Graham D Brown http://www.grahamdbrown.com Marketing Strategies, Customer Experience and Consumer Psychology Wed, 26 Nov 2014 23:58:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Marketing Strategies, Customer Experience and Consumer Psychology Graham D Brown no Marketing Strategies, Customer Experience and Consumer Psychology Graham D Brown http://www.grahamdbrown.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/rsz_insideoutradio.jpg http://www.grahamdbrown.com Your customer looks at your marketing and asks, “Where am I in this story?” http://www.grahamdbrown.com/customer-looks-marketing-asks-story/ http://www.grahamdbrown.com/customer-looks-marketing-asks-story/#respond Wed, 26 Nov 2014 23:58:23 +0000 http://www.grahamdbrown.com/?p=5390 Your customer looks at your marketing and asks "Where am I in this story?"

Your customer looks at your marketing and asks, “Where am I in this story?”

Traditional brand storytelling has always been about the brand. And that’s the case whether it’s on TV or on social media. Choices of media don’t change anything.

In the era of Brand Democracy, you need to make the customer the hero of the brand story. And that requires not a choice in media, but a choice in mindset.

How will you turn your users into people and your people into stories?

Marketers: Learn How to Tell Stories in the Social Era

Sign up to my Digital Ape newsletter today and get a free sample of this book "Brand Democracy: How to Tell Stories in the Social Era". Plus, get weekly updates on the latest marketing trends.

Click Here to Get the Sample PDF
Brand Democracy Book Graham Brown

Brand Democracy: The Presentation

customer hero brand storytelling

Find Out More About Brand Democracy

What is Brand Democracy?

Brand Democracy is a bottom-up approach to marketing practiced by brands like GoPro, Zappos, Instagram, Lego and Monster Energy Drinks. Where brand management focuses on top-down brand positioning, Brand Democracy seeks to create the brand through customer conversations and interactions. Rather than managing the brand, the company curates this peer-to-peer communication by giving customers tools and a platform to share their individual stories.

Brands Mentioned in The Guide

Air New Zealand, Apple, BBDO, Burger King NZ, Coke, DeBeers, Facebook, Federal Credit Union, Goldman Sachs, GoPro, Harry Potter, IBM, Instagram, JP Morgan, KFC Philippines, Kodak, Lego, Mastercard, Max India, Microsoft, Minecraft, Monster Energy, MTV, Nokia, Pepsi, South West Airlines, Starbucks, Star Trek, USDA Forest & Parks Service, Youtube, Zappos.

Get the Complete Brand Democracy Guide: PDF, Audiobook + Presentation

Brand Democracy Book Graham Brown

What's Inside the Complete Guide?

* 100 Page PDF book for your computer or tablet (value $17)
* 1hr 38min Audiobook for your smartphone, desktop or car (value $27)
* Presentation to share with colleagues and use in your own marketing material (value $95)


or Sign Up to My Newsletter and get a free sample



]]>
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The days of tightly managed brands are over http://www.grahamdbrown.com/days-tightly-managed-brands/ http://www.grahamdbrown.com/days-tightly-managed-brands/#respond Tue, 25 Nov 2014 23:49:50 +0000 http://www.grahamdbrown.com/?p=5385 managebrands

The days of tightly managed brands are over.

The good news it that we have plenty of case studies from companies like Zappos, Lego and GoPro on how to brand effectively in this new era of Brand Democracy.

As marketers we have to realize that managing brands is ineffective because what customers say about the brand is more important than our official brand narrative. Brands are no more than collections of the stories told by customers.

Successful brands in the era of Brand Democracy get it. They embrace the unofficial.

Marketers: Learn How to Tell Stories in the Social Era

Sign up to my Digital Ape newsletter today and get a free sample of this book "Brand Democracy: How to Tell Stories in the Social Era". Plus, get weekly updates on the latest marketing trends.

Click Here to Get the Sample PDF
Brand Democracy Book Graham Brown

Brand Democracy: The Presentation

customer hero brand storytelling

Find Out More About Brand Democracy

What is Brand Democracy?

Brand Democracy is a bottom-up approach to marketing practiced by brands like GoPro, Zappos, Instagram, Lego and Monster Energy Drinks. Where brand management focuses on top-down brand positioning, Brand Democracy seeks to create the brand through customer conversations and interactions. Rather than managing the brand, the company curates this peer-to-peer communication by giving customers tools and a platform to share their individual stories.

Brands Mentioned in The Guide

Air New Zealand, Apple, BBDO, Burger King NZ, Coke, DeBeers, Facebook, Federal Credit Union, Goldman Sachs, GoPro, Harry Potter, IBM, Instagram, JP Morgan, KFC Philippines, Kodak, Lego, Mastercard, Max India, Microsoft, Minecraft, Monster Energy, MTV, Nokia, Pepsi, South West Airlines, Starbucks, Star Trek, USDA Forest & Parks Service, Youtube, Zappos.

Get the Complete Brand Democracy Guide: PDF, Audiobook + Presentation

Brand Democracy Book Graham Brown

What's Inside the Complete Guide?

