Connected brands as molecular brands

Aug. 31, 2010 | by fiona.grantham

Connectedness.  That is the first thing I learnt when I joined iCrossing earlier last week.  Connectedness is the central philosophy for working life here, or as someone framed it – “the way we see the world”.

I like it. It’s a neat proposition that suitably fits the challenges and opportunities that brands are faced with today.  With a digital space that has become less a place where we dip in and out of to achieve isolated tasks, and more a place we exist in day to day.  In true planner style I have a diagram for this:

The surprise here for me is that search, something iCrossing has carved a strong reputation in, is just a component of this.  Connectedness is so much more and as a newbie here I am impressed (and pleased) to see a company striving to help their clients make sense of what this means and how it works.

I augment this slightly ‘teachers pet’ post with some related thought pieces I am a big fan of around ‘molecular brands’ or ‘brand molecules’.  In a nutshell, these theories or concepts introduce the brand as a fluid and evolving form, one that is defined by the context in which it exists and by the users that interact with it. I find this interesting for iCrossing and their Connectedness philosophy for two reasons:

1. Connectedness can be fluid, defined by the common ground between an individual’s life and the brand’s life. So….

  • Let’s understand more about these points of common ground in and around the immediately obvious
  • Let’s pay full attention to the wider cultural values we want to connect with as well as those of the individual user
  • Let’s listen and observe to what the brand means to people in different places, at different time
  • Let’s understand how every point of interaction and participation shapes the brand in different ways

2. Connectedness is a brand concept, impacting strategic decisions about how a brand should behave or exist, beyond the implementational elements. So….

  • Let’s help brands take the theory of connectedness beyond web traffic and search term performance.
  • Let’s explore how every part of connected activity creates a coherent brand story.
  • Let’s focus creativity on the design of an overall brand experience.
  • Let’s start with core brand values or a brand proposition and build a connected strategy from the inside out.

Arriving as a digital strategist with a brand planning and research background I am quite excited about pursuing these ideas and contributing my take on things.

I’ll keep you posted on how things develop, in the meantime I would love to hear what everyone else thinks about connectedness and brand molecules!

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    Comment (1)

    • Jeremy Head

      Hi Fiona
      Interesting post. I particularly liked that slideshow you linked to above.
      I agree with much of it. I think a key challenge in all of this is to remember the customer/user. Easy to get excited by and enveloped in funky brand strategies, but as customers increasingly shape the way they and their peers view and value brands we absolutely have to get that core message/proposition correct - and that means being focussed and consistent. (You say much the same thing about with your point: 'start with core brand values or a brand proposition and build a connected strategy from the inside out'.)
      I see this as mega important in particular for people moderating and participating in conversations online on behalf of a brand. They need a very profound understanding not just of the product and they are selling and its benefits but of the values associated with the brand attached to it as well.
      JeremyAug 31, 2010 02:18 pm

    Please note: the opinions expressed in this post represent the views of the individual, not necessarily those of iCrossing.

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