This article originally appeared on Harvard Business Review.
Siegel+Gale’s research, developed in conjunction with SAP and Shift Thinking, suggests that digital brands operate and think differently from traditional brands. When developing a brand and marketing positioning strategy, traditional brands focus on positioning their brands in the mind of their customers, whereas digital brands focus on positioning their brands in the lives of their customers. To explore this difference in brand positioning mindset, we surveyed 5,000 U.S. consumers, inquiring about 50 brands, focusing on both the traditional and digital brand experience.
Distinct differences were revealed between the legacy/traditional brands and the newcomer/digital brands. Our brand positioning research categorized them into two groups: purchase brands and usage brands. In summary, usage brands focus on the swing and follow-through. Here are highlights of their differences:
- Purchase brands focus on creating demand to buy the product, whereas usage brands focus on creating demand for use of the product
- Purchase brands emphasize promotion, while usage brands emphasize advocacy
- Purchase brands worry about what they say to customers when usage brands worry about what customers say to each other
- Purchase brands focus on what people think about the brand along the path to purchase, while usage brands influence how people view the digital brand experience at every touchpoint