To Brand or Not to Brand

Here is the latest in the ongoing series of essays, TV News in a Postmodern World. This one — To Brand or Not to Brand — deals with an issue that seems to come up wherever I go, the conflict over how to brand (if at all) the various components of a viable web strategy. It’s controversial, because our intuition and instincts suggest we should slap our brand on everything we do. However, the laws of the web are often contrary to those instincts, and so we must challenge our assumptions at every level in the creation and implementation of businesses online.

At AR&D, we recommend what we call a Simulpathâ„¢ strategy for local media companies, one that splits business concepts into those that best fit with the mass marketing models of Media 1.0 and the other that fits with the direct marketing models of Media 2.0. Our instincts about branding these various businesses must be in line with the nature of each path, and that can a be difficult concept for broadcasters.

We must always remember than we’re television stations in the real world, with competition we can see simply by changing the channel. Online, however, we’re just a URL — a single pixel on an enormous canvas that makes up the whole of the web. Marketing here can be a very different animal.

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