* 100 Page PDF book for your computer or tablet (value $17)
* 1hr 38min Audiobook for your smartphone, desktop or car (value $27)
* Presentation to share with colleagues and use in your own marketing material (value $95)


or Sign Up to My Newsletter and get a free sample



]]>
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We can no longer control and manage brand conversation like we used to http://www.grahamdbrown.com/can-longer-control-manage-brand-conversation-like-used/ http://www.grahamdbrown.com/can-longer-control-manage-brand-conversation-like-used/#respond Mon, 24 Nov 2014 23:40:08 +0000 http://www.grahamdbrown.com/?p=5382 We can no longer control and manage brand conversation like we used to

We can no longer control and manage brand conversation like we used to.

This is the era of Brand Democracy.

Definition: Brand Democracy is a bottom-up approach to marketing. Where brand management focuses on top-down brand positioning, Brand Democracy seeks to create the brand through customer conversations and interactions. Rather than managing the brand, the company curates this peer-to-peer communication by giving customers tools and a platform to share their individual stories. Source: Graham D Brown

We need to focus on curating the conversation and making the customer the hero of the story.

In the modern marketing landscape, it’s time to embrace the unofficial.

The good news is that kick-ass brands like GoPro are already doing it. So, you can too.

Marketers: Learn How to Tell Stories in the Social Era

Sign up to my Digital Ape newsletter today and get a free sample of this book "Brand Democracy: How to Tell Stories in the Social Era". Plus, get weekly updates on the latest marketing trends.

Click Here to Get the Sample PDF
Brand Democracy Book Graham Brown

Brand Democracy: The Presentation

customer hero brand storytelling

Find Out More About Brand Democracy

What is Brand Democracy?

Brand Democracy is a bottom-up approach to marketing practiced by brands like GoPro, Zappos, Instagram, Lego and Monster Energy Drinks. Where brand management focuses on top-down brand positioning, Brand Democracy seeks to create the brand through customer conversations and interactions. Rather than managing the brand, the company curates this peer-to-peer communication by giving customers tools and a platform to share their individual stories.

Brands Mentioned in The Guide

Air New Zealand, Apple, BBDO, Burger King NZ, Coke, DeBeers, Facebook, Federal Credit Union, Goldman Sachs, GoPro, Harry Potter, IBM, Instagram, JP Morgan, KFC Philippines, Kodak, Lego, Mastercard, Max India, Microsoft, Minecraft, Monster Energy, MTV, Nokia, Pepsi, South West Airlines, Starbucks, Star Trek, USDA Forest & Parks Service, Youtube, Zappos.

Get the Complete Brand Democracy Guide: PDF, Audiobook + Presentation

Brand Democracy Book Graham Brown

What's Inside the Complete Guide?

* 100 Page PDF book for your computer or tablet (value $17)
* 1hr 38min Audiobook for your smartphone, desktop or car (value $27)
* Presentation to share with colleagues and use in your own marketing material (value $95)


or Sign Up to My Newsletter and get a free sample



]]>
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Liked vs Loved: Marketing Goals Explained http://www.grahamdbrown.com/liked-vs-loved-marketing-goals-explained/ http://www.grahamdbrown.com/liked-vs-loved-marketing-goals-explained/#respond Sun, 23 Nov 2014 23:27:13 +0000 http://www.grahamdbrown.com/?p=5376

By: the Italian voice

If your customers like you, be afraid, be very afraid. You might as well be invisible. In the modern attention economy, customers only recommend and talk about brands they love.

Which emotion is the goal of your marketing? Different goals require different strategies. See the table below:

Here’s a sample table from my new book “Brand Democracy: How to Tell Stories in the Social Era.”

LIKED vs LOVED BRANDING

LIKED LOVED
What is it? Friendship, getting elected Love, emotional engagement, deep connection
Goal A brand that's everything to everybody A brand that's something to somebody
Strategy Share of market: win 51% of market Share of customer: 100% of one customer
Measurement Awareness, top of mind, brand recall, market share, brand equity Recommendation, customer loyalty, net promoter scores
Marketing Paid media (advertising, social media campaigns, celebrity endorsements, sponsorship) Earned media (Permission assets, events, projects, programs)
Method Tell the brand story, use new or traditional media to make customers aware of the brand, Big Ideas Help fans tell their story, use brand platforms to promote these stories

Marketers: Learn How to Create Brand Love in the Social Era

Sign up to my Digital Ape newsletter today and get a free sample of this book "Brand Democracy: How to Tell Stories in the Social Era". Plus, get weekly updates on the latest marketing trends.

Click Here to Get the Sample PDF
Brand Democracy Book Graham Brown

Brand Democracy: The Presentation

customer hero brand storytelling

Find Out More About Brand Democracy

What is Brand Democracy?

Brand Democracy is a bottom-up approach to marketing practiced by brands like GoPro, Zappos, Instagram, Lego and Monster Energy Drinks. Where brand management focuses on top-down brand positioning, Brand Democracy seeks to create the brand through customer conversations and interactions. Rather than managing the brand, the company curates this peer-to-peer communication by giving customers tools and a platform to share their individual stories.

