Content full brands are those on which customers need more detail. Whereas with content empty brands, the less customers know the better.

“Researchers reported Tuesday that they have linked 180,000 obesity-related deaths worldwide to sugary drinks, including about 25,000 adult Americans,” USA TODAY wrote in March.

What’s a soft drinks brand to do? Well, firstly you must try and undermine the credibility of the authors. “This abstract, which is not peer-reviewed nor published in a way where its methodology can be fully evaluated, is more about sensationalism than science,” states the American Beverage Association.

The Harvard School of Public Health has a fact sheet on "sugary drink supersizing and the obesity epidemic." It states that, “Two out of three adults and one out of three children in the United States are overweight or obese. A typical 20-ounce soda contains 15 to 18 teaspoons of sugar and upwards of 240 calories. A 64-ounce fountain cola drink could have up to 700 calories.”

These are not the type of facts a soft drink brand wants to have on its website. In fact, it wants to empty its website of all these unhealthy facts (or at least hide them well). Then it can fill its website and its offline marketing with lots of content about happy shiny people and music and films stars. All those things its target market wants from life that have absolutely nothing to do with sugary drinks. And if it repeats the Pavlov’s Dog association trick enough then its target market will associate sugary drinks with a shiny happy lifestyle.

Lots of marketers think that how these big content empty brands market is how marketing should be done. Because we see this marketing on TV and in newspapers all the time we think it IS marketing. Rather, it is a TYPE of marketing.

If you have a content full brand you need the opposite type of marketing. A content full brand is where the more detail a customer gets about the brand the more likely they are to buy. If you have a product or service that is rich in detail then online is perfect for you. Because people go online for detail. People actually want to see the installation guide BEFORE they buy. One company we worked with, for example, significantly increased sales by promoting the installation guide on its product marketing pages.

If the likelihood of customers buying your product increases as their knowledge of it does then the Web is perfect for you. But you need to find new ways to present this information in an easy-to-find and easy-to-read way. Giving them the old style installation manual is better than nothing but there is so much more you could do with this sort of content to make it simpler.

When was the last time you went to a sugary drink's brand website? (Maybe to get coupons or download some free music?) When was the last time you went online to solve a problem? To find out more about something you were interested in?

Are you impressed when you come to an airline website and see pictures of smiling hostesses and planes? You want detail. You want to see the booking engine so you can quickly check flight times and prices.

Content full brands will thrive online if they do the opposite of what content empty brands do. Get rid of the smiling faces and give customers the detail.