Tag Archives: old stuff

Brands as people

8 Jul

This is an old one jotted down while I was still at Publicis. We were basically trying to communicate that brands can’t act like an aggressive inhuman force and get away with it anymore; that it is the human touch and empathy that works best in interactive. It also was part of a lecture I did at Westminster University called “Stop SHOUTING and start talking”.

Soon I’m going to collect up the old titles, and alternative titles (born of old English Lit habits and semi-tongue in cheek sarcasm), of all the talks and presentations I’ve done over the years to plot how things have changed since 1999. Anyway…I think this was meant to be delivered in deep gravelly voice like Don LaFontaine – the king of trailers. Anyone got a scrolling starfield I can borrow?

…In the beginning there were Brands. Brands were alone. They were a single idea repeated until people gave in or got bored. They had control of their communications because they had the money to access the expensive mediums of mass communication. They could shout the loudest and for the longest time. But despite all the shouting they did, they existed in isolation.

Then technology and people’s attitudes changed. Technology allowed people the same access to communication that Brands had. Technology was the great leveler.

Now Brands are like people.

People are richer, deeper, more complex and far more interesting.

Brands are like people and people don’t shout at each other, they talk.

People crave transparency and honesty. People act differently in different places but they are always the same person. They engage in leaping, wide-ranging conversations that can take any turn, uncontrolled by a single person. People smell an agenda and blatant manipulation. They can decide who is worth talking to and easily warn others if something is not worth the effort. Technology has made people living proof of the “6 degrees of separation” rule and as they are exposed to more and more connections so their expectations and attitudes are changing faster and faster.

This is the real world and this the real relationship in which brands and people now exist – a person to person relationship.

Brands are about more than loving a logo or cookie cutter identity reproduced in every possible space.

We want to get Brands speaking like people and to people, speaking in a way that is appropriate to the location of the conversation. We want to help Brands involve people in shaping their communications, products and the company they keep. We want to help Brands engage people and exceed their rapidly evolving expectations in all the many places that these conversations are happening, and in all the new places that they will take place.