Brian Solis: Blurring Brand and Experience

Brian Solis at a recent PRSA event in Philly

Brian Solis is a leader in the world of digital communication, branding, and marketing for corporations. He is a digital analyst, anthropologist, and futurist for his company Altimeter and is popular keynote speaker for businesses looking to invest in a digital age.

The main topics that he addresses are the ways that businesses and corporations can capitalize on the shifting platforms and branding to consumers through social media.


Brian Solis

Blurring the Line

In order to access customers through social media, companies need to identify themselves and the roles that they serve, differentiate themselves from the competition, and know their consumer.

However, Solis takes this concept one step further and, on his blog, outlines ways to blur the line between creating experiences and branding products.

The Experience

On a blog post entitled “What Makes a Truly Great Experience?” Solis explains that he worked with IBM on marketing from an experiential aspect, and was asked what the happiest experience with a company was. Using his childhood memory of Disneyland, Solis outlines why that’s an example of how businesses can accommodate a consumer looking for an experience rather than a product.

“I just remember everything from the sign, “The Happiest Place on Earth” to the fun tram that moved people from the parking lot to the entryway to the friendly characters who went out of their way to make every kid feel special. Of course the rides were incredible, but I really remember it being the first time I truly felt special outside of my family. I never forgot it and I’ve since returned at least 100 times.”

For Solis, this embodies the future of a successful business: as an interactive source of branding that creates experiences for an individual rather than only being marketed products.

Disruptive Technologies

Brian Solis

At the center of the Solis’ philosophy for marketing in the digital world is the widespread use of “disruptive technologies” that turn consumers into “accidental narcissists.” Here’s a brief excerpt reviewing one of Solis’ speeches.

“We’re the last generation to know what the Kodak moment meant,’ he proclaims, surveying the crowd. ‘Technology and society evolve. We have to not only adapt and evolve with it, but how we approach a problem or opportunity has to evolve to.”

Connecting with Consumers

Disruptive technology is a consumer evolution that has moved us into “hyper-connectivity” with marketing strategies and other consumers. By learning how to navigate the emerging market of experiential and interactive marketing, businesses humanize consumers and have more chance of growing as a company.

Brian Solis is the author of six books on social media marketing, with his last few being bestsellers: The End of Business as Usual: Rewire the Way You Work to Succeed in the Consumer Revolution (2011) and What’s the Future of Business?: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences (2013). His latest book is X: The Experience When Business Meets Design.

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