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Branducation

September 22, 2006

Faris over at Naked has an interesting post about HSBC in the UK and how they are creating educational content and advice around the home buying process.

Called the “Property Panel” it features a panel of different experts including; a financial advisor, a lawyer and a realtor. It’s designed as a video guide to the process of buying a house.

The whole idea of brands playing an educational role is a smart one and often overlooked as advertisers and their agencies look to create entertaining content because education is often seen as potentially dry and dull. However, there’s now (because of broadband) a chance for brands to add value and capture people’s attention using a different approach, by giving them something that they want to watch.

This has considerable consumer relevance, Trendwatching’s most recent September briefing was all about “Status Skills” and the consumer’s desire to acquire knowledge.

This is how Trendwatching defines “Status Skills”.

“In economies that increasingly depend on (and thus value) creative thinking and acting, well-known status symbols tied to owning and consuming goods and services will find worthy competition from ‘STATUS SKILLS': those skills that consumers are mastering to make the most of those same goods and services, bringing them status by being good at something, and the story telling that comes with it.”

They point to Video Jug as an example of video based learning. The site features 100s of videos that show people how to do everything from recipes to improving their golf game.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to grasp the opportunity brands have in this space.

There are two ways for brands to do this:

1. To take consumers inside your process and educate them about how you work and how you do things- to use it to close the gap between consumer and producer

2. To use your brand status to play the role of educator to help your existing loyalists and to attract prospects- as with HSBC. Nike, for example, could do a coaching series using their athletes

The winners will be those that manage to bring creativity to their ideas, who can entertain, as well as educate.

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