Since I grew up, I have experienced many things changing. The birth of the connecting web, the social disruption of mobile, the adoption of digital technologies within our real worlds. When I chose for an education in communication, it was to understand how senders of messages could move receiving crowds. However in the past decades, this equation has changed substantially. And it has a huge impact on what we do with brands, how we experience brands and why we engage with them, if at all.

Constructing the thinking behind Digital Expectations.

I was inspired by the following observation: when you would look at a business & marketing aisle in a bookstore, you’d notice two voluminous streams of books that are drawing a our attention and put forward new challenges.

  1. On one hand there are many publications that urge for a digital transformation in marketing, business and society. They illustrate the rise of digital tools to empower people.
  2. On the other hand there is a vast amount of work that inspires towards purpose driven brands and humanising businesses for more relevance in society. These illustrate the evolution of brand positions also to empower people.

Is this a coincidence? I don’t think so. I feel that both tendencies are intertwined and that their timing collides. I believe there is a bridge between those 2 tendencies, that has not yet been thoroughly explored or articulated.

Why is it that we are seeking purpose in brands about now, and what is the role of our Digital Era towards this phenomenon? How would we look at digital technologysocial activism and brand purpose if they were unified in one framework? What happens if we zoom out a bit on 3 digital decades, and what they brought for brands, people and society? What change did they bring, and where does the change happen?

If we can connect both tendencies, we can give more insight & meaning at both ends. We can craft a lens to look at either of them, and try to improve how digital transformation and purpose branding contribute together to businesses and companies, to people and society.

This is why I started Digital Expectations. As I’ve worked at both ends myself, I’m inviting digital mavericks and brand activists to embark on this idea, and collaborate on a view that makes our work stronger and our impact more forceful.

Published by Evert-Jan De Kort

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