditionally, the brand is based on the idea of what differentiates a company from the competition. A brand grows by considering itself different, isolating itself from others (Apple took it to the letter with “Think differently” to be very successful). But, increasingly in the Internet age, consumers feel comfortable with the idea that everything is interconnected. So, what distinguishes brands is less important than what unites people and things: if your iPhone can talk to your Prius, for example, or if you can read articles from different sources in one place, like Facebook. The brand that screams louder no longer captures the most attention; what offers something really useful.
THE FUTURE OF DEBRANDING
In our discarded future, consumers will not necessarily spend less, but will buy less. They will buy fewer disposable clones and spend more on a few basic quality items than a fair price. The change between brands, from investments in marketing to investments in product development, should also allow less fortunate people to buy pure, simple and quality products. Prices will reflect the real value, not the conceptual value that the brand grants magically. The products will be stripped of the codes of the brand and the imaginary worlds built. The only information on packaging will be characteristics such as origin, producer intentions, production process and environmental impact. Perhaps the producers find a way to subtly mark their product by adding their signature to the product itself, completely omitting the packaging. All of this, of course, will also be a type of brand, but stripped of its essence.
So, if it’s a company, instead of throwing money into another brand content campaign, go back to the original idea of a brand. Adjust the quality, design and durability of your product. Become a shoe maker again instead of substitute spirituality. It will make life and life of consumers easier. Do not launch a new product on the market if it is not inherently better and more durable than it already exists. We do not need more brand; we need less better quality products.