For the longest time branding has been a one-sided dictation. It followed a format. As advertisers, we got your attention, made our most convincing claim and directed you where to go. The conversation was controlled. Social media has changed that process. By being able to interact with brands, having equal access to media, it has become less about dictation and more about conversation.
Why is this important? Think about how the Internet changed job applications. When first introduced, everyone jumped at the opportunity to apply to more jobs quickly, efficiently and with clothing optional. Rule #1: Never underestimate how much people hate pants. This ease of use led to a negative and unintended consequence. The average job now had hundreds, thousands of applicants.
HR departments were overwhelmed and couldn’t review all submissions. They then had to create processes to filter out the average and undesirable. Eventually people had to find better, more proactive ways to get noticed. The guy who made a billboard got a job. The girl who created a successful blog got a job. The guy who created a Kickstarter page about getting a job….got a job.
The same now applies to branding. Greater access leads to greater competition. Successful branding now requires a creativity, an ability to create something louder than all the noise that exists. It’s easier to create and find content but I would argue that it is just as difficult to truly be noticed – noticed at a level that moves the meter, puts you in a different tax bracket, excites investors.