Posts tagged ‘digital’

Stop branding start participating?

In his coverage of Renny Gleeson of W+K, entitled “Stop branding start participating,” Rich Cherecwich quotes

“Agencies are built to make ads, not come up with marketing solutions and solve problems,” he said. “Marketing teams are built to approve ads, and publishers are trying to sell eyeballs, but what they need to sell is relevance.

and, citing social media as a way to deliver relevance:

In the search for the shared experience, brands have an incredible role to play,” Gleeson said. “They’ve always been the glue that binds. Now they have the opportunity to be the glue and part of the shared experience for the people who buy them.

How very true. Many, including us have said similar things. “The brand era is over, it’s the people era.” and “Acts, not ads!” are Leo Burnett mantras.  However, concerning the headline “stop branding”: really?

Before looking at Social Media as a solution to make brands relevant again (which it can be), I wonder why agencies and brands have had a hard time reinventing themselves.  Because I believe, regardless of what tools (such as social media) you are using, it will be a crap-shoot in terms of relevance for your brand, until brands and agencies have consummated and internalized one very basic mindset shift. It’s not so much about having to “stop branding” and “to start participating”, but it’s more like:

In the people era, it’s about doing something that makes a qualitative difference in people’s lives, not just saying something. Because delivering deeds and experiences that make a qualitative difference (however big or small), is branding for the people era.

Yet, agencies and brands haven’t adapted their business models and “creative delivery systems” to actually be doing something  instead of just messaging. And to top it off, even when they are doing something, it is usually so brand-centered, that it becomes a backfiring farce.  There are many such examples of brave attempts by brands and agencies to use “innovative” digital channels, such as social media, in the hopes that it will engage people with their brands again. The ones that happen to work, we all hear about. But there are many more attempts we don’t hear about. Why don’ t they work? Because moving to the people era doesn’t just mean picking the digital channel du jour, and applying your brand message.  Fact is, agencies and brands that have not internalized what their brand can mean in the people era, and will continue to try to use channels to force-feed their brand message. Brands are so used to being the sender of a message, that they don’t know how to let people message for them, but that’s what the ultimate consequence of the people era is. This is what Gleeson refers to when he says, “what brands need to do is grow the campaign out of an existing community, rather than simply drop it on top of a community.” 

So I agree that brands and agencies need to reinvent themselves. But it’s a shift that needs to happen, not a replacement of things.

  • Brand era SHIFTS TO People era
  • Doing things to people SHIFTS to doing things with people
  • Brand message SHIFTS to Brand experience
  • Reason to Believe SHIFTS to Reason to Interact
  • Single-minded propositions SHIFT to allowing fragmented, multi-faceted experiences 
  • Branding SHIFTS to delivering experiences that make a qualitative difference
  • Creativity in formulating messaging SHIFTS TO Creativity in designing experiences 
  • Brand Metrics SHIFTS TO People Metrics
  • Consumer Insight SHIFTS TO Behavioral Insight

So, in summary, yes, stop branding the old way but start branding with an understanding of shifting brands into the people age. Only with that in mind, social media and other digital channels, as well as the traditional channels can serve purposeful strategies that are not left up to luck to succeed.


February 11, 2009 at 8:17 pm 3 comments

Subaru Forester Site: Make your own photoshoot

Pretty funny site for the new Subaru Forester: You can play director of the subaru photo shoot, turn angles and submit your shoots. It’s pretty fun, makes you wanna stay, and isn’t even that elaborate.

The best thing are the stereotypical comments of the irate Director (you), such as “Get me a slim latte, it’s not that hard, is it?”, etc..

Check it out…

(Thanks Philipp)

July 24, 2008 at 2:45 pm Leave a comment

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