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Brand Portability


What experiences will come back to serve later on. My brother and I created a livestreaming, real time-interactive web series in 2007. This was before smartphones became geniuses, prior to tablets, and it predated apps. When the pandemic hit I was serving as Director of Marketing and Digital Strategies for an art and design college, so for me to help pivot the college into livestreaming was kind of a dream come true. In three weeks, my talented web developer and team of designers, brand specialists, and content creators built an unprecedented online experience for our accepted students, which had previously been held on campus and maxed out at about three-hundred people. Going online brought thousands of eyes to our site at a specific time on a designated Saturday, and we kept people engaged on that site for six full hours. This was no surprise to me and it was wonderful to use what I had learned about livestreaming thirteen-years prior.


It was heartbreaking to see businesses go dark or worse, close down during 2020. But in that instant in mid-March, I realized that this was an opportunity for organizations to pivot, and I watched, compelled by the individuals, small businesses, and corporations that were able to do so, keep their doors open, and recognize new needs and services that they could supply. I saw catering businesses assemble and provide boxed lunches for those who still had to keep working. I saw breweries turn into mobile bars, and restaurants at the ready to open with QR code menus, app ordering, and more. Online purchasing, take-out food, home delivery…all ruled during the pandemic. Witnessing others’ creativity on top of the success of our accepted student experience made me realize that we should never again be content reaching three-hundred people when we could be reaching thousands…or more.


For all that was awful and tragic about 2020, it taught us that we can reach audiences we never before imagined. And if we could imagine it, most of us did not know how to implement a strategy, much less the action to reach those massive audiences. We have all become far more digitally savvy in this past year. People were forced to get onboard with tech if they wanted to keep their jobs, their employees, their students, their customers, their parishioners, their patients, their donors, and their doors open—even if only virtually for a while. Businesses that figured it out and were able to pivot swiftly, survived.


I read about a small historical museum in Western Michigan that, after nearly one-hundred-years in operation, was closing because they did not know how to continue to reach and engage their audience. I was beside myself when I read this because to me, it was a huge opportunity for them to reach more people than they had perhaps reached cumulatively in their one-hundred-year history! This was when an idea that had been percolating in my head since March, became real to me. I know how to pivot. I know how a brand can maximize its portability and, without losing its identity and equity, how to reshape it post-COVID. And so, without discarding or reinventing the brand you’ve built, you can reach people you did not know existed (and that did not know you existed), and through spot-on content and communications, deliver experiences that will engage current and future audiences.


This was the pivotal moment when Stream Digital was conceived. There’s no more “business-as-usual,” because these are the most unusual of times. But when you realize how to port your brand to this new era, reaching more people than ever with a fresh approach, one wonders, Why would I ever go want to go back?


At STREAM DIGITAL, we know how to help people who feel lost in today’s quickly changing landscape. We’re ready to help if you are developing or refreshing your brand, building a strategy or in need of support for your communications, marketing or production. Whatever your needs, we will assemble the perfect team to help you reach your objectives. See our site for more on a broad range of trusted skills and proven experience. I look forward to connecting. -Lisa


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