Iconic brands challenge conventions and go against the grain. They tap into buried desires or unrealised tensions felt by individuals between their personal lives and society’s ideology.
In this digital age, one such conflict lies between social media and technology facilitating more connections between individuals than ever before; but also diminishing real-life, authentic interactions. Despite smartphone usage being at an all-time high, consumers are averse to being ‘hyper-connected’.
Brands can help resolve this by encouraging consumers to go offline and enjoy moments of digital disconnect.
Ikea designed a new placemat with a built-in pocket for storing your phone away while eating with the family and McDonalds launched a ‘BFF Timeout’ app that turns not using their phones into a challenge for customers.
In May, Innocent went the extra mile by hosting a ‘digital detox’ music festival, where WiFi and 3G was unavailable. The brand was inspired by research showing that many people feel life is “too connected”. The aim was to enjoy everything a festival has to offer without the distractions of a newsfeed.
Although mobile and omnichannel are now top priorities for marketers, a cultural branding strategy incorporating the consumer trend towards a more balanced online/offline life could provide a different but equally powerful approach.