The bringing together of smart phones and social networks has created platforms that have created a new paradigm in how world class brands are created.
Let me begin the article by describing how a brand is created using the most simplistic terms. To create a brand, a product must be differentiated from all other products in that product space. IT MUST BE DIFFERENT--BUT NOT NECESSARILY BETTER. To create the dominate brand in your product space, people must think of your brand, to the exclusion of all other products.
Two examples stick out in how brands were differentiated. A sneaker has become an icon simply through its logo. When we go to the mall, and we see that logo, we the "coolest sneaker" in our minds. That logo, that brand, pays. We may spend over $130 for a pair of those sneakers. The sneakers themselves have taken perhaps $30 to make. The branding has created the rest of the value. In another example, a courier service has branded its service through its color. When we hear someone say " X color" we think of this courier service. This color is not even a popular color, but that dull color has created a multi-billion dollar brand. Branding is critical--it allows a marketer to charge and receive a premium price.
How do we create these premium brands? To brand a marketer must have two things in their favor. A marketer must have scale--size--and speed. Lots of people must know of your product, and the knowledge of this product must spread quickly. Brands are virile--like a virus, they spread in a pandemic manner and they spread quickly.
This is where social networks are so critical in modern marketing. A product is created and the knowledge of that brand is spread quickly through the size of a large social network. There are social networks today that have over ¼ of the world's population at their sight. This is how a product can quickly become the newest "it" thing.
Network marketing is off the page when it comes to creating a brand. Reed's law states that a network of just 2 quickly scales up to a network of 1,034. Adding to the network effect is the advent of smartphones. This brings the concept of speed. With the applications that are now written onto smartphones, a new product can become a dominate brand, if the stars align in the product's direction.
The integration of the forces of social networks and smartphones has redefined the digital age. A small digital, streaming, music brand has become a dominant brand in music because its leaders understand how the new dynamic works. This music brand is a benchmark on how modern brands should function.
Smartphones created a space in which people could listen to streaming music while on the go. With a smartphone, you can listen to music anywhere at any time. You can listen to music on a bus, walking to school, or even on a patrol in Afghanistan. This is a critical concept to understand in the branding of music, or any other product. There is now a simple, elegant way for multi-millions of people to be aware of the existence of your brand.
Social networks are critical because in the case of music, people could receive new music directly from their friends in comparison to music superstores. The idea of receiving music from friends branded the music stronger. People put great stock in the opinions of their friends. If they receive music from their friends, the brand now has an authority.
I've explained a music service. I think the principle applies to any product. If you place your product on a social network, it can be moved at uber speed with an app on a smart phone. Let's say you began a brand of clip-on hair extensions and placed that brand on say, Facebook. With Smartphones, this brand of hair extensions could easily become a multi-dollar brand, almost overnight.