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Will agencies and publishers miss out when brands become media?

January 19, 2011

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David Carr’s recent story in the NYT about Richemont’s purchase of Net-a-Porter highlights the desire of fashion brands to become publishers in their own right.

For fashion publishers and the agencies involved in creating advertising for these brands, this presents something of challenge. The brands seem to believe that they are better off creating and controlling their own media, image and content, than leaving it to others.

It makes sense that the fashion business is the first to jump into this space. It’s a highly creative business where image is everything and the brands have strong relationships with their consumers. The other advantage they have is that they often create their own media in the form of fashion shows. A vital piece of content that has appeal to a broader audience.

In a sense, fashion brands have always been media companies and the digital platform has allowed them to take more control and to structure their content in an organized way.

What does this mean for other brands?

While the goal of brand as media has to be in a lot of long-term marketing plans, pulling it off for someone in the CPG space is going to be tougher than a fashion brand.

Moving to this space depends on content and brand magnetism. Fashion brands have tons of it and CPG brands, not so much. The CPG players are going to have to work hard to create compelling and interesting content around their brands, not impossible, but hard work.

Some other categories might have an easier job- automotive and travel for example.They have lots of content and consumers who want to delve deeper and know more, so they seem like a natural movers into the media space.

The long-term trend for brands to become media is now very much a reality. Publishers and agencies need to work out what role they are going to play in this new future.

Posted by Ed Cotton

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