Desire Paths: Branding for Digital Lives


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Our new digital lives demand a new evolution in branding.

I’d love to tell you more about this. Email me:

Let’s connect on Twitter:

I left the rest of my thoughts on my blog:

Published in: Technology, Business
  • briliant!
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  • Dude. Fucking brilliant.

    I've been working on a model, albeit slowly. And I think it will meld in perfectly with what you are exploring and developing here!

    My questions would be:
    - how to get started?
    - how to find the most passionate?
    - how to measure this type of journey?

    What an awesome contribution dude! A clarion call for the person in the centre! Yes!
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
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Desire Paths: Branding for Digital Lives

  1. 1. desire paths Branding for Digital Lives Can I call you back? I’m in a presentation. 2009 Mike Arauz
  2. 2. Digital technology has changed the way we communicate, the way we see the world, and the way we live. 2009 Mike Arauz
  3. 3. Our new digital lives demand a new evolution in branding. 2009 Mike Arauz
  4. 4. In order to connect with people who are likely to be interested in your product, brands must now be able to answer this question: 2009 Mike Arauz
  5. 5. How will engaging with your brand help me to pursue the things that I am most passionate about? I like turtles. 2009 Mike Arauz
  6. 6. Things used to be so simple. 2009 Mike Arauz
  7. 7. What does it do? 2009 Mike Arauz
  8. 8. Why is your product better than another? 2009 Mike Arauz
  9. 9. How does your brand make me feel? 2009 Mike Arauz
  10. 10. Things change. 2009 Mike Arauz
  11. 11. In the 1950’s, advertisers could reach almost everyone in the U.S. with a single TV spot. Gives “I Love Lucy” a whole new meaning, doesn’t it? 2009 Mike Arauz
  12. 12. Today, an advertiser is lucky to reach a tiny fraction of its desired audience with an advertisement on even the most popular show. 2009 Mike Arauz
  13. 13. Hey! Wha’ happened?! 2009 Mike Arauz
  14. 14. Where is everyone? 2009 Mike Arauz
  15. 15. Where can a brand find an audience who cares? And how can a brand connect with them in a meaningful way? 2009 Mike Arauz
  16. 16. In a digital world, people spend their time exploring the things that they are most Think about how you spend your time. passionate about. 2009 Mike Arauz
  17. 17. This is a Desire Path 2009 Mike Arauz
  18. 18. Desire paths are the trails created when we leave the paths designed by architects in order to find our own way from one place to another. 2009 Mike Arauz
  19. 19. The internet is an infinite forest, filled with desire paths. 2009 Mike Arauz
  20. 20. Desire paths are created by groups of people exploring shared interests. We like turtles, too. I like turtles. 2009 Mike Arauz
  21. 21. As we go through our day we travel along many different desire paths. 2009 Mike Arauz
  22. 22. We decide where to go, what to do, and what to share with others based on our own curiosities, interests, and passions. 2009 Mike Arauz
  23. 23. Desire paths look like this: 2009 Mike Arauz
  24. 24. Search Shared Bookmarks Blogs Twitter Email Community Sites Facebook 2009 Mike Arauz
  25. 25. This is where we spend all our time. 2009 Mike Arauz
  26. 26. If a brand hopes to earn people’s attention, you have to connect with your audience on a desire path. 2009 Mike Arauz
  27. 27. Q: Can a brand create a desire path? A: No. 2009 Mike Arauz
  28. 28. People’s lives don’t revolve around your brand, they revolve around life. 2009 Mike Arauz
  29. 29. Desire paths are created by people, not by institutions. They’re formed organically, over time, from the bottom up. 2009 Mike Arauz
  30. 30. To earn your place on a desire path, your brand has to start caring about something more important than your product. 2009 Mike Arauz
  31. 31. Apple cares about design. 2009 Mike Arauz
  32. 32. Zappos cares about great customer service. 2009 Mike Arauz
  33. 33. Dell cares about social media as a tool for small business. 2009 Mike Arauz
  34. 34. American Apparel cares about redefining sexy and about fair labor practices. 2009 Mike Arauz
  35. 35. Nike cares about running. 2009 Mike Arauz
  36. 36. People who travel these desire paths become advocates of these brands. 2009 Mike Arauz
  37. 37. Q: Do I still have A: Yes. to do all that traditional stuff, too? 2009 Mike Arauz
  38. 38. Yes, you still have to create a remarkable product, show how you’re different, and spark an emotion. 2009 Mike Arauz
  39. 39. Yes, you still have to be passionate about making your product great. 2009 Mike Arauz
  40. 40. And…you now have to be passionate about something bigger than your brand. (Not a good example.) 2009 Mike Arauz
  41. 41. When it’s done right, brands can connect with people in these ways (in order of difficulty): 2009 Mike Arauz
  42. 42. 1. Become something that people notice, as they travel down this path. Ooh! Piece of candy! 2009 Mike Arauz
  43. 43. 2. Become something that guides people, and lets them know that they’re on the right path. Look, kids! Big Ben! Parliament! 2009 Mike Arauz
  44. 44. 3. Become something that people carry with them as an integral part of the journey. And that’s all I need... 2009 Mike Arauz
  45. 45. Next steps: 2009 Mike Arauz
  46. 46. Find your passion. 2009 Mike Arauz
  47. 47. Find the desire path. 2009 Mike Arauz
  48. 48. Make your brand useful to the travelers. 2009 Mike Arauz
  49. 49. I’d love to tell you more about this. Email me: Let’s connect on twitter: @mikearauz i left the rest of my thoughts on my blog: Mike Arauz is a Strategist at Undercurrent, a New York based digital think tank. 2009 Mike Arauz
  50. 50. Special thanks: Image Credits: Background by pareeerica: David Armano – Noah Brier – The Calm After the Show by Thomas Hawk: Seth Godin – Desire Path by Skuds: Gavin Heaton – Sean Howard – This presentation is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Licence. Henry Jenkins – You are free: PSFK – to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work Faris Yakob – to Remix – to adapt the work I’ve been reading these blogs religiously for years, and their thoughts have surely Under the following conditions: inspired my own on this subject. Attribution. You must attribute the work as “by Mike Arauz” (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work). 2009 Mike Arauz
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