Posts tagged ‘branding’

December 13th, 2011

Communication. Politics. Organizing leaks. Value. Stopping with brand DNA

by Laurent François

Many information are crucial, but remain within a tiny and closed community. How come an idea can get value?

It’s the main purpose of “The Ides of March”, or even  “Contagion“. A minority of people try to reach their goal (killing someone, protect themselves, widen their ego…), and even if they have great information, it’s utterly complicated to make them actually work. Most information remain where they’re from.

An information withou any value in a group “X” could have a bigger value in a group “Y”. Of course. When it comes to brands why only focusing on core-DNA instead of analyzing where there could be weak ties with diverse relevant people?

Recycling is a great marketing idea.

 

April 4th, 2011

Storytelling: consumers’ intimacy as the new scope of work?

by Laurent François

Citizens!

For the last months, many brands have dived into storytelling-way-of-life instead of focusing on products’ benefits.

A pressure to build “stories” as digital re-shaped our economy of attention; once you’re done with a coupon, you need to maintain a link with diverse publics. You need to be able to activate them. The “story” would be an asset to keep an interest going, moreoever in a digital journey: you share your daily bread with your relatives, with your buddies, and in the meantime you pick and chose your next holidays. It amplifies our beings, and brands want to interfere within this tree of choices. As a comparison, you never really leave a book after you’ve read the 3 first chapters.

But if the marketing statement is simple at first sight, it’s utterly complicated -and to date disappointing- to implement and orchestrate

A reader as a shareholder of the story’s success

A story is paradoxically based on unsaid. It’s a principle developped by Umberto Eco in 1979 in Lector in Fabula.

In order to make a story work, the reader must be brought to a whole universe (as in an encyclopedia) and to feel like if he had a responsibility in the curse of the story.

générer un texte signifie mettre en oeuvre une stratégie dont font partie les prévisions des mouvements de l’autre – comme dans toute stratégie“.

Interpretative & autonomous mechanism are intrinsic to the story. Non-existing characters become so “existing” in our minds that we can anticipate their next steps or don’t be surprised by an attitude in the following episodes. More interesting: these characters keep living in our brains out of the written text! Digital world increases this statement: the reader is a shareholder or the story’s reputation. If he feels engaged, he’ll talk about it and will recruit, will debate, will bring the story’s universe to new borders.

It’s pretty rare to consider new ads to be great stories. Nike came and said “I have a story” but don’t give any real clue that it’s true (and the amount of RT to an ad on YouTube is just crap to explain it). We’re on a static ad, that’s all.

The reader as an intimate actor of a public creation

When we read a story, we’re alone, even if you live it with other people. That’s the reason why it’s so important to ask to your friends if they’ve liked a movie or a book. We perceive on our own a story.

Brands dare to directly outreach our intimacy, in order to force us to give our feelings. It’s the case with Nivea, in the US, with their “Cupid’s Challenge“; a category at the same level than coupons in the diverse social spaces of  the brand.

Kiss” platform, with the help of 2 US TV middle stars, Nick Lachey & Vanessa Minnillo wants to coach our love life (so telling what is good or bad on this purpose); wants to viralize people’s love (vs money or gifts); wants to promote Nivea massage’s products, which are supposed to endeavour libido.

A tricky mechanism which has some limits: once you’re done with your 3 RT of celebrity, you remember that Nivea is first & foremost a soap. And that Cupid’s Challenge’s chapter 2 is an empty bottle. Because as in real TV, the script is so not real.

Consumer: a hierarchy of values?

So here’s the deal: isn’t there a way between brands which only talk about themselves and brands which only try to reach our intimacies?

Maybe to go back to basics, as New Scientist reminds us:it’s not about manipulation but aspirations and fullfillments. For instance, 20 years ago, Snickers, a brand owned by Mars in France, decided to build some sports playgrounds in under-privileged cities. A means to bring a concrete chapter to the brand’s story. To help buddies who want to practice some sports in the evenings; and for some of them, to be spotted by major basketball temps. It was 20 years ago. It was alreay pervasive creativity.

November 14th, 2010

Brand inexperience: a true Social Media Marketing goal?

by Laurent François

Citizens!

We’ve been talking a lot about brand experience these days. In an economy of attention more & more complicated, brands aim to focus again on consumers’ journey, starting from research, buying behavior & finally ending on the diverse usages / consumption of the product or service over time.

A necessary long-time approach as in our liquid & “liquifying” economy, new usages or needs postpone the death of a product life cycle. Movie industry is good example: you go to the theater, you watch a DVD or VOD, you sell & buy goodies. Or you can even implement products’ placement (thanks Thien for sharing the link). A Disney experience has proved for a long time the multiplying possibilities of a single idea. Mobile phones are now social browers, and that’s also interesting: any OS update is a new opportunity to get new services or start again certain usages; things you could not imagine while you were in the conception phase.

In a SWOT approach (strengths, weaknesses, oppportunities, threats), we most of time go too fast on opportunities, letting them dependent on brand assets, instead of focusing on the real context. Good consultants generally do a deep work in order to understand what the core competences are. But they obviously leave interns & juniors working on PESTEL (or environment) analysis. They normally keep too little time to go back to these insights. The problem is that if you remain too focused on brand experience, so to say on the product at the early stage, you destroy huge potentialities, prospectives, which can occur or just appear thanks to a new context.

In our pervasive environment, we should therefore invest time in a new practice: brand inexperience.

The devil is in the details; we could challenge ourselves:

  • in which ecosystem the brand should be present but seems invisible?
  • in which tribes can we find the brand that is used in very original ways, that were not anticipated by the “brand experience administrator”, so to say the brand value chain?
  • to which level do the user understand and use the brand? Is there a pool of users who drive the brand down or at perfectly immature stage? (think about Palm 10 years ago and compare it to iPhone today: we’re still smartphones’ teenagers. All.)



July 19th, 2010

Apple: the first brand to go against Social Media?

by Laurent François

Citizens!

A quick idea I had, chatting with some friends about Apple. So the iPhone 4 issue wouldn’t be that bad, because all the smartphones experience the same troubles? Thanks Steve Jobs for making us live in such a badass market. A very strange attitude for a guy who has the pretention to suggest “visions” to the world. Us.

The thing is that Apple is now going against 3 of its core assets, that used to make its core competences

  • going against fan-boys, not listening to what they say and need. Big problem at the end as fan-boys used to orientate and help newbies and simple people on forums. If you cut the information pipeline to fans, you cut it to the general public
  • massive leakage communication: Apple has now been communicating only through leakages these last 3 years. They now face a kind of trivialization, as observers are fed up with such mysteries for such empty realities. Moreover, these leakages are no longer reserved to a kind of vertical elites but…to anyone, looking for information about the last Apple updates. You cannot base your communication as if you were a story only made of teasers…because you need to tease for SOMETHING ELSE?uh!
  • the big Apple misunderstanding that if the company wants to control the pipeline (welcome to a beautiful world in which even media are extorted (30% !) and in which depending on Apple good will your apps will be validated or dismissed), Apple cannot control…people. Moreoever, people are no longer dependent on softwares or OS but on sharing and open web. Therefore to web browsers. Apple has just created a tourism bus (unique tours, unique & restricted choice of restaurants, unique path…fantastic for the retired) whereas people are more and more looking for a car, to park anywhere and go whenever they want

A great performance, an innovative one: the first brand to go against Social Media?

April 27th, 2010

Dita Von Teese, new Perrier ambassador for 2010!

by Laurent François

Rendez-vous sur la Fan Page dédiée (je précise que j’ai bien de la chance de travailler sur le sujet).

Plus à venir…