Brandscaping – the latest buzzword
There is a new buzzword that describes a concept that could take off… in fact, depending on which angle you look at it from, it may already be in full swing, it’s just that we, as consumers, haven’t quite cottoned on yet.
So, what is it and is it something that online, local business could find useful OR, is it just another great big waste of time? And where do Tony Bennett and Elmo come in to it? Find out here…
What is brandscaping?
Sounds almost painful, but actually it isn’t. The concept is quite a nice one; brandscaping is about your online, local business joining with another relevant company, business, sole trader etc. to, and we quote, “drive consideration, increase demand and add revenue”.
A classic case, we think you would agree, on ‘you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours’. But, it is slightly more complex than that as we are talking about the online world of content sharing.
It is about identifying another company who holds or shares the same ‘audience’ as you; you not only link content, but pool financial sources too. Maybe you both agree to outsource to the same agency or writer to create blogs and content that links together.
It might be that you link with a company who you feel has your next customers. Andrew Davies believes so much in the power of online partnerships that he had written a whole book on the subject!
Content as we know is key to getting your website recognised, as well as up there in the rankings. Creating partnership with someone else gives you brand scope – as it does theirs. There is a constant flow of information and, you can be part of a whole new crazy world where people like your content… and start buying for you.
Mmmm… still not sure?
Neither were we until you realise what this could mean for some smaller businesses out there who battle on a daily basis to get their company or business in on the action. Big corporate bodies not only have the budget, but the people to work solely, day and night, on content.
For the local, online small business, this is not an option. You spend your day earning the money, the evenings doing your books and, at some point, you also squeeze in time to blog, bath the kids and visit your mum.
It is a busy world.
How could this work in practice?
OK, let’s take a really obvious example…
‘Bride and Grooms’ is a wedding dress and suit hire emporium. They have 3 shops dotted about over two counties. They are becoming known as THE place to go for wedding dresses, from budget to bespoke, as well as a range of wedding suits for hire.
‘Sally’s Flowers’ is a small florist with big ambitions; she would like to physically expand her florist shop into new, bigger premises as well as look at opening another shop in the next town. To do this, Sally realises she needs more of a ‘brand identity’; people need to look and feel confident that she can deliver modern, sassy, cutting edge designed flowers… and weddings are big business.
These two businesses could ‘brandscape’; they could pool a financial amount each months and really start to plug their services via blogs that link; these links could then be forged via the social media platforms they both use.
Likewise, they could then become a force in the local wedding fairs, the season that starts in the autumns and takes them through to spring. By summer, they could both be knee deep in flowers, customers and wedding parties.
Right so the message is this – you are looking to create demand for your mutual services by creating content with the maximum hit, with the lowest cost.
Partnership is perhaps a mis-leading term as you could, technically have more than partner, but the expense would be shared equally.
Your ‘audience’ needs to overlap, which clearly in our illustrative case above, clearly does – brides and dresses, then brides and flowers. You may have a local company that does wedding favours, table settings and the like… they could partner too. And then maybe there is a wedding planner; they could come on board too.
Why brandscaping? Why now?
Suggestions are that there is content overload; the web is an increasingly busy place and we everyone competing to get on to page 1 of the search engine results, it is no wonder. And so, suggest strategists, companies need to start working together to get genuinely brilliant results; return of investment (what you spend on content creation) should be maximised.
Does the idea have legs?
Possibly. For local businesses, it really could propel some smaller businesses into a far stronger position on the web.