Can too much content demystify a brand?

January 16th, 2015

When Tyler Brûlé, founder of Monocle and design and communication firm Winkreative, speaks brands tend to listen. Over the years the maverick, but highly successful publisher, has enabled many luxury brands to establish themselves and thrive through the vehicles of his magazines Wallpaper and, more recently, Monocle. So when Brûlé talks content marketing you can be sure that his words are going to be taken very seriously.

In an interview with Chloe Markowicz of Contagious Brûlé addressed brands in a bid to help them make the most of their publishing enterprises. In a challenging and sometimes controversial interview Brûlé contended that he feels that in an age when brands feels obliged to connect with audiences on a daily basis many have lost some of their mystique.

Brûlé argues ‘We’ve moved into this area where everything has to be completely transparent and nothing can be opaque anymore. But who says? I would argue that with good branding a lot is residing in the head of the consumer.’

Ultimately brands should not be sharing everything but should rather let some customers use some of their imagination.

Brûlé’s premise arguably resonates more with luxury brands, but does he have a point? Can brands demystify themselves by producing too much content?

There is one very obvious example of a brand that doesn’t let consumers behind curtain too often and that is Apple. The brand limits the amount of content it produces which undeniably helps maintain its mystique.

Apple is clearly something of a special case and all brands need to use content and social media to engage with their customers. Which is perhaps why we are now hearing a lot more talk among marketers about premium content. It seems that the days of peppering Facebook and Twitter with updates may be coming to a close as brands looks at ways of engaging with its customer in a deeper more measured way.

Of course the definition of premium content is rather arbitrary. But long form content, media rich content and interactive content like quizzes will engage readers much more than quick social media posts.

Thought Leadership

Another potential problem for brands is that by posting too much thoughtless content they can often undermine their position as thought leaders within particular industries. Interesting nuggets about the future can often get lost among the deluge of updates and images.

Jason Miller of the CMI argues, ‘Posting more thoughtful pieces less frequently is a strategic way to both control and spread your organization’s brand message, while keeping your reputation as a thought leader in check.’

Ultimately I think Brûlé has a point and it is one that brands will do well to consider. Content should be well thought out and created with care. It needs to be produced by people who understand content and know how to use it effectively.

As Brule concludes ‘Invest in a good editor, that’s the most important thing. There is an art to understanding what makes a good lead, what’s going to hook somebody and whether to craft your message in one page or in the standfirst. Don’t kid yourself that suddenly you can just vault anybody with a marketing background into an editor’s seat.’

Commissioned by The CMA

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