There's a quote in today's Wall Street Journal from Reed Hastings, the CEO of Netflix, that I thought was interesting. When asked about the future of his business as it currently relates to the DVD format, Hastings responds...
"If one thinks of Netflix as a DVD rental business, one is right to be scared. If one thinks of Netflix as an online movie service with multiple different delivery models, then one's a lot less scared."
Hastings hits on something that I've been thinking a lot about lately - definitions. Now more than ever, when technology is re-defining every aspect of our lives, it's critical that the manner in which we define our companies and our services, provides for an opportunity for an incredible amount of growth.
For the business that I'm in, the question I keep asking is:
Will all of those agencies that have the words "viral" and "buzz" in their names want to be narrowly defined as viral and buzz marketing agencies a year from now?
I don't think so.
If they're good, then they'll keep growing. And if they keep growing they'll want to go deeper with their clients and in doing so they'll want to diversify their services. By riding the "viral" and "buzz" wave now, they are likely to pay a price tomorrow when the tide settles and clients seek new ideas and new solutions.
A good part of my week has been spent discussing the specifics of ElectricArtists own branding efforts. This year ElectricArtsts turns 10 years old. We felt it was important, after spending ten years defining our client's digital brand strategies, that we spend some time defining our own. How do we define ourselves, our market, and our business?
Last week we launched the first in a series of new branding initiatives with a new logo for ElectricArtists and a new identity system. (We're now at work on a new website which will further define the "new" ElectricArtists) Clearly a website is not a company, but in the process of developing the website and deciding the content we want on it, we are forced to confront our own definitions.
As our digital marketing strategies have evolved, so to has the focus of the firm. We're now less focused on the niche of "word-of-mouth" marketing and more focused on the concepts of digital brand management. This shift has made our media and entertainment campaigns more effective and given new life to our original focus on online marketing which we pioneered ten years ago.
To position ourselves for the future, and to be able to continue to grow, we're taking a 360 degree view. As the saying goes - "Everything communicates" - and we're currently in the process of making sure that we communicate the expansion of our own business in everything we do.
We know that as we discuss our client's digital brand strategies, we'll be asking them, "How do you define your business? How do you define your brand?"
(photo above nicked from here)