Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Whatever happened to lighthouse brands?

I think it was Adam Morgan that coined the phrase "Lighthouse Brands" some time back in the last century, as part of the Challenger Brand theory.

OK, times have changed and brands have to adapt, but I have always liked the concept of a brand as a lighthouse. And, after all, lighthouses still perform a vital function today, even if technology has changed.

In much of my reading on the subject of brands, I see a focus on 'how to fit your brand into the consumer's (sic) life today' rather than 'how to inspire people with your brand for how they might like to live tomorrow.'

There's a lot of talk about relevance, especially to the here and now, about fitting seamlessly into people's lives, about harmony instead of disruption or interruption and of course about meeting the consumer's (sic) needs.

There is rather less about allure, desire, magic, dreams.

I can't help but feeling that many of these seamless brands are rather like stalkers. They lurk and they collect data and they make notes and then creep up on you and ambush you based on your past behaviour, not on your future dreams. Because, like stalkers, you mean far more to them than they mean to you.

Should good brands really have to resort to this?

I can't recall ever having been stalked by a lighthouse.

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