Tyler Durden and new marketing principles: empowered consumers

by Laurent François

I love reading controversial points of view and also arguing with guys I absolutely don’t agree with. And there’s a fictive character called Tyler Durden in Fight Club, who’s a kind of provocative (but inspiring) spoiler. I copied exactly the same quotes than the Daily Minder.

“Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need.”

From mass consumption, and prosperity, we as consumers now need “true” products, that fit with our daily concerns and that solve our problems. Tyler Durden could have been a very interesting blogger if he was born later, and would have certainly criticized too intrusive / push campaigns.

“We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.”

TV is probably what unexpectedly changed the communication path. Consumers & citizens are now learning online, sharing thoughts, going into niche markets, getting deeper in specificities. Brands cannot claim that they’re the best. They have to authentically prove it, discuss it, challenge themselves as individuals. In a café, or at a meeting, when you’re a newcomer, you have to prove your value or your identity. Now social media give the power to anyone to say to the whole world that he/she is not satisfied. Or that he/she loves a product, and recommend it.

“You’re not your job. You’re not how much money you have in the bank. You’re not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You’re not your fucking khakis. You’re the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world.”

This time, Tyler is about to be a visionary. For the last 3 years, we’ve talked about communities. Community networks, online communities of activists etc. But it’s too simplistic: what’s happening now is affinity. Affinity makes different people from various communities & backgrounds into the same group, creating a new community. So you as online individual are not just one data, one parameter. You’re a story, that belongs you. You’re so many different episodes, interests.

So to say, new marketing has to match this new empowered consciousness.

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