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May 22, 2019    Burn Book

Chasing Digital Dreams with Dirty Sneakers


Crossing the Threshold

We’ve reached an era where our digital and physical boundaries are beginning to overlap in more and more ways. Some scarier than others. Some more hidden than others. Our digital lives and surroundings are playing a highly influential role in our physical environments. And physical interactions as well.

But how positive is this influence? And as brand consultants, does this make our job easier or harder to understand? Will the proliferation of these overlapping realms eventually lead to a world where we actually can’t spot a difference? And our already cluttered media landscapes will turn into a giant smear? Or will it allow us to develop a formula to create the perfect brand based on how these two worlds interact?

Branding a Personality

How we perceive ourselves online without a doubt impacts how we behave in real life. We attempt to fulfill our digital personalities with our physical presence. But what influences our digital personalities? Digital peers aside, brands and products do. Here we are met with one of the many hidden influences that the digital world has on the physical world.

We are inspired by pictures of people traversing the world, climbing mountains and getting up close and personal with mother nature. As a result, we go out on adventures of our own, in an attempt to emulate these digital dreams of ours. But what is the underlying reason to undergo these journeys, beyond the urge to explore? The urge to express. The urge to express who you are – a wanderlust, bold, and curious individual who isn’t afraid to get their shoes dirty.

So who is the best at portraying these digital dreams? Sophia, the 25-year-old vlogger still living off daddy’s paycheck? No, at least not directly. But possibly, indirectly. If you are a brand consultant or a part of a digital marketing agency yourself, one of the first entities that probably popped up in your head was Patagonia. A company notorious for their passion for the outdoors and personalized advertising techniques.

Patagonia is a company quite skilled at painting these digital dreams that make Sophia buy their clothes and indirectly spread the urge to radiate what they see. To fulfill the personalities that they see other people having. But the secret here is that it wasn’t ever the people, it was the product. Sophia might have spread the dream, but the brand designers planted it.

Working Backwards

Knowing the impact that our customer’s digital world has on their physical world, we as brand consultants have to work backward. If customers use brands to build and shape their personalities than we have to build and shape brands focusing on that factor. How will a product, and more importantly, a message, make someone feel about their self-image and character? By starting with these basic societal brain patterns and thought processes, we form our introduction into brand designing and an untouchable personalized advertising strategy.

Why would a parent spend top dollar on a high-quality, incredibly lightweight stroller? Because he or she wants to emulate that they’re a caregiver who has their sh*t together and can take care of a human life. Parents can be very self-critical, of themselves and each other. Knowing this leads one to believe that parents want to have a responsible personality and image. With this in mind, brand designers can start constructing a message that fulfills this digital dream. By highlighting all the features of the stroller that enable them to be responsible – that it folds effortlessly, stores discreetly, and handles corners and hills well.

Now the first argument someone could have against this idea that products fulfill personality is the idea that, in this case, the motivation to purchase is because of how manageable it is. And that the product’s main feature is the ease of use. But we’re not just digital marketers, we’re human psychologists, and must dig deeper.

Why would a customer say ease of use is the most attractive quality and what are some of the societal ways in which that benefits them? Once again, it’s so they don’t look like some irresponsible parent fumbling over themselves trying to fold up a stroller like a sunburned dad struggling with a beach chair.

A Need to Belong is Inherent

We are socially oriented beings, through and through. Until we revert to some primitive age of stones and dinosaurs, it will always be that way. So as brand consultants and one of the top advertising agencies in Austin, we have to keep looking at our audiences as such. And designing brands with the notion that someone, somewhere will be inspired to change their lifestyle because of them.

Want to see what it’s like to build a living, breathing brand? Sit down with our head honcho. She might just give you something to dream about.

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