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:
- 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?
[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).
[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?