Brands Mentioned in The Guide

Air New Zealand, Apple, BBDO, Burger King NZ, Coke, DeBeers, Facebook, Federal Credit Union, Goldman Sachs, GoPro, Harry Potter, IBM, Instagram, JP Morgan, KFC Philippines, Kodak, Lego, Mastercard, Max India, Microsoft, Minecraft, Monster Energy, MTV, Nokia, Pepsi, South West Airlines, Starbucks, Star Trek, USDA Forest & Parks Service, Youtube, Zappos.

Get the Complete Brand Democracy Guide: PDF, Audiobook + Presentation

Brand Democracy Book Graham Brown

What's Inside the Complete Guide?

* 100 Page PDF book for your computer or tablet (value $17)
* 1hr 38min Audiobook for your smartphone, desktop or car (value $27)
* Presentation to share with colleagues and use in your own marketing material (value $95)


or Sign Up to My Newsletter and get a free sample



]]>
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Just Imagine What Curating the Conversation Can Do for your Brand http://www.grahamdbrown.com/just-imagine-curating-conversation-can-brand/ http://www.grahamdbrown.com/just-imagine-curating-conversation-can-brand/#respond Sun, 23 Nov 2014 02:48:02 +0000 http://www.grahamdbrown.com/?p=4685

By: dommylive

The $1000 Fine

$1000 for taking a photo in the forest.

That’s what the US parks service wants to fine you if you take a photo without a permit.

The justification?

The 1968 Preservation of the Wilderness Act.

Preservation of the wilderness?

Yes, photos damage the wilderness, apparently.

According to the US Forest Service, which oversees 36 million square miles of wilderness, the biggest threat to the nation’s treasured forests, parks and mountains isn’t overzealous tourism, pollution or climate change, it’s photography.

No, It’s Not April 1st

When I first heard the story, I had to check my sources. No, this wasn’t April the 1st but nearly the beginning of October, a full 6 months either side of Fool’s Day.

These bureaucratic interventions would make perfect content for a comedy sketch, a Seinfeld or a Monty Python, if it wasn’t for the fact they are more common they we realize.

It seems rather strange that, alongside their heavy-handed ban, the USDA Forest Service is investing heavily in a publicity campaign to encourage teens to go back to nature. In beautifully-produced videos, they show young campers being enchanted by fireflies at night in the “Light Show of the Forest”. The ads sign off with a call to action to “come alive in the forest.”

The USDA typifies what’s wrong with Brand Management today. Brands want total control of the narrative. They want all the benefits of the Social Era without any of the commitment.

All the Social Media in the World Won’t Help

The reason teens aren’t going into the forest is not because they don’t know about the forests and its fireflies, but because the USDA is threatening them with $1000 fines if they take photos. Ad campaigns won’t change any of that.

Fortunately, the USDA saw sense and backed down.

In Brand Democracy, we need to focus on curating people’s stories rather than controlling them.

And that means letting go.

TOP DOWN vs BOTTOM UP STORYTELLING

TOP-DOWN BOTTOM-UP
Format Agency originated Big Idea Customer-to-customer conversations
Frequency During campaign Everyday
Number of narratives One official narrative Multiple unofficial narratives
Hero of the story? Brand Customer
Subject of story About the brand and the Big Idea Customer's daily life
Role of brand in story Control: tightly manage the narrative around brand's interest Curation: give customers tools to tell their own story and a platform to share

Marketers: Learn How to Tell Stories in the Social Era

Sign up to my Digital Ape newsletter today and get a free sample of this book "Brand Democracy: How to Tell Stories in the Social Era". Plus, get weekly updates on the latest marketing trends.

Click Here to Get the Sample PDF
Brand Democracy Book Graham Brown

Curating the Conversation the Brand Democracy Way

Imagine if the USDA website, Flickr, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram feed featured 1000s of photos tagged #discovertheforest.

Imagine if they selected the best visitor photo of the week and profiled it on their homepage.

Imagine if the USDA published a book of the best photos to share the beauty of America’s wilderness. Before the book even hit the shelves it would have 1000s of fans, each one telling friends and family about their photo on page 23.

Just imagine what curation could do.

Bu,t this is just an imagination, what could be rather than what is; because too many brands are stuck in that old model of Brand Management.

We should never lose sight of the fact that stories don’t exist to support the organization, the organization exists to support the stories.

Brand Democracy: The Presentation

customer hero brand storytelling

Find Out More About Brand Democracy

What is Brand Democracy?

Brand Democracy is a bottom-up approach to marketing practiced by brands like GoPro, Zappos, Instagram, Lego and Monster Energy Drinks. Where brand management focuses on top-down brand positioning, Brand Democracy seeks to create the brand through customer conversations and interactions. Rather than managing the brand, the company curates this peer-to-peer communication by giving customers tools and a platform to share their individual stories.

