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Giving a Voice to New Brand Spaces

Posted by: Tom Shanahan on May 15, 2013
Spotify

With every new medium comes a new opportunity to express your brand. We know this, but it’s often the case that some mediums are simply overlooked or not considered because they don’t fit the expected mold of brand expression.

Recently, a brand born in and of the digital age reminds us that brands can (and should) truly express their brand voice at every touchpoint. The touchpoint in question? The updates page of the iPhone app store. The brand? Spotify.

After a long-fought battle with the Big 3 (Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group, and Sony Music Group), and a huge launch in the United States, (they can now boast 6 million paid customers and 24 million active users worldwide) the pressure is on for Spotify to develop and execute on a great brand experience. And while the jury’s still out as to whether they have a lucrative (or even sustainable) business model, they have taken steps to make sure at least their personality is alive in every touchpoint.

Rather than talking about “bug fixes and stability improvement,” Spotify says, “No more pesky crashes when you skip in radio.” They add fun pieces about how their “app is reverse-engineered using alien technology.” Necessary? No. Genuine? Yes. Differentiating? You bet. It’s how and where they their personality it that sets them apart.

Spotify’s also not the first to do it. AT&T didn’t want to push out some generic roaming message, so they tweaked it to be friendly and on voice: “Welcome abroad! To call back to the U.S., dial +1 followed by 10-digit number.” Firefox knew they needed to be Internet Explorer’s hip sibling, so they added some spunk to their error message page: “Well, this is embarrassing.”

As Jez Frampton, Interbrand's Global CEO, says, brands “live, they move, and develop on a day to day basis.” As new mediums and channels are also developed, brands have to think about how they want to utilize them to differentiate, engage with their audience, and tell the world who they are.

Any other brands doing it well? Tell us in the comments here, in our Facebook community, on LinkedIn or on Twitter with #NewBrandSpaces.

Tom Shanahan is Associate Consultant, Verbal Identity, Interbrand New York.




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