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I feel a neologistic scrap coming on - I'm backing 'Advertools'



let the battle commence!


Perhaps brands, now, have another form of Utility.
Holt's cultural branding points to self-identity as a benefit found in 20thCentury branding.
I like the idea of providing an informational service (value of household goods) that links to the product, building image-association for recall and brand. It's very interesting leaping into virtual space for the brand's existence, brands being virtual reality to start would imply that they have found a continuum (all things web) to exist within. Further impling that we are on the verge a new form of reality creation where the abstraction becomes the form, the purpose and the product.
There may be a range of virtual brand expression, actual usability information being more of the real world and 'LonelyGirl' branding being more of the virtual, identity by brand association.


i think thats a good take on this - giving brands an ongoing presence in peoples lives can only be a good thing. We now need to test the theory and look for examples.


Some recent research into users of social networking sites:

Engagement Among User-Generated Content (UGC) Sites vs. Non User (July 2006 - Total UK Locations)
Average Usage Days per Visitor Average Minutes per Visitor Average Pages per Visitor
Average of select UGC sites 4.2 79.9 217
Wikipedia Sites 2.0 10.1 13
MySpace.com 5.4 122.7 333
Piczo.com 4.8 60.9 238
YouTube.com 2.9 60.9 70
Bebo.com 5.6 145.0 428
Average of non-UGC sites among top 50 3.5 33.2 52
Source: comScore Media Metrix

Seems to show that users of UGC sites (I'm using them as examples of BRANDS, in their natural virtual space) actually enter the brand in that virtual space to the point where their life (as much as 2 hours a day) includes the site, the Utility then is generally a self-identifying benefit: I am MySpace person and I need MySpace brand to exist so as to be that person.

These figures show that sites where the user participates in content creation (actually being the BRAND) are significantly more "sticky" than sites that do not allow this form of presence in users' life.

So in a way MySpace is the brand, the purpose and the product. This brand therefore seems to grow because of it's presence in lives ~100Million lives.

daniel joseph

i've always made the distinction between brand's with 'useful missions' and those with 'power visions' (the latter generally being totally unhelpful to consumers and unengaging). no better example than sainsbury's t c road next door to an electronics shop. sainsbury's say 'try something new today' (supported by shopping list and tips); next door hitachi say 'inspire the next' (whatever the hell that means).


"I believe the next stage of brand advertising is going to be in the realm of 'branded utility,"

- but this is just an opinion.

What are the drivers for 'branded utility' being something important for the future? Where are the case studies that make this opinion so compelling?

I have just written a post on my blog debunking 'branded utility' as something really important we should all be part of (or not part of from my point-of-view).

Until someone can come up with more compelling reasons why we should take 'branded utility' much more seriously, then i fail to be convinced by 'branded utility.'

- Thanks for the interesting article though (and i may well be wrong!)




Would just like to make clear (if anyone is listening ...) that i am not debunking 'branded utility' as such - it has always been around in one shape or form. And it will always play a part in advertising. I am just debunking the argument that it has suddenly become a really effective tool in getting consumers to buy into a brand.


Chirantan Ghosh

I agree with you Simon completely. Take Yelp model of SEO/SEM in USA - without valid customer endorsement/ review of assets Branding campaigns remain incomplete.

Would love for you to join my LinkedIn network (some how I can't send you an invite :) http://www.linkedin.com/in/cghosh

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