Brands Mentioned in The Guide

Air New Zealand, Apple, BBDO, Burger King NZ, Coke, DeBeers, Facebook, Federal Credit Union, Goldman Sachs, GoPro, Harry Potter, IBM, Instagram, JP Morgan, KFC Philippines, Kodak, Lego, Mastercard, Max India, Microsoft, Minecraft, Monster Energy, MTV, Nokia, Pepsi, South West Airlines, Starbucks, Star Trek, USDA Forest & Parks Service, Youtube, Zappos.

Get the Complete Brand Democracy Guide: PDF, Audiobook + Presentation

Brand Democracy Book Graham Brown

What's Inside the Complete Guide?

* 100 Page PDF book for your computer or tablet (value $17)
* 1hr 38min Audiobook for your smartphone, desktop or car (value $27)
* Presentation to share with colleagues and use in your own marketing material (value $95)


or Sign Up to My Newsletter and get a free sample



]]>
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Stories Join the Dots http://www.grahamdbrown.com/stories-join-dots/ http://www.grahamdbrown.com/stories-join-dots/#respond Sat, 22 Nov 2014 02:48:02 +0000 http://www.grahamdbrown.com/?p=4672

By: Courtney Rhodes

How Stories Shape Our Emotion

On Sep 11th 2001, the world witnessed the horror of the attack on the World Trade Center in New York.

Millions were glued to their screens, in shock.

Many wept because Americans were suffering, dying, scared.

Many wept because human beings were suffering, dying, scared.

Last week, a careless driver nearly swiped the side of marketing exec Penny’s car on the highway. Fortunately there were no injuries or accident of sorts. The driver of the BMW 3 series was talking on the phone, momentarily lost concentration and swerved into Penny’s car lane. Enraged, Penny pulled up beside the BMW and shouted at the driver, who rather discourteously returned an obscene gesture and drove off.

These two incidences are unconnected in every aspect except one: the stories we tell.

From an early age, children learn the stories of what it is to be American. They empathize with other Americans. They seem themselves as part of a connected family with shared ideals, morals and beliefs.

When Americans suffer, those stories make us feel the pain. Yet, at an individual level we would readily walk past them in the street without even a second glance or cut them up in traffic or trade obscene gestures.

We suffer when they suffer but readily ignore them in the street.

Why?

Stories Help Us Belong to Tribes and Groups

I often wonder at this seemingly obvious discrepancy in human nature.

The truth is perhaps difficult for people to take in: what we really care about isn’t the plight of other people but where we fit into the world. We care about the stories that help us belong.

And likewise, in the marketing world, we don’t really care about the environment, saving the world or the education of little kids in Africa, we only care about how these stories help us belong.

Would people so readily donate money to ALS if their ice bucket challenge wasn’t shared on social media?

Probably not.

But rather than get upset at revealing our rather un-altruistic human nature, let’s look at how it works to our benefit, as marketers.

Marketing Stories Help Us Belong Too

When BBDO crafted the seminal ad campaign “The Pepsi Generation” they created a story that gave a whole demographic a voice.

It was a story of active fun, the blue skies of the Pacific and living for the moment. Before the Second World War, this demographic was considered simply “children”. In their own minds, teens were too worldly to be children and too carefree to be adults, yet media rarely recognized their story. When Pepsi joined the dots, they helped shape a generation.

Stories can connect demographics and countries. For the last 30 years, however, marketing has been moving away from traditional models of segmentation towards one based on feeling.

At the end of 1983, Steve Jobs (then CEO of Apple) wrote,

“It is now 1984. It appears IBM wants it all. Apple is perceived to be the only hope to offer IBM a run for its money. Dealers initially welcoming IBM with open arms now fear an IBM dominated and controlled future. They are increasingly turning back to Apple as the only force that can ensure their future freedom. IBM wants it all and is aiming its guns on its last obstacle to industry control: Apple. Will Big Blue dominate the entire computer industry? The entire information age? Was George Orwell right about 1984?”

What followed was the infamous 1984 ad campaign featuring the Apple Macintosh heroine figure smashing the “Big Brother” screen of IBM with a sledgehammer.

Apple wasn’t carving out a generation but, rather, joining a group of disparate dots: programmers disenchanted with IBM’s monopolistic practices, designers who felt IBM hampered their creativity and business people who identified with the story of the underdog.

Marketers: Learn How to Tell Stories in the Social Era

Sign up to my Digital Ape newsletter today and get a free sample of this book "Brand Democracy: How to Tell Stories in the Social Era". Plus, get weekly updates on the latest marketing trends.

Click Here to Get the Sample PDF
Brand Democracy Book Graham Brown

How Stories Join the Dots

Stories join the dots.

Stories create tribes, identities and communities.

Stories bring people together to share ideas, happiness and pain.

And this is the space that brands need to fill in our lives.

Every brand has the ability to give people the tools to join the dots: help customers tell their story.

Brand Democracy: The Presentation

customer hero brand storytelling

Find Out More About Brand Democracy

What is Brand Democracy?

Brand Democracy is a bottom-up approach to marketing practiced by brands like GoPro, Zappos, Instagram, Lego and Monster Energy Drinks. Where brand management focuses on top-down brand positioning, Brand Democracy seeks to create the brand through customer conversations and interactions. Rather than managing the brand, the company curates this peer-to-peer communication by giving customers tools and a platform to share their individual stories.

