Has this been done before? It's an honest question that marketers always ask when considering using new technology to tell their stories. Who wants to be a has-been?

But when discussing applying technology to brand experiences, it is not the best question to be asking.

The right question is "Does the new technology help tell a better story about my brand or will the story be about the technology itself?"

The Purpose of Technology

Marketers will be envelope-pushers. Everyone wants to look fresh, exciting, different, and edgy. A new medium to deliver your message says you're a front-runner, constantly thinking how experiences can make an emotional connection to your brand.

A tech-first approach works when the cool factor of the technology furthers the brand conversation, not the technology conversation. A great example of this is when Pepsi Max took over a bus shelter in the UK with brand new technology (see-through LCD displays) that delightfully frightened commuters. A clear LCD screen was placed at one end of the shelter, allowing commuters to "see" what was happening on the street. But what they saw wasn't what they expected: a tiger raced towards the shelter, a slimy creature slithered out of a hole in the sidewalk, a swarm of UFOs hovered over the street beaming lights at the bus shelter. Commuters could join the fun, stand outside the bus shelter, and "run away" from the threats while their pals photographed the shenanigans from inside.

The above example is case in point of a brand using technology to tell a brand story, turning the mundane routine of waiting for the bus into an fun, imminently shareable and memorable adventure. The message was clear and the consumers' focus was on the experience rather than the technology.

Too many times brands get excited about technology and how to look "cool" and focus on how to implement the technology rather how the technology can tell their brand story.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
image of Josh Cohen

Josh Cohen is CEO of Pearl Media, a collective of thinkers, tinkerers, engineers, designers, and dreamers

LinkedIn: Josh Cohen