New realities of branding
We attended Columbia University's BRITE Conference on branding, innovation and technology last week. Much of the discussion centered on the tech-inspired convergence of product development, brand and customer experience.
Speakers and attendees alike noted how the practice of branding is changing. It's moving from an approach focused on communications channels to one built around things customers are trying to accomplish. One example: getting more out of running with Nike Plus, the convergence of Nike shoes with Apple iPod that allows runners to share favorite jogging routes, measure their performance, and trash talk with their friends.
One of the open questions: How do you define a brand in a way that gets product developers, marketers and those in the field responsible for delivering on the brand promise to create an experience with which customers want to involve themselves?
We were struck by the extent to which the cases covered were examples of adding value through the addition of services to products and vice versa. This is one of the greatest opportunities for differentiation for both manufacturers and services companies. You can see some of our thinking on the topic here, here and here.
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