Brands Mentioned in The Guide

Air New Zealand, Apple, BBDO, Burger King NZ, Coke, DeBeers, Facebook, Federal Credit Union, Goldman Sachs, GoPro, Harry Potter, IBM, Instagram, JP Morgan, KFC Philippines, Kodak, Lego, Mastercard, Max India, Microsoft, Minecraft, Monster Energy, MTV, Nokia, Pepsi, South West Airlines, Starbucks, Star Trek, USDA Forest & Parks Service, Youtube, Zappos.

Get the Complete Brand Democracy Guide: PDF, Audiobook + Presentation

Brand Democracy Book Graham Brown

What's Inside the Complete Guide?

* 100 Page PDF book for your computer or tablet (value $17)
* 1hr 38min Audiobook for your smartphone, desktop or car (value $27)
* Presentation to share with colleagues and use in your own marketing material (value $95)


or Sign Up to My Newsletter and get a free sample



]]>
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The 7 Awesome Ways GoPro Wins in the Sharing Economy (Presentation) http://www.grahamdbrown.com/go-pro-awesome-presentation/ http://www.grahamdbrown.com/go-pro-awesome-presentation/#respond Fri, 21 Nov 2014 12:57:48 +0000 http://www.grahamdbrown.com/?p=5591 Please like and share this presentation

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Your Customer Asks, “Where am I in this Story?” http://www.grahamdbrown.com/customer-asks-story/ http://www.grahamdbrown.com/customer-asks-story/#respond Thu, 20 Nov 2014 01:23:49 +0000 http://www.grahamdbrown.com/?p=4659 where am i in this story?

Where’s the One with Me in it?

If you’re on the wrong side of 30, like me, you’ll remember what photos looked like when you had them printed out.

You’d take that roll of film out of the camera and mail it off to the developers. You’d include your payment, often a check and then wait.

28 days later, your photos came back. And that was a big deal. It was exciting. Friends invited you to their house to see their photos. And there you were, holding a wallet of photos in your hand from a party 6 weeks ago flipping through each one.

Each one is interesting.

Interesting, interesting, interesting… but all along you’re thinking, “Where’s the one with me in it?”

It’s the same way of thinking when we see that message pop up on our smartphone or that red light notification fairy on Facebook. You know just how disappointed you feel when it’s not about you.

You feel duped, betrayed and robbed even.

You curse at the marketer for wasting 3 seconds of your precious time.

Marketing is a Promise

But it’s not just 3 seconds.

It’s about the promise.

When you invited your friend to your house to view your photos. You made an implicit promise that she was in them. Otherwise, she’s going to go away disappointed.

When you interrupted a prospect to tell them something, you made them a promise that you weren’t going to waste their time. And the quickest and most annoying way to waste their time, is to make the marketing irrelevant, or in our current parlance… not about them.

And this is how we view marketing today as customers.

We don’t willingly sit in front of the silver screen anymore soaking up whatever it has to offer.

We don’t talk about ads like we used to.

We don’t wake up thinking about brands anymore.

Customers today look at your marketing and ask, “where am I in this story?”

AWARENESS vs ATTENTION MARKETING

Awareness based Attention based
Key Metrics Top of mind, awareness, market share, brand recall, eyeballs, brand equity Recommendation, engagement, loyalty
Key Emotion Being liked Being loved
Key strategies Paid Media: media buys, volume, Big Ideas, sponsorship, celebrity Earned Media: word of mouth, referral, education, recommendation
Distribution Broadcast: one-to-one or one-to-many Peer-to-peer: many-to-many

TOP DOWN vs BOTTOM UP STORYTELLING

TOP-DOWN BOTTOM-UP
Format Agency originated Big Idea Customer-to-customer conversations
Frequency During campaign Everyday
Number of narratives One official narrative Multiple unofficial narratives
Hero of the story? Brand Customer
Subject of story About the brand and the Big Idea Customer's daily life
Role of brand in story Control: tightly manage the narrative around brand's interest Curation: give customers tools to tell their own story and a platform to share

Marketers: Learn How to Tell Stories in the Social Era

Sign up to my Digital Ape newsletter today and get a free sample of this book "Brand Democracy: How to Tell Stories in the Social Era". Plus, get weekly updates on the latest marketing trends.

Click Here to Get the Sample PDF
Brand Democracy Book Graham Brown

Brand Democracy: The Presentation

customer hero brand storytelling

Find Out More About Brand Democracy

What is Brand Democracy?

Brand Democracy is a bottom-up approach to marketing practiced by brands like GoPro, Zappos, Instagram, Lego and Monster Energy Drinks. Where brand management focuses on top-down brand positioning, Brand Democracy seeks to create the brand through customer conversations and interactions. Rather than managing the brand, the company curates this peer-to-peer communication by giving customers tools and a platform to share their individual stories.

