Brands, take notice: we live online

December 1, 2020

Remember when in 2017 Netflix CEO, Reed Hastings, stated:

You get a show or a movie you’re really dying to watch, and you end up staying up late at night, so we actually compete with sleep, and we are winning!

According to new studies, he might be right. Nielsen recently announced that every week, on average, we spend 74 hours online. That’s 44% of our week. This means that for three-quarters of our week we are either scrolling or sleeping. Constant connection means, there virtually isn't a moment when we aren't online. We are browsing while at home, commuting while working/studying or relaxing. When we connect though, is equally important: major traffic occurs from Monday to Friday, weekends are less populated in the digital world. Reasonable, as this time is often taken up by our hobbies or leisure activities.

Luxury focus on digital

Given we mostly live online, it is vital for brands to have an effective digital strategy. If they don’t, then they waste many chances to either interact or generate an interest in their audience. Luxury brands have most definitely taken notice of our online life and strategized accordingly. Gucci is among the pioneers of digital branding. They are leading due to two main strong points:

  • They made their brand more relevant to millennials. How? Furthermore, they made it Instagram-worthy. Which is the best strategy given that the photo-driven social network is essentially the new way in which we window-shop.
  • They created a hashtag for most of their products and for their Creative Director, Alessandro Michele. Extremely relevant, given that their most valuable form of advertising is through influencers and their hashtag game is strong.

Fast-food and their digital brand

If you think that luxury brands ‘have it easy’, given their products are desirable, good-looking and worthy to share, consider this example on the opposite end of the spectrum: Burger King. Burger King is noticeably a follower in the fast-food market segment. Still, their digital strategy is strong. Their Instagram account @Burgerking (the USA, verified one) has 1.5 million followers. They make and have made a few viral social media ads. In 2009, for example, they launched the campaign Whopper Sacrifice, where Facebook users had to delete (a.k.a. sacrifice) 10 of their friends to obtain a free Whopper in return. More recently, this past July, Burger King France, with the help of creative agency Buzzman Paris, created a new initiative where employees could create a jealousy-inducing Out Of Office message which would get their colleagues annoyed, but compensate them with either a free Whopper or an Oreo Shake.

Digital branding is all about story-telling. Identify who you are, who your audience is and what you stand for, then create a story to attract your audience. Given your consumers (and potential ones) spend 3/4 of their week online, and you do too, it would be silly not to be where your audience is. The alternative is to connect with your clients in their sleep, who knows, maybe, in the future, there will be a way to buy ad space in someone's dreams as well. For now, let’s stick to screen real-estate.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

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Alessia Cappello

Alessia eases brands, agencies and publishers measure their online advertising effectiveness. She is a digital marketing and advertising enthusiast by day. Passionate about the intersection between technology, art & culture by night.

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