The long tales of brands

A few days back, I read a post by Seth Godin. To summarise, it was about how people in general, and especially marketeers, put on a show, on purpose. That might be simplifying it, and while he does say that “if you’re transparent about your motivations, putting on a show is productive and highly leveraged”, it doesn’t take away from the fact that the last line in the post is an advice to think about the above, when you’re putting up a booth, answering the phone etc.

It was a bit disconcerting, because it wasn’t exactly what my notions about social media and Brands 2.0 in general were. After all, how could sharing and collaborating be based on something that’s fundamentally a show? While the audience could accept this in say, an entertainment show, would the same happen when they were dealing with brands and people? Isn’t the ‘brand’ supposed to be a promise to the customer?

I do agree that it would be naive to believe in an utopian way of functioning, but social platforms and the new ways of communicating could take us quite close to it. Thankfully, i was quite buoyed by another superb post from Chris Brogan. While the post gives more personality examples than brands, it stresses the need to be really ‘you’, and I think, that should apply to brands as well, because in a highly connected world, it doesn’t take too long for the roleplay to be seen as exactly what it is, and the true brand DNA to come out.

Rather than trying to build a story about a fictional character, wouldn’t it be much better to make the brand’s story interesting with its core characteristics? It is a perspective that would affect the way brands behave, even in a relatively less connected country like ours- the brand endorsements, the blind ‘branding’ without any idea of context, the fine print in communication, the sales guy’s promises, customer service and every thing that creates a brand experience would have to be done keeping the story in mind, and doing it in such a way that the customers believe in that story and communicate it themselves, by choice.

Meanwhile, less connected we may be, but that doesn’t stop us from having our own brand tags. Do take, part, the results would be fun.

until next time, what you say can and will be used against you 😉


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