Brands Mentioned in The Guide

Air New Zealand, Apple, BBDO, Burger King NZ, Coke, DeBeers, Facebook, Federal Credit Union, Goldman Sachs, GoPro, Harry Potter, IBM, Instagram, JP Morgan, KFC Philippines, Kodak, Lego, Mastercard, Max India, Microsoft, Minecraft, Monster Energy, MTV, Nokia, Pepsi, South West Airlines, Starbucks, Star Trek, USDA Forest & Parks Service, Youtube, Zappos.

Get the Complete Brand Democracy Guide: PDF, Audiobook + Presentation

Brand Democracy Book Graham Brown

What's Inside the Complete Guide?

* 100 Page PDF book for your computer or tablet (value $17)
* 1hr 38min Audiobook for your smartphone, desktop or car (value $27)
* Presentation to share with colleagues and use in your own marketing material (value $95)


or Sign Up to My Newsletter and get a free sample



]]>
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In modern brand narrative, the customer is the hero of the story http://www.grahamdbrown.com/modern-brand-narrative-customer-hero-story/ http://www.grahamdbrown.com/modern-brand-narrative-customer-hero-story/#respond Tue, 18 Nov 2014 20:16:43 +0000 http://www.grahamdbrown.com/?p=4569 customer is the hero of the story

WHO IS THE HERO OF THE MODERN BRAND STORY?

“Can you hear that noise?” asked Huffington Post writer Sara Nelson.

“It’s the sound of my heart shattering into a thousand pieces after watching this footage of a firefighter rescuing an unconscious kitten from a burning house.”

She’s talking about a video on Youtube. It’s made by Cory Kalanick, a Californian firefighter. After responding to a distress call to a burning house in Fresno, his team entered the property to find it empty except, that is, for an unconscious kitten lying helpless on the floor. Kalanick rushed the cat outside and managed to resuscitate it with an oxygen mask and a bottle of cold water.

The dramatic events were all captured by a GoPro Hero3 camera attached to the firefighter’s helmet. Within 3 months of uploading, Kalanick’s rescue video had 1.5 million views on Youtube. A year later, the story continues to get shared and liked. It now has over 22 million.

While it’s clear from the description that the video was made with a GoPro, the hero of this story isn’t GoPro but Kalanick. Even when GoPro contacted Kalanick to use the footage as an “official” GoPro ad on Youtube, the format remained the same.

I wrote earlier that marketing is, and always will be, about storytelling.

The change in today’s marketing landscape is a shift in how these stories are told.

This isn’t a shift in the choice of media. We are not moving from traditional media to social media. That is happening, but that’s not the shift in storytelling.

Who is Telling the Story?

The shift in storytelling is in mindset: who is telling the story?

In the 20th century model of marketing, the brand was the hero of the story.

Think bank to all those groundbreaking ad campaigns of your youth:

Tony the Tiger was grrreeeat.

Nokia was connecting people.

…and Clairol was, “Does she? Doesn’t she?

Every marketing story was about the brand itself: the brand mascot or logo, the brand’s “big idea” or generally how our lives revolved around that brand.

BRAND MANAGEMENT vs BRAND DEMOCRACY

Brand Management Brand Democracy
Visualization Loudspeaker Telephone
Who defines the story? Creative agency, brand manager Fans
Narrative Tell the official brand story Fans tell their own unofficial stories
Model Centralized. Top-down. Monolithic De-centralized. Bottom-up. Pluralistic
Distribution Broadcast: one-to-one or one-to-many Peer-to-peer: many-to-many
How it works Tell 'em you're cool, Tell 'em in a BIG way, keep telling 'em Give the Fans the tools to help tell their story
Economics Based on shortage of shelf space and an abundance of attention Based on shortage of attention and an abundance of shelf space
Tactics Paid media: "Have a conversation with customers", campaigns, PR, celebrity endorsement, The Big Idea Earned media: Help customers have a conversation with each other, grass roots movements
Metrics Top of mind, recall, market share, awareness, brand equity Recommendation, Net Promoter Score, Earned Media Indexes

Marketers: Learn How to Tell Stories in the Social Era

Sign up to my Digital Ape newsletter today and get a free sample of this book "Brand Democracy: How to Tell Stories in the Social Era". Plus, get weekly updates on the latest marketing trends.

Click Here to Get the Sample PDF
Brand Democracy Book Graham Brown

The End of Hero Brands

Hero brands became famous, won awards and boosted the careers of celebrated creative directors.

No wonder, advertising magazines still talk about hero brands with a touch of reverence.It’s as if these campaigns were a paragon of excellence to be emulated, yet never surpassed, by today’s upstart social media marketers.

In today’s media landscape, however, the rules have changed.

In the modern brand narrative, the hero of the story is Kalanick; it’s the customer.

Yes, we watch multi million dollar ad campaigns and talk about the SuperBowl the next day, but when those days turn into weeks, the conversation tapers off. We forget. Will people still be talking about Superbowl ads a year later like they are with Kalanick’s video?

What we’re left with are the stories about us, because that’s all we really care about.

