Brands must do!
It really is time for brands to do more. Call it a desire for a better value exchange or building meaning for consumers or appvertising or think about in terms of brands doing more than forming emotional connections like supporting causes but the truth is that brands need to do more to become a part of our lives. We're tired of being a part of their worlds. That matters but our own worlds matter too and brands need to fit in more.
The listening part is something that's very important to me. I still believe that brands don't listen enough. The Motrin episode is just the most recent example of what can happen if you don't listen. Some brand managers believe they own their brands and the consultants and brand gurus think that they know more about the brands than anyone else. They're in love with their brands. That used to be fine but not anymore.
A brand by virtue of its place in a consumer's social world is constantly evolved and in some cases even redefined because of consumer participation. The communities create and break the brand too. Its not just the property of the company behind the brand. This might sound strange but its true. Companies can and must do more to let go of their brands - to let consumers shape and influence it in the social web. When they do they will learn from their consumers how to become more actionable.
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