Building Inroads: the Inclusive Path to Branding
The traditional model of brand building has been largely dictated by the technology available. When the means of communication was paper, the
picture advertisement dominated, and gave rise to the clever slogan. The slogan developed into the jingle with the rise of radio, and the advent of
television allowed the creation of the commercial.
All of these have one defining trait in common; they inform in a non-interactive sense. You can turn away or read as you wish, but that's the extent of
your control over the content of the advertisement. This has left the power of brand building largely in the hands of the originators. The company
creates its advertising, and people respond to it.
Most people and businesses don't have the money to create massive media blitzes or overarching TV-radio-print campaigns, which left this approach
almost entirely to the big names or those small companies willing to take a chance.
This is all changing.
As we've discussed before, the landscape in branding has changed from the advertising model to the communicative one. Comments can be left,
emails sent, blogs posted and disseminated in a matter of hours. We've established the increasing power the audience has over brands, and have
learned how vital conversation is to the modern brand.
Brands can now be built quickly and on a shoestring budget. Webhosting is inexpensive, and in some cases completely free. A Facebook account and
an eBay selling account can stand in for a webpage and a storefront, and are exponentially less expensive than a physical store and even a simple ad
in the local newspaper.
Brand success is no longer the sole domain of those with the money to employ creative teams and retain advertising firms, but an open territory for
any willing to seize the initiative and do the work.
Similarly, the direction of brand construction has changed. We've mentioned the conversation, the all-important dialog between brand and customer,
and the power customers have in shaping the image