New media is not just digital, it is also experiential, community based, meaningful and practical

Who wouldn’t love their brand to be the easiest, most natural fit with their customer’s life? After all, the degree to which you fit in and create value, is the measure of a great brand.

We need to land into our customers’ world by being relevant, resonant and now these days, by belonging and being useful.

Today’s media is not just digital, it is also experiential, community based, meaningful and practical. It is these principles that give a brand the key to access their customer’s world. Not many organisations today have a strong media strategy that can take them well beyond a digital strategy, creating a great opportunity for those who do. What’s more, those brands that integrate all these principles to create their media are bursting through the cluttered marketplace and are jumping straight in to their customer’s heart and life. They are also reaching more people, different people and leveraging the impact of brand advocacy. All in all, great media, is still about the age old adage to deliver, “the right message to the right person at the right time”.

Here are some insights and examples to illustrate how these principles may build your media presence in your customers’ world.

Experiential, means the customer participates with the brand based on a specific emotional outcome. Brands that build memories based on positive emotional experiences are wiring positive associations that influence decisions later on. It is proven that positively associated brands are brands that customers feel more compelled to buy and are willing to pay more for. Burberry’s flagship store at Regent Street mergers with a physical emotional experience. Global events are screened live,  a salute to the values of the traditional British artisan is expressed in the shop fittings, all in all  generating an immersive customer experience that brings us into the trance of the brand.

Community based…in this marketplace, people are coming together less and less as captive audiences from big media and more into passion and purpose driven communities…some of these live offline and some live online. These offer powerful targeted marketing opportunities. Take for instance David Wolfe the charismatic wellness presententer, that has stormed the world. Love him or hate him ( he has that effect on people, as many strong personal brands do), he is revolutionising the way people value food and lifestyle. His video posting on youtube regularly get up to 50,000 plus hits, not big numbers, but his community of fanatics are educating a larger population. His community now drives a sky rocketing wellness industry at, that is being amplified by mimics and like minded personalities. Communities shaped by charismatic leaders with strong personal brands, are radically redefining the market.

Meaningful…if you want to enter a customers world, just as it is in friendship, there needs to be a good match in values. Your brand values need to mirror their personal values, or they won’t let you in. You need to not only mirror them, but you need to demonstrate that you do. That is the way Ocado, a new green, innovative and price competitive grocer launched into the UK From working with small producers in Africa to jumping on the Peace One Day initiative, Ocado is yet another brand who is built of the belief that by doing good, we can do good business.

Practical….be of use in their lives, this can be a “how to” or informative content, or it can also be a process, a digital gift, an idea or a functional thing, that they can use to improve your customers quality of life. Take Zappos’s clever sponsorship of airport bins (the trays you put your shoes in to pass through security). This is a proactive placement of the brand name in the customer’s mind when they are thinking shoes. The pratical gift of this service develops a positive predisposition towards the Zappos brand…there are also big paybacks in reduction of wait time, who wouldn’t be grateful to Zappos. Aaron Magness, Sr. Director – Brand Marketing & Business Development claims “due to the better training and additional resources, airports that have sponsors for their security bins have seen an average of a 16% improvement in wait time in getting through the lines.”

So how do you create these new media strategies for your business? Start with the brand and use ethnographic or one on one in depth research to plot those opportunities where you can create a new media opportunity. Be clear about the emotional experiences and positive perceptions you want your new media to create, and then and only then, make a choice of the best combination of media to deliver the outcome. Don’t get stuck on digital, especially when you want fresh people and fresh messaging.


Louise Kelly

Managing Director

Hearts and Minds

Founder Thought Leaders Circle

One thought on “New media is not just digital, it is also experiential, community based, meaningful and practical

  1. Fantastic information Louise. I will use this list of ways to reflect on our brand as we start to give birth to the life it potentially can have if we investigate it’s customer’s attitudes, behaviours and beliefs. Niki

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