Monday, August 1, 2016

Entertainment Can Reset And Eclipse Your Brand's Equity

Hello everyone

Here is installment #2 in the ongoing blog series: "8 things you should know before making entertainment for your brand"

Entertainment can reset and eclipse your brand's equity

Whether it's a TV show, a movie or a well funded and advertised game, New, big media can make for big consumer perception changes for your brand.

The level of "incluturation" that the big media can affect for your brand will very quickly set new qualities that the audience/consumer believes are what your brand is about. Big media simply becomes the loudest, most engaging, noise.

Because of this, it becomes very important to understand how and why those ideas become part of the new story. I have been in many brand and franchise planning session where very smart people are grappling with how to proceed on entertainment (which may not be in their company's core competency wheelhouse). Part of that discussion always involves how to represent and grow the brand's existing equities in the entertainment.  Before giving entertainment partners a list of "must-haves," its important to understand that entertainment has different success needs than other categories. to help navigate this start by asking yourself these couple of critical questions:

  • Do you need those equities to grow your business or are they just part of the comfortable brand muscle-memory that your company has built up over the years? 
    • If the answer is no, then let go and explore the full spectrum of what new relevance looks like.
    • If the answer is yes, ask yourself if you are willing to be far more flexible than you may be comfortable with concerning those equities in order to allow the entertainment to be as competitive and strong as it needs to be in order to succeed in a very crowded story marketplace.
      • I've seen many cases where the non-entertainment companies impose 100% of their category needs on the entertainment causing the result to be mediocre (or worse) entertainment that doesn't achieve the desired result in ratings, box office, or brand lift. 
  • Ask yourself if you are comfortable with the "creator-driven" nature of the entertainment industry. This means to attract big name, A-list,talent, they are going to expect to be given a lot of latitude in bringing their own vision for your brand/entertainment to life.
    • This can have the opposite effect of imposing too much equity and brand structure too early. Creator culture can take your story in creative directions that may be very successful entertainment that builds the creative's personal creative brand but does not support the benefit, features and story structures needed for brand growth.
    • There are ways to manage the creator-driven process that start with choosing who your partners and talent are but generally, there will be an ongoing creative negotiation you will now be a participant in.
Net/net, when adding entertainment into your brand mix, be prepared to challenge and stretch your plans and understanding of what your brand can be for your audience in the future.

Next weeks blog post will add to the "8 things you should know before making entertainment for your brand" by adding point #3: 

Entertainment For Your Brand Takes A Different Time Cycle

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