Sunday, 18 January 2015

Brand Bravery

Over the last ten years, one of my favourites amongst those email digest thingies that you sign up for is the newsletter from Contagious. It's so much more intelligent than those dreadful lists of lists that LinkedIn is convinced will appeal to me. Contagious is a magazine that's been going for 10 years now and moves from old-school marketing into the intersection between marketing, culture and technology.

The recent digest contained a link to an article from one of the co-founders, Paul Kemp-Roberston, entitled The Contagious Commandments: Ten Steps to Brand Bravery.

It's really rather good, so here are those 10 steps, with my comments:

1. Be useful, relevant and entertaining - or at least, as Meatloaf would say, two out of three ain't bad. This is what it's all about - value
2. Be generous: don't ask what's in it for you, ask what's in it for them - or better still these days, what's in it for us
3. Have a purpose - or go home
4. Join the 5% club - this is all about experimentation - but for me it's about testing in the market and "just doing it" rather than behind-the-scenes research
5. Ask heresy questions - this is an oldie but goodie - but these days, we should think about what exactly is heresy. To me, increasingly, it might be about being non-PC. Really going against the grain. Breaking some of these terribly right-on commandments, even
6. Align with behaviour - fine, just as long as you don't become a stalker
7. Good technology is not an excuse for a bad idea - Yes! I'm looking at all those pointless apps that exist "just because you can"
8. Prioritise experience over innovation - this is connected to the last one. It's all about real world, real people
9. With great data comes great responsibility - too true. Privacy is already a huge issue for brands. And, mirroring my comments on technology, don't collect data just because you can. If you're not going to use it, put your energies elsewhere.
10. Weaponize your audience - the author himself points out the irony of this one, having poured scorn on military metaphors earlier on in the article. The point is to make sure you are empowering your customers, not exploiting them, which brings us back to the bold fellows of the Light Brigade pictured.

In the end, brave brands need brave people behind them.

No comments: