conversation Archivos | Allegro 234

conversation Archivos | Allegro 234

The tendentious Dr. Utterson | The ‘Generosity’ trend & Branding | Chapter 2

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Generosity [The Generation G] could be consider a trend in people as well as in companies. This trend probably is based on the tiredness we have regarding greed and its effects on economy.

Generosity emerges as a trend jointly with this online culture that we are experiencing and from the one we are learning.

In this new environment, companies will need to re-focus themselves, from paying attention to their belly buttons, to sharing passion and receiving recognition.

Trend #2: Generosity drivers

  • Disgusted people [now we could add crisis]: People are better informed of what it’s going on. So, companies that continue with the idea of non-bi-directional communication and interaction will be out of their radar (actually, they already are)
  • Companies that take care: As we are more informed, we are not only paying attention of company external behaviors, but also of how is the relation between companies and their employees. Things are more complex and decisions too. The key is generosity, care, empathy and simpathy. We could consider this need of change also for governments and intitutions.
  • New ways of talking and sharing: Deep in our behaviors, the issue is not about anger, it’s about passion. We are willing (and in same cases, able) to give, share and collaborate

Also, consider that young people do not differentiate offline from online, and online culture is based on generosity. Companies should learn this from people. It’s not a ‘nice to have?, it’s a must be…

  • Generous to people
  • Generous to customers
  • Generous to employees
  • Generous to environment
  • Generous to social causes
  • Generous… Period!

As it was said by Reinier Evers of Trendwatching, “generosity is more about context and timing than out-of-the-blue insights”.

Challenge #2: Brands dialogue

Brands will begin to play their game if companies (and marketers) understand that the one-way advertising is over. Brands are not to sell, they are to assist people in relevant ways…And people will buy…because of authenticity, functionallity, exclusivity… because they are able to talk, to dialogue with the brands. Is your brand ready for this challenge?

Brands will become the key to stay relevant to people who live in this collaborative culture. And for God sake, this goes beyond social responsibility or eco-care departments. It’s a change in the ways that the companies use to interact… It’s not a process, it’s a holistic understanding of relations.

Your thoughts, as always, are welcome!

Social Networks & Communities

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Last week I was in a conference at IE University where I participated in a round table discussion about online communities, actually about building a compelling brand experience in university online communities.

The first issue that I discovered was that in Spain, round tables are rectangular, and discussion means independent presentations of the three/four speakers… And questions is an unpleasent situation, not because of the kind of questions but because it’s difficult to make it happens.

Any way. the issue is that before the event I was thinking about social networks and communities. To make it simple, a social network is the online support needed to build a community. However, the community is a pre-existent phenomenum. This means that the social network allows a better connection beyond geographical boundaries of an especific community.

We are a community, the so called “Brand 3.0” community, and we are supported by Webjam as a social network enabler. Following this path, Brand 3.0 is creating a new relevant and unique experience which basically is already known by all its members.

And here come my questions… If we are an unique community:

  • What can I do from my side to improve participation? (remember that we have the Coffee 234 -I’ll publish the results of the first offline meeting during these days, the WikiSemantic -where all Brand 3.0 members are co-editors, polls, forums, inspiration areas, spin-off Webjams, friend Webjams, Brand 3.0 Template,…)
  • Are we really a community? Are we talking?
  • Do you know people who could be interested on joining this social network? If so, what are you waiting to invite them ;)?
  • What can you do to improve our participation, conexion,… experience?

I look forward to hearing your candid comments!

The jam session II

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Here we are again!… Julio and myself…

[C] Generally, for what it’s important to us, we opted for products and services with brands that tell us something. A story that, I insist (sorry), is relavant for us.

[J] Every story needs a starting point, let’s say an excuse to open up the dialogue. Every brand needs a footprint to deliver tiny but strong clues and flexible enough to let the story grow during its life (and yours). Do you remember crests and flags history?. They were created to represent not a thing, but beliefs.

[C] What it’s being observed as a trend is that, rather than finding the best brand, we begin to see two or more brands together (those that are best for us), bringing a unique competence to the table, re-inventing a product and/or service. A new and unique experience that is blending the best of several worlds.

[J] You mean alliances. This is what we can see (visually) in co-branding: two brands that we already know (what they represent) with relevant experiencies gathered to deliver a bigger an differential one. 1+1=11 as Marty Neumeier uses to say.

[C] Let’s see some examples as the ones I saw in Trendwatching:

Starbucks Bosh Philips NiveaThis is more than the traditional co-branding (the one we see in our Visa-Bank-University or whatever). And again, it is important, unique, inspirational,… for the tribe that is passionated with those brands.
  • The Bosch/Starbucks experience is interesting because, behind the scene is Kraft with its Kraft’s Tassimo system. “Coffeehouse quality with our home comfort”
  • The Philips/Nivea experience transform the shaver in a massage system that soothe the face and… shave
[J] It’s not a question of attached logos. They point to make these couple arise as a third experience. It’s the result of what we understand they have in common based in their identities from the touchpoints they’ve built. So we can figure what’s going on.

  • Adidas /Goodyear trainers. Even if you’ve not seen the sneakers, you can understand they are talking about performance. And you can prefigure they are talking about races too. This let you imagine the rest of the world around these concepts: custom cars, sex, youth, adrenaline.
  • Reebok /KoolAid trainers. You tell me!! OK, may be the idea behind is to offer “flavors”, but that was the Apple iMac first gen story. What’s the experience this product is signaling?
Adidas Reebok

[C] The challenge is to understand the tribe, values and behaviours, that are associated to a brand, to thereafter find the right partner to reinvent the offer through the brand blending. For mass-market products/services which could go to different tribes. The key point is to discover the “intersection tribe”… people that believe in both brands.

[J] Tribes use brands as trading cards like in a show and share game. Each tribe member needs some badges to make her/him recognizable to their peers and brands are obliged to be interesting if they want to be part of the ritual. So brands have to build bigger and more relevant concepts. Logos are not enough.

[C] A particular case is the one that blends a product brand with a human being brand… Eg.: H&M and Madonna

[J] Mmm… Let me disagree a little with you. This is the classic “be like a star” ad trick . Consumers are not so easily deceived anymore. But there’s an example of a campaign using past and present icons (or human being brands) that Converse is launching mixing local with int’l stars like Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong or Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Karen O. Additional regional icons include Ian Curtis (UK), Carlos Diez Diez (Spain), Jane Birkin (France), Nina Hagen (Germany), Kim, Jung Man (Korea), Cui Jian (China), Darren Cordeux (Australia), Jose Fernando Emilio (Mexico) and Sandro (Argentina).

converse leads

[C] Good point! Under the branding point of view, I do agree with you. However (Mmmmm, the God dammit “however” again is here!), as a social trend, those kind of “short time” messages are talking to a specific tribes… Back with H&M…

  • Karl Lagerfeld -2004
  • Stella McCartney -2005
  • Madonna -2007
  • Kylie Minogue -2007
  • Roberto Cavalli -2007

[C] Almost the same, however to a different tribe is MissX from Agent Provocateur with Kate Moss.

[J] OK, now I understand. The power of a signature or an ambassador who embodies not the brand but the tribe.

[C] Is this too much?… Or would you like to hear also the story of Japan Airlines and Toto’s washlets?… Again, it’s not money, is status, self-expression… sense & sensibility… Isn’t it?