Branded Content is one of the fundamental pillars of modern marketing. However, both its practice and its production are sometimes difficult exercises. Let’s revisit this concept together.
Branded content refers to all the content produced by a brand. While the purpose remains a marketing one, content created in this context can take various forms. In the form of books, comic strips, documentaries or even video games, content that is referred to as “branded content” often has little to do with the product it seeks to promote. It so happens that brand content is completely detached from its product. Like the Michelin Guide, first published in 1900 and now a reference book that has little to do with the tire factory, besides its name. Red Bull has also created unique and effective media over the years, establishing itself as an expert in the extreme sports world.
Branded content makes it possible to affirm a true brand identity. It does not consist of selling a product in the first instance, but in making an audience embrace the brand’s values. Brand content does not show an interest in the product, but rather in the subject in a more general way. For example, if you manufacture cribs, a brand content strategy that focuses on the safety and well-being of children is based on a real concern for parents. By sharing its values, a brand works to ensure the support and loyalty of its prospects and customers.
Branded content must be part of a “cultural climate” and, if necessary, must evolve with it. We can, for example, observe the difference between Buffalo Grill, which has remained anchored in a very American image – the road, the almost wild beef, the cowboy – and McDonald’s, which has evolved with morals by basing its communication on sustainable development, salads or vegetarian sandwiches. The notion of “pop culture” and the creation of common references is extremely important. One of the best examples is of course the famous “What Else?” Nespresso ad featuring George Clooney. This little sentence, now known to everyone, is subject to many parodies, memes and other misuses. By letting the public take ownership of its brand content, a brand ensures an almost infinite renewal of its communication effort.
Marketing Resource Management (MRM) refers both to a way of organizing the company’s marketing but also to the set of technical solutions necessary for the development of brand content. Why be equipped? It is no longer a question of creating a book (like the Michelin Guide), but thousands of different media assets in multiple formats. An MRM approach materializes during the implementation of a brand content creation process by adopting a strategy known as a Single source of Truth. A fundamental approach to the creation of a content ecosystem.
A successful content ecosystem is characterized first and foremost by a strong and consistent identity. It is necessary to adopt the same graphic charter, the same typographies, the same colors, the same image characteristics… A mission that any MRM solution can meet. Thus, while developing brand content across a multitude of media and platforms, it is possible to keep a recognizable visual identity at first glance.
One of the benefits of the MRM is that it allows you to adapt your brand content to the local level while maintaining the brand’s codes, notably through a template system. For example, if you sell barbecues and want to offer recipes, tastes change depending on the country and region. An MRM solution makes it easy to control your image without risking a faux pas in a market or confusing your customers by multiplying content that has very little correlation between them.