We’ve stopped what we are doing and creating your personalized BrandZ™ report, which will appear in your inbox soon.

Do brands need to think & behave like publishers

Do brands need to think & behave like publishers?

Is it a ‘new paradigm’ or this month’s distraction?

Gregg Ainsworth


Y&R Indonesia


As professionals involved in the broad area of brand guardianship, in 2018 we seem to be seeing a different “new paradigm” every few months. The challenge for us is to work out which ones really do potentially represent a sea change in how we should approach brand husbandry. The latest dilemma: Do brands really need to behave like publishers?

To assess this, it’s useful to pause and reflect on the empirical context of brand. Brand is essentially a psychological construct used to describe the extent to which a name (the brand name of a product or service) invokes a sense of trust in the mind of a consumer.

In recent years, in parallel with the huge growth of digital and social media consumption, gaining sufficient meaningful consumer attention to engender trust has grown ever more difficult. To make things worse, 200 million people globally use ad blockers.

So, it’s not surprising that successful Indonesia brand strategies must include, at the very least, a strong content marketing element. This has led some to think that brands must therefore think and behave like publishers – rather than products.

But key in deciding what content to propagate is understanding the problem your brand helps to solve.

If you are a soap powder, you solve the problem of dirty, stale clothes. Your content will then focus on demonstrating expertise in producing clean, fresh clothes, on extolling the virtues of this and the easy achievement of same.

Entertaining and informative content – under your brand’s banner – will then produce seven or eight times more site traffic than sites for brands that do no content marketing.

If you orient this content to invoke dialogue – discourse rather than dictation – brand/consumer engagement will rise exponentially.

So, some basic rules:

  1. Understand the problem(s) you help to solve
  2. Appreciate preferred content formats (audio, video, text) and tastes
  3. Create original content that meets these tastes
  4. Curate third-party content (including user-generated and crowd-sourced - Indonesian consumers are highly tech savvy and creative – so don’t hold back!).
  5. Establish content editing as a key creative quality control engine.