For me, branding is a conversation that is always much broader than people imagine. Instead of it being relegated to the confines of just logos and websites, brand is something entirely bigger. It encompasses the entire way an organisation communicates to its audience and the broader community.
This pushes past just aesthetic and involves messaging, communication, tone of voice, tact, language and of course; experience. The experience that one has with a brand is one of the most overlooked aspects of branding itself and I always notice when organisations give it focus, because it really makes a difference.
The in flight video
Take for instance, in flight videos. What a challenge for airlines. A video that plays every time you’re on a plane that nobody wants to watch and that for the most part, nobody enjoys. We all agree it’s important but that doesn’t mean we watch it. There’s a few airlines turning what is for some, the most unappealing part of their experience and transforming it into one of the most enjoyable. For example, my first hand experience of watching Virgin America’s safety video goes to show what fun it can be. It changes (or reinforces) the way I perceive that brand and it works together with the rest of the experience to help me decide whether I’ll use them again, often regardless of price.
Touch points matter
Every touch point matters when it comes to the way brands interact with people and ensuring those touch points are thought through, enjoyable and intentional is part of the skill of creating an exceptional brand. Now that you’ve read this, you may find yourself noticing those who have and those who haven’t thought through their brand experience. Sometimes it’s the simplest change and often it’s a really fun process implementing these changes.
Show me examples already
Here’s a few airlines that done just that – they have taken the most boring part of any flight and turned it on its head.
American Idol style Virgin America video (11 million views on YouTube)
Air New Zealand – A tribute to Middle Earth
Air France does it like on the French can – Cool, sophisticated, emotive, on trend
Air New Zealand 2013 – Yep they do a new one every year, and yep they’re the best at it
UP Air – Keeping it random