Making Brand Work for Digital Streaming Services

To mark the recent launch of entertainment platform Swisscom blue, strategist Michèle Richner explains why brand matters for digital streaming services in this 3 minute video. Watch it now and find a transcript of Michèle's thoughts below.


"Brand is what you stand for, what you are working towards. It goes far beyond a logo, a slogan, a marketing campaign. It’s a company’s north star that guides everything it does. So definitely, brand still matters for digital streaming services / or digital entertainment platforms. But it’s true that different aspects of brand become more important.

Before we get into more detail, there are a few things that make digital entertainment platforms, such as Netflix, HBO, or our client Swisscom with their entertainment offer blue, unique and that impact how their brand is expressed.

They heavily rely on use. So they need to create stickiness, through impeccable user experience and top-class content.

They need to become the go-to app on a users device. Preferably across a variety of devices. They want people to constantly come back for more.

That also creates pressure to keep adding new content to the catalogue.

All things being equal, at the end of the day, the quality of the content decides whether a user remains loyal. Since access to content is what is sold to the user. And at the same time the majority of the content offered is not owned by the platform, but licensed.

I remember when, for a little while my favourite TV show was no longer available on Netflix and I had to switch to HBO to watch my favourite show. In some instances, the brand of the content is more important than the actual entertainment platform itself.  In addition to that, switching is easy, you can cancel anytime, throw in around 10 euros and you have access to another platform. But it also means that:

A powerful way for an entertainment platform to bring its brand to life is through the type of content it chooses to offer, its value proposition.

Which is also the reason why more and more entertainment platforms become content producers and create original content.

Because without the right content, users will not keep coming back or switch to another offer.

There’s more to the brand of digital streaming services than the content of course.

There are certain moments of truth that an entertainment platforms can and must fully take advantage of, where its brand can truly shine. Because as soon as a user clicks on a piece of content, the brand makes way for the content.

The experience of course is everything in a digital environment. Excellence in the way the content is organised, the ease and intuitiveness of the navigation, accessibility, the accuracy of search and recommendations: But this is not differentiating. It’s a given, expected. The basic foundation of any digital experience should deliver against it.

What really makes a difference is how the brand translates into the experience. Its visual expression of course is key here. But specifically for digital streaming services, unique brand-led product features & innovations based on user research and data, sensory cues, like motion and sound branding, a differentiating tone of voice and messaging, to name just a few. These are all puzzle pieces that together create a holistic brand experience.

So, to sum up. While digital entertainment platforms are unique in some ways and it's true that different brand assets become more important - brand remains the guiding force. The guiding force that creates clarity on purpose, on positioning, that shapes how the brand interacts with the world around it. Something that will become even more important with the ever rising competition in the space of digital entertainment platforms.

But even beyond that, digital experiences are becoming more and more important no matter your industry, so make sure your brand comes to live effectively across physical and digital touch points"