Brand what? Good question because ‘brand journalism’ is a label that’s a lot newer than the idea that it’s pinned to, so it makes sense to start at the start.
In truth though, you know the answer because brand journalism’s ‘product’ is part of everyday life. For example, if you shop in a supermarket you’ve probably flicked through the store’s free magazine – a classic exercise in brand journalism.
It has actually been around since at least the 19th Century and is about building trust between a brand and its ‘audience’. It’s best to say audience rather than customer because just about every organisation now puts out marketing materials (print, video, online content) that are, essentially, brand journalism.
It uses the traditional principles, techniques and tools of journalism to tell stories that relate to its brand. If it’s ‘sell’ at all, it’s at the kitten-soft end of soft sell (cue a gratuitous kitten pic).
Done well brand journalism creates interest and generates a conversation between a consumer and an organisation. It works as a B2C tool, and in a B2B context, too. But best of all it is the beginning of the end for old-school push marketing.