A Bruin is a bear but it is also the name, symbol and brand of the Boston Bruins, the recent winners of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the most famous/historic trophy in American sports.
The Boston Bruins ,like the Celtics and Red Sox are among the nation’s most historic sports teams, drenched with a history of success which makes the athletes that much more of legends and the fans that much more attached to the teams.
In short, Boston sports can be a Harvard business school course on how to create, manage and valorize a brand, throughout time, without a direct connection to immediate success. The Bruins last Stanley Cup was in 1972 and the Red Sox went 86 years without winning a world series.
So, what is the purpose of this article if not my uncontrollable desire to pay homage and a cry of joy to a team of champions, going against the odds to literally dismantle what was supposed to be the best offense in hockey?
We, at Paperlit, travel throughout the world meeting with publishers, small, medium and large, attempting to convince them to create a branded app for their publications.
When we meet publishers who have already decided to move forward with a digital strategy, our job is fairly easy and highly satisfying.
When, on the other hand, we encounter a publisher who is on the fence or who just does not see the need or interest to distribute their product and brand over digital devices, our job becomes more challenging.
Fresh from the battleground in the heart of the iPad homeland, I am encountering the same exact challenges we have from Europe and beyond:
“Why should I invest in further distributing my newspaper when circulation and advertising is down and we are putting massive efforts into our internet sites?”
“I have spoken to publishers and they are not making money off of their apps.”
“I am going to wait another 6 months and see.”
“I am concerned that distribution on iPad and Android will cannibalize my print sales.”
These are all valid questions and statements which with passion and sincerity, we answer every day.
Let me get back to my celebration-homage to The Bruins.
Many publishers have 100 or more years of brand value and relationship with their readers. They have brought them news of the man on the moon and the trials and tribulations their country has faced over time.
The brand, format and all of the collective publishing activity can be compared to all the games The Bruins or any other sports team have played. The true value is in the brand and not in one person or one exact thing, other than the name, editorial format, style and logo of the publisher.
So, my friends, the answer is clear. What other activity should an owner of a brand do than increase the distribution and ease of making that brand available to the consumer in the format the consumer is used to (and this is the real innovation of the iPad-it respects the editorial format of the paper and therefore the brand).
Digital publishing at the end of the day is bringing your brand to the doorstep of your fans in the same way the Bruins were selling the comemorative championship package for usd 69, five minutes after having won, the cherished Stanley Cup.
It will also attract new fans…
It is human nature to forget the value of anything when you get used to it, so in the same way when you say a word over and over again, when you work with a brand, you tend to forget all the value it holds and publishers do not have World Championships to remind them of that.
A branded app is a necessary and inevitable path publishers and all brand owners need to make in order to make sure they are valorizing and distributing their product in the best way possible. It is simply a fundamental part of their product marketing and distribution in the new era of iPad and mobile devices.
All of these words to say: Congratulations to Tim Thomas and the entire Bruins organization for reminding us all what it feels like to win the Stanley Cup in Boston.