Media like Youtube gives people the power to tell their own stories: they don’t need to wait to be picked by a commissioning editor to get those stories produced; they don’t need to hire a video production engineer or a film crew; and they don’t need to buy their way into relationships with media distributors.

So where’s the good news?

This sounds like brands are being sidelined, no?

That’s not how brands should see it.

In this modern media landscape, brands don’t have to be the hero anymore. And there’s the good news. Being the hero is risky: it costs a lot of money and is often fraught with failure.

There are a billion or more potential producers out there just like Kalanick. Each one of them has an authentic story to tell and a trusted network to share it with. Official brand stories just can’t compete anymore with this cognitive surplus of creativity. And why should they? They can benefit from this groundswell of storytelling if they adopt a curative not controlling model.

You can’t solicit all the benefits of social media without adopting the mindset of Brand Democracy.

Brands that don’t get it, i.e. those that take to social media to talk about themselves (like JPMorgan), or use it to interrupt the conversation of others (KFC Philippines or SpaghettiOs) get burned.

And that is the shift in mindset I am writing about. Can you allow customers to become that hero, no matter how unofficial their version of the story is?

Brand Democracy: The Presentation

customer hero brand storytelling

Find Out More About Brand Democracy

What is Brand Democracy?

Brand Democracy is a bottom-up approach to marketing practiced by brands like GoPro, Zappos, Instagram, Lego and Monster Energy Drinks. Where brand management focuses on top-down brand positioning, Brand Democracy seeks to create the brand through customer conversations and interactions. Rather than managing the brand, the company curates this peer-to-peer communication by giving customers tools and a platform to share their individual stories.

Brands Mentioned in The Guide

Air New Zealand, Apple, BBDO, Burger King NZ, Coke, DeBeers, Facebook, Federal Credit Union, Goldman Sachs, GoPro, Harry Potter, IBM, Instagram, JP Morgan, KFC Philippines, Kodak, Lego, Mastercard, Max India, Microsoft, Minecraft, Monster Energy, MTV, Nokia, Pepsi, South West Airlines, Starbucks, Star Trek, USDA Forest & Parks Service, Youtube, Zappos.

Get the Complete Brand Democracy Guide: PDF, Audiobook + Presentation

Brand Democracy Book Graham Brown

What's Inside the Complete Guide?

* 100 Page PDF book for your computer or tablet (value $17)
* 1hr 38min Audiobook for your smartphone, desktop or car (value $27)
* Presentation to share with colleagues and use in your own marketing material (value $95)


or Sign Up to My Newsletter and get a free sample



]]>
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Forget Awareness: Measure How Many People Will Miss Your Brand When it’s not There http://www.grahamdbrown.com/forget-awareness/ http://www.grahamdbrown.com/forget-awareness/#respond Mon, 17 Nov 2014 17:48:02 +0000 http://www.grahamdbrown.com/?p=4679

By: the great 8

How Lego Creates a Space for Fans to Connect

“The ReBrick website is made and facilitated by the LEGO Group, but ReBrick is not part of LEGO.com. While LEGO.com is for children (of all ages), ReBrick caters to teenagers and adults. There’s no commercial agenda. The site will never be used by the LEGO Group to promote LEGO sets.”

Taken from the rebrick.lego.com website.

The Lego Lightsaber is an idea submitted by Scott34567 on the Lego Ideas website.

Lego Ideas is a crowdsourcing platform for Lego fans, where fans can vote on their own projects. Lego selects and reviews the best projects with a view to developing commercial prototypes.

The Lightsaber has over 1,000 fan comments and more than 10,000 upvotes. Once ideas hit 10K, Lego stops counting; but at that point they are selected for official consideration.

How Dell Failed to Connect

Years ago, I worked with Dell on Ideastorm. It was a similar idea. Dell “crowdsourced” customer ideas from printer hacks to Bluetooth devices. Dell’s platform, however, failed.

Why?

Because Dell wasn’t able to join the dots. For Dell, the platform was a project rather than the core to their being. Dell used the platform to discover new ideas which, as an objective in itself, is a noble one. The problem is, however, that Dell wasn’t able to deliver. When ideas got pushed up to product managers, they hit a wall of bureaucracy. Dell’s Ideastorm became just another ball for product managers to juggle in the air. They had plenty to deal with already.

Ideastorm didn’t make life easier, it became more work.

For Lego, however, the strategy is different. Lego Ideas isn’t a source of ideas, it’s their business. Because Lego managers are out there in the community they don’t see these ideas as “more work” filling up their inbox. Instead, these ideas make life easier. Successful ideas have more support from day one, they fail less and much of the traditional cost of R&D is stripped out of the process already.

How Lego Leverages Fan Ecosystems

Case in point: Lego Minecraft.

Could there be a better symbiotic relationship out there between the marriage of offline and online blocks?

In the Ideastorm model, Minecraft would attract interest but fail to deliver. Fans would get disappointed, disillusioned and ultimately angry. Dell would lose those customers, encourage negative PR and stress out its managers.

In the Lego model, it’s likely that a lot of the managers would actually love Minecraft too. Their children play Minecraft. They empathize with the stories of “crafties” because they’re out there talking to people like them on a daily basis.

