Today I would like to take you on a journey. A journey that will show us
how we should be treating our customers and targetgroups. And a
journey that shows us the influence of new technology on our brands.
Let me first let me introduce the idea of responsive branding. I believe
marketeers, campaigners, PR-gurus etc. have not been treating our
brands like they should have. Our brands have been treated like
babies. We protect them with everything we have. While I believe that a
brand should be responsive. A brand is what your audience wants or
needs it to be for them.
Please, close your eyes and travel along with me. It’s the eighties and
we’re on Times Square. If you look around you, all you see are brands.
Brands and even more brands. In the eighties using mass media was
the key for succes for brands. Advertisement was the tool. Back then,
and for some reason even today we buy ads, pushing our vision of our
brands to our audience.
Back to today’s reality. We are here together with professionals, or
future professionals. We work, or will work at organizations that use
social media. So far for the good news. The bad news is, that we didn’t
really get any further than the oldskool method of the eighties or
nineties. Today, a lot of brands still use social media to spread their
word. And that’s not social at all, because social media are made for
people. So let’s start using it on a more human way!
Most social media have a few things in common. The first thing is that
they are networks. It’s people connected to people. That doesn’t
sound like rocket science right? But let’s not forget that most
organizations are not networks. They’re companies with management
layers. Or, if you’re lucky, a flat middleman organization. But not a
network organization. So. Today I have planned to say some bold shit.
Here’s the first one:
If you want to become a brand that takes full advantage of social
media, become like a network!
A network organization is an organization that connects to people. It
connects to their needs and beliefs. A network organization also
allows its stakeholders to become part of the organization. It invites
people to take or add custom elements.
Let’s take a closer look at how we create our brands. Most brands try
to sell stuff. That can be to make a living out of it, or to change things.
For us, here today, most of the brands we work for, try to make the
world a better place. So, we have some interesting stuff to say. But
we’re facing a reality where the number of people willing to listen to
us, is decreasing every day. Our fanbases or followers on Facebook
and Twitter are more and more busy interacting with eachother, than
they are reading our stuff. And let’s be honest, don’t we do the same
thing as users? I mean, I certainly do. So let’s agree on this:
Nobody really cares about your message, unless...
Unless. There is an unless. Thank goodness for that. If you succeed to
involve people on your brand, chances will grow that they will become
loyal followers, fans or customers. This has everything to do with how
inclusive your brandstrategy is. Imagine a castle. This castle is your
organization, or better, it’s your brand. It has an audience, a target
group. People don’t really decide on wheter they want to enter your
castle based what you say, they decide based on where you choose to
draw the canal! If you want to defend your castle, you have to make
sure that you draw the canal between your castle, and your audience.
Here. But, if you want to be a brand with loyal followers, customers or
fans, then you must draw your canal here.
Becoming an inclusive brand means that you can mobilize a crowd. We
all know the kickass brands we all want to be a part of, like Apple.
What those brands - let’s take Apple as an example, do is that they -
to use Simon Sineks words ‘Start With Why’. The brandstrategy of
Apple answers to a ‘why’. As an Apple customer I become mobilized on
Why they do what they do. Which is, as they say “Everything we do we
believe in challenging the status quo thinking differently”. Apple starts
Getting closer to your audience by drawing the canal so it includes
them and mobilizing them on your ‘Why’ are two steps in becoming a
conversational brand, with loyal followers. The final step to become a
responsive brand is to be adaptive, playful and fluid.
Brands should give themselves permission to be more surprising, to
flirt with their customers, to listen to what they have to say and to
cater to their desires. A modern brand should take leaps of faith,
abandon self-obsessions and embrace risk. Conversely, by not doing
this, the brand could become irrelevant in a hurry.
I strongly believe that the brands of the future, are responsive brands.
Adapting to desires, needs and opportunities of today. And they’re
ready for what tomorrow ask of them.
Are there any questions?
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