In this AdAge article, Larry Light discusses the impact brand journalism is having on brand management. Citing the success of McDonald’s “I’m lovin’ it” campaign, he recommends that marketers forgo the traditional marketing approach that focused on a single, repetitive message in favor of a “content stream approach,” which involves multi-dimensional messages via multiple channels to multiple audiences.
The article reflects an earlier, 2004 speech that Larry Light, then McDonald’s CMO, gave at AdWatch conference. In it, he described brand journalism as “a chronicle of the varied things that happen in our brand world, throughout our day, throughout the years. Our brand means different things to different people. It does not have one brand position. It is positioned differently in the minds of kids, teens, young adults, parents and seniors. It is positioned differently at breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, weekday, weekend, with kids or on a business trip.
“Brand Journalism allows us to be a witness to the multi-faceted aspects of a brand story. No one communication alone tells the whole brand story. Each communication provides a different insight into our brand. It all adds up to a McDonald’s journalistic brand chronicle.”
Light discusses 3 implications of brand journalism on brand management:
Brand journalism is a modern marketing imperative
With a continuing flow of valuable, relevant, integrated and engaging content. Brand journalism creates an evolving brand story.
Use brand journalism to become a multi-dimensional conversationalist
Emerging media has transformed Brand-customer communications from a monologue to a dialogue to a “multi-logue” communications. By leveraging the different media formats available, brands can engage in a multi-dimensional sharing of information and opinion.
Think like a journalist
Think of brand communications as the ongoing creation of a brand “magazine,” a brand journal, in which each article the content encompasses different subjects, topics and messages – all of which come together as a timely, dynamic and coherent brand story.
With the emerging digital landscape, simplistic, repetitive message pushing is out. Content that attracts and engages consumers with a compelling brand story is in. Or as Light puts it:
Positioning, the message-pushing idea of imposing an overly-distilled, single word in the customer’s mind worldwide, is out of date. In this modern age of dialogue marketing, the old-fashioned idea of aiming to own the customer’s mind is marketing arrogance. Instead of message pushing, the message-engaging concept of brand journalism is increasing in importance in this new, increasingly fragmented, personalized, digital, always-on, mobile era.