Does Brand Blindness still Exist in a Digital World?

Does Brand Blindness still Exist in a Digital World?

15th June 2016

SOD Brand BlindnessBrand Blindness is one of the biggest threats to any marketer and now for any marketer that works within the digital world.

Brand Blindness is like writer’s block for the marketer. The problem can happen with an in-house  or agency team where all they do is live and breathe brand and its competitors are closely monitored.   The problem can also happen agency side, where listening to the client too much and knowing what has worked before.

Instead of moving with the times or breaking the flow in that specific industry or sector, brand blindness will make you repeat your marketing actions, keep to the same objectives and repeat what you have always done before.

The risk of this is what you have always done in the past, might not work today. When digital marketing campaigns, brands and the consumer change their minds like the wind and demand more of our attention, it is important that as marketers, we are also more dynamic and demanding.

Here are a few points on how to avoid brand blindness:

SOD- Brand Blindness- Sky Rocket

Blue Sky Thinking

Instead of looking at what you can or cannot do, look at what you would do with an unlimited budget, unlimited channels and an infinite amount of team members. ‘Blue Sky’ thinking normally comes from brainstorm sessions, where the impossible is possible, but don’t leave it to the meeting room. Think what you would love to do for the brand: Attract a different demographic? Enter a new territory? Not stick to the client’s brief (within reason), redistribute the online marketing budget?

What ‘Blue Sky’ thinking can do is bring out the craziest ideas, but once toned down to realistic and sizeable ideas, they can be developed into a great campaign that is creative, effective and has a clear strategy.

SOD- Brand Blindness Toronto-SILENT-FILM-Festival

Don’t restrict yourself (sector, discipline, industry and brand competitors)

Being in a creative block or having brand blindness is normally due to working on the same brand or doing the same thing over and over again. Restricting yourself to old habits and processes to develop strategies can be why your brand or work can feel stale.

Try not to restrict your brand into aligning themselves with the same competitors year after year. For inspiration and to scope what other brands are doing, look at brands that have a large budget, are known for their creativity and up and coming brands. Smaller, up and coming brands normally are small and agile enough to change direction and adopt more a digital focus than traditional brands.

Do not restrict by industry, especially if the industry your brand works in isn’t the most creative or digital savvy. Look at brands that have won awards and made headlines and look at the recipe on why this worked.

Breaking the brand blindness curse, means you need to not look at what the brand has always done and what is typical of that brand, leave that to tone of voice and positioning.

There is no such thing as a fool proof recipe in digital

Trends, techniques, algorithms and platforms change like the wind in the digital world. The fool proof recipe you may be used to year after year, season after season will be sure to have an expiry date. Don’t think what the brand has always done, and start to look to see where things can change up.

Look at the weaknesses from previous strategies and campaigns and look at techniques or services that you can trial out with your new campaign.

SOD- Brand Blindness- Creatives party

Don’t just leave it to the creatives

Full integration should be bringing your strategist, your client services and your PR, content and social teams to see what great ideas and techniques they can bring from their world. Instead of looking at one campaign and then filter that campaign down to each service, look at each service that could execute micro campaigns that all align with the brand’s overall objective and tone, whilst still promoting the same product or service.

By involving all services, team members will be able to bring what new found techniques or tools they want to try out and will be able to demonstrate heir specialist knowledge into a bigger idea or campaign.


Avoiding brand blindness is simply leaving the security of what has always worked or what you have already done before and challenges the marketing and the brand’s capabilities. Activity is not the same thing as tone of voice. As long as you keep the brand’s tone of voice and to its core missionary statement you can still push boundaries and try new techniques that could be unseen in their sector.

These campaigns are the ones that get industry recognition, win awards and more importantly, are affective in their objectives.

Written By
Jodie Harris heads up the Digital PR division at MediaVision. She has worked in publication relations since 2008. She specialises in bringing the rules of traditional PR to a digital platform.
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