What do people's claims about using the internet tell us about brand?

18 Oct 2012  |  Steve Smith 

Starcom MediaVest's head of thought leadership, Steve Smith, ponders what claimed behaviour tells us about brand and argues that many brands need to develop 'exceptional routine' in their customers to avoid becoming invisible.

Data just released from Forrester shows that for the second year in succession, people in the US claim to be using the internet less than they did three years ago. That's right. Less.

Of course, people are in fact using the internet much more.

Why the difference between actual and claimed behaviour? It's to do with routine. A characteristic of a routine behaviour is that we tend not be very aware of it.

And a measure of just how much the internet is increasingly part of our every day routines is that we are not aware of just how much we use it. From maps and mobile apps through to Facebook and watching YouTube, people simply do not always register that they are using the internet.

This concept of routine is related to brand. A goal of many brand owners (especially FMCG brands) is for people to make their brands essential parts of their every day routines or even for them to form an everyday routine. Think of tea and biscuits.

However, as the example of the internet shows, this can be dangerous for a brand. A brand owner will want people to know, remember and value their tea or biscuit brand and at the same time have those people make that brand a part of their everyday routines.

The development of this 'exceptional routine' is challenging, but vital.

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