Lego Minecraft, created by Mojang, was one of the first breakthrough projects submitted to the Ideas website. With over 10,000 upvotes, Minecraft has 3,000+ comments and over 1 million views. Mojang is the owner of the Minecraft franchise and throwing its weight behind the Lego website, Mojang brought with it a plug-n-play fan base of millions.

Comments include:

“I am so going to buy this!”
And,
“I like Minecraft, too. You are right, Lego and Minecraft were meant to be together.”
And,
“hey mojang im just saying I think there shoud be rabbits and ender dragon spawn eggs in the next update”

The last point is perhaps the most relevant.

Everybody gets their say.

You may not agree with the customer stories being told, but you have to be cool with it.

BRAND MANAGEMENT vs BRAND DEMOCRACY

Brand Management Brand Democracy
Visualization Loudspeaker Telephone
Who defines the story? Creative agency, brand manager Fans
Narrative Tell the official brand story Fans tell their own unofficial stories
Model Centralized. Top-down. Monolithic De-centralized. Bottom-up. Pluralistic
Distribution Broadcast: one-to-one or one-to-many Peer-to-peer: many-to-many
How it works Tell 'em you're cool, Tell 'em in a BIG way, keep telling 'em Give the Fans the tools to help tell their story
Economics Based on shortage of shelf space and an abundance of attention Based on shortage of attention and an abundance of shelf space
Tactics Paid media: "Have a conversation with customers", campaigns, PR, celebrity endorsement, The Big Idea Earned media: Help customers have a conversation with each other, grass roots movements
Metrics Top of mind, recall, market share, awareness, brand equity Recommendation, Net Promoter Score, Earned Media Indexes

Marketers: Learn How to Tell Stories like Lego in the Social Era

Sign up to my Digital Ape newsletter today and get a free sample of this book "Brand Democracy: How to Tell Stories in the Social Era". Plus, get weekly updates on the latest marketing trends.

Click Here to Get the Sample PDF
Brand Democracy Book Graham Brown

How Lego Joined the Dots

What Lego has excelled at doing through sites like Rebrick and Ideas is joining the dots. Everybody gets the tools they need to tell their story.

And that is Brand Democracy at work.

As of today, there are over 8000 fan submitted projects still in the voting stage (or “gathering support” as Ideas calls it). Projects range from color sudoka to replica Neuschwanstein castles. It’s not just about submitting ideas, it’s about creating conversations. With each project there is a discussion: fans from other websites pour in to support and bump up their causes. As Fans take their conversations offsite and influence others to get involved, they debate technicalities like what should and shouldn’t feature in the sets. Should Minecraft Creepers have bigger heads? How do you best recreate an underwater Geodesic dome with Lego bricks? How does Lego best represent a Minecraft Zombie, or even a floating or invisible element? It’s almost as if the design and purchase of the product is secondary to the conversation about it.

If Lego were to view Rebrick or Ideas through the traditional Brand Management model, it’s unlikely these fans would be compelled to create and share like they do. It’s unlikely Mojang would throw its weight behind the Minecraft project on Ideas and suck in hundreds of thousands of Crafties into the Lego portal.

Lego doesn’t use these platforms to drown out fan narratives with their loud, official brand story, their product launches or their latest memos. It’s very tempting, but saying “no” is key to growing Brand Democracy.

Lego Doesn’t Use Social Media to Sell but to Connect

And that’s just fine because the goal isn’t to convert every touchpoint into a sales opportunity but to make Lego Ideas a part of their life. The measure of marketing success in the Brand Democracy model isn’t awareness, as it was in the era of Brand Management, but as Seth Godin points out, the extent to which “people will miss it when it’s not there”.

People will sure miss Ideas if Lego ever pulled the plug.

What Lego provides to the mix is the platform and the tools.

Once Lego has provided the platform, they can step back and watch the magic happen.

And the magic happens.

In marketing today, attention is your biggest cost and retention is the new acquisition.

This fundamental shift in the fitness landscape means only those brands who understand that nurturing relationships and giving people a voice on their platform will win. They will win because customers will only pay attention to their trusted network and their trusted network will only share stories *they* are part of.

We need to create platforms and tools not campaigns and Big Ideas.

We need to create marketing that customers will miss when it’s gone not campaigns that will win us awards.

And, we need to move from viewing people as destinations for our marketing messages to partners in its production.

Brand Democracy: The Presentation

customer hero brand storytelling

Find Out More About Brand Democracy

What is Brand Democracy?

Brand Democracy is a bottom-up approach to marketing practiced by brands like GoPro, Zappos, Instagram, Lego and Monster Energy Drinks. Where brand management focuses on top-down brand positioning, Brand Democracy seeks to create the brand through customer conversations and interactions. Rather than managing the brand, the company curates this peer-to-peer communication by giving customers tools and a platform to share their individual stories.

Brands Mentioned in The Guide

Air New Zealand, Apple, BBDO, Burger King NZ, Coke, DeBeers, Facebook, Federal Credit Union, Goldman Sachs