A Digital Network: Brand and Consumer


What is branding?

Branding is not the logo, it is not the name, but rather it is a conceptual idea, which gives consumers ‘something to believe in’.  It is a set of beliefs that open the door to a relationship with your audience.  The name, the logo, the media strategy are a set of identifiers for the brand which create a link between brand and and product, giving a more tangible image to identify the brand by.

So if branding is an idea, how does this relate to cybercultures?

The introduction of the internet has changed the way in which brands approach their audience.  The experience becomes less about the product, and more about the consumers by utilising networks within the internet to create a social impact, creating a new network of consumers who not only have an interest in the ‘products’ being sold to them, but they also share a connection to the company through their belief system and the way in which they interact with their audience.  The audience is not a passive body who will listen and agree to whatever you say, the audience is a body of people who crave connection, crave a sense of belonging, crave a relationship. Cyberculture is what enables this relationship to be formed between brand and consumer, as it allows companies to tap into a network which operates through a social basis – sharing, learning, collecting, and adding to the collective knowledge through a digital realm.

Cyberculture has created a platform for brands to incorporate user generated content as a way to promote their ideals, while also celebrating the consumer, their lifestyles, and their practices.  The focus is not so much on the brand itself, but on the people interacting with it, forming a vastly different approach to the old methods of creating brand awareness. It creates a space for conversation, which moves beyond a brand just being a product, and into something which becomes more than a product: something which reinforces the idea of the brand. My research will focus not on the idea of a brand itself. Rather, it will focus on how brands interacts with the internet — particularly social media — in order to extend their brand awareness and forge valuable  connections between the brand and their target audience.

Brookins, M 2010, The Advantages of Using Social Media Marketing, Chron, viewed 7 November 2015, <http://smallbusiness.chron.com/advantages-using-social-media-marketing-18593.html&gt;

Strauss, S 2013, Think Branding, with Google – Converence Keynote – “Branding is the New Normal”, YouTube, viewed 15 March 2016, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1l2CUjkg0ug&gt;

Trigger Communications 2011, What is a brand?, YouTube, viewed 15 March 2016, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQLlPC_alT8&gt;

Turner, E 2015, Mind The Windows: Social Media Strategy

University of East Anglia 2011, What is Branding?, YouTube, viewed 15 March 2016, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKIAOZZritk&gt;

Elysse Turner | WordPress | Twitter

10 thoughts on “A Digital Network: Brand and Consumer”

  1. Branding and the consumer is something that is quite intriguing. Our culture has become so wrapped up in associating certain brands with certain lifestyle choices. I like how you mentioned that now it’s not so much about the product itself, but more about the consumers. Do you think that since we’re so wrapped up in the idea of the brand (i.e. Apple) that it hinders our sense of the actual product itself? Also with companies like Apple or Google collecting our personal data, when does it become too much? When does it become a breach of our privacy?

    On another note, since we’re so consumed in brands, how do cybercultures help or hinder the fact that these mega-corporations have/may have a bad rep with their labor practices? That would be an interesting angle to at: the relationship between the brand, their labor practices, and the consumer. We know that many mega-corporations use cheap labor, yet sell their products like it’s the best thing since sliced bread. How do these companies continue to successfully sell their products? Or how do consumers continue to purchase these products, knowing that the condition that it was made was poor?

    I’m not sure which brand(s) you are thinking of looking at, but in 2013 Childish Gambino used many different social network platforms to hype up his upcoming album. He made a short film, wrote a 72-page screenplay, created a website (becausetheinter.net) and introduced the Internet world to roscoe’s wetsuit. Through these different media outlets he was able to create a connection with his audience. That might be something to look into if you’re interested!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When you hear the term brand you automatically connect it to a corporation that is out to sell you something but that is not always the case. Many celebrities have a ‘brand’ which needs to be controlled in order to get the most people on their side in order to sell the most movies, music etc. The better brand they have the better standing they may have with their audience.

    Another notion you could look at with branding, is the use of popular culture by some companies. Some like to promote and pay internet celebrities to review or promote their product and some like jump on bandwagons and post memes relating to their products. Who they choose and how the use it could be a reflection on the corporate culture and ethics. You could look into how that may either alienate an audience or unite it?


  3. Super interesting – I would have never thought branding could be linked with Cybercultures. This leads me onto thinking how brands are simply just a visual aesthetic we associate with the consumable goods. Take for example, Apple Inc. have their own Developer Kits (SDK) which have specific requirements for the Developer to abide by. These requirements are known as the Human Interface Device Guidelines or HID (http://apple.co/1Ryd5hB) – I believe, this is a large reason as to why people do prefer Apple Products (in a way), as these guidelines and Human Interface User Experiences are programmed to help the ease of use of the product, and make it easier to consume. Really interested how far you can take this!


  4. I really like this idea and how you are focusing especially on how brands use the internet to interact with their target audience. Companies these days are less focused on selling actual products and more focussed on selling the ‘brand’ (i.e Apple, Nike, Mcdonald, Google etc). The internet and in particular social media, has opened up huge possibilities for companies to promote their brands. It would be really interesting if you looked into Instagram and the people who are being paid to promote brands. In this way, companies are able to show how their brand is a ‘lifestyle’ i.e if you use this product you’ll be happy and gorgeous and have lots of friends just like this person (whoever they have chosen to market the brand). It interestingly creates something of a brand culture. This chapter from Naomi Klein’s ‘No Logo’ is an interesting read and looks at how brands have come about and how they have evolved over the years.


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