July 29, 2010

Digital Shyness of Brands: Stuck in Time?

It is surprising to note that even when the Internet is becoming truly ubiquitous, mobile Internet is rapidly growing in popularity and everything is going the digital way, some brands are still holding back, choosing to remain nestled within the analog cocoon.

This is not just a question of technophobia or a fear of losing control over the dispersion of their contents which can be better controlled in an analog, traditional environment. The reason has more to do with the mindset of people who use the Internet to buy stuffs.

Online advertising is viewed by these reticent brands as having much less worth than television or print advertising. This is largely because it is hard to persuade people to pay much (if at all) for digital content.

Moreover, digital content seems to lack the kind of pricey exclusiveness of physical products. Sure enough, a digital album art is less attractive than an actual vinyl cover. Everybody has some digital assets. But owning the real thing is a different experience, right?

Well yes, that might be true but by choosing to stay analog, brands are missing out on a huge market. Harry Potter books are a case in point. With over 400 million copies sold worldwide, the series can find a new lease of life by going digital and making themselves available as e-books.

The Beatles are another notable example of a famous band that has been consciously shying away from the digital media. By making their music available on the Net, they can reach out an entire generation of music-lovers who prefer to buy their music online and have it available in a convenient digital form.

The Internet is a huge market and choosing to stay away from it is perhaps not the best decision for a business.

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