Brands must do!

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Brands need to stand for something but also do something says Garrick over at our Digital Design Blog. I like that notion and it jives with how I have been thinking about the evolution of brands in a social world. (Side note, Garrick and I have a lot of conversations so we often feed on each other's thinking). 

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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.

I believe the brands that let consumers co-create and co-evolve them are going to be the ones that win in the next decade. Now I wonder what Seth Godin, Jaffe Juice or Steve Rubel would think of this social media influenced perspective.

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1 Comments

akostopanagiotou Author Profile Page said:

Shiv,
Thanks for the opportunity to post and continue the dialogue. Great perspective as always by Razorfish on the "Brands Do" post. I've shared comments on the Digital Design blog as well.

The idea of brands not just being, but "doing" is so right on.

Nike's work...is indeed genius. THR so authentically connects with runners' culture of competition and high performance.....and provides community for social sport. And market share is up by almost 20% with Nike+.

Another brand that comes to mind.....is Dove. Dove's "Campaign for Real Beauty" changed perceptions about beauty, and is aimed at fostering self-esteem in girls. Beyond the ads, they're "doing" by providing women with community and resources (online and off) to share their views, conduct workshops and raise money for programs like Uniquely Me with the Girl Scouts of America. Seems to be paying off ...brand loyalty and sales have increased significantly in the last four years.

Enjoy reading, and agree with your perspective on allowing consumers to co-create. Looking forward to seeing how things continue to evolve!

Congrats on "Going Social Now" being named among blogs to watch in '09.

Ann

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