Posts tagged ‘social media’

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

Pink slip parties are so “last bubble” – Cause-marketing your job hunt is the thing du jour

Remember the dotcom crash pink slip parties, hanging out with a bunch of people who all lost their jobs, but were still so high on their bubble-careers, that celebrating their job loss with stiff martinis seemed like a good idea?

Well, given the recent developments, maybe we’ve all gotten a little more modest I guess, and maybe a bit more purposeful in how we intend to further our careers. Prime example is the cause marketing campaign by KyNam Dolan, himself a social media professional, proving that he understand his craft in the SM space, but also adding a human purpose to his endevours.

His idea: for every interview he gets through his campaign, he will volunteer time to non-profit causes in the SF area.

Check out the details.

Best of luck, KyNam!

via @scobelizer

This will be my last post for the next 4 weeks while I try to avoid getting bitten by venemous snake in the outback. See y’all in 2009.

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December 12, 2008 at 3:04 pm 1 comment

What NOT to do in social media

I wrote about how more and more brands take note of social media, not just as another place to serve ads, but because of recent incidents like motrin and pepsi, also a place to avoid crappy advertising in the first place. I just came across this awesome benchmarking list with tons of examples on what NOT to do in social media, collected by Robin from the Interactive Insights Group.

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December 10, 2008 at 2:51 pm 1 comment

New use of Twitter: brand apology management for bad advertising

We all know brands have been making some forays into social media an networking platforms.

Apart from monitoring the twittersphere for spotting trends, and buying ad space there also seems to a new use: personalized brand reputation management.

Today, Adage’s Chris Abraham reports that he was contacted by the Director of Social and Emerging Media of PepsiCo, via Twitter apologizing for some inappropriate advertising Chris had complained about previously.

Here is the quoted Tweet.

I saw your tweet and I just wanted to make sure I responded personally. We agree this creative is totally inappropriate; we apologize and please know it won’t run again. Also, thanks for the feedback and the Digg, it is important to discuss these types of issues.

My best friend committed suicide and this is a topic very close to my heart. So again I offer my deepest apologies.

Feel free to follow-up via twitter to me – @boughb or Huw – @huwgilbert or respond to this email.

Thanks, Bonin

It’s safe to assume that we need to be prepated for more of this. Not only do we have to listen more closely to what really moves people in the context of their daily lives to avoid creating advertising without a human purpose in the first place, but we also have to be ready to have systems, process and people in place that deal with people’s expectations and outrage when brands do mess up their communications.

In the case of Chris, the apology worked, and it’s a no-brainer: using the personal nature of social media does have more oomph than a stale public apology from a faceless company.

December 5, 2008 at 6:02 pm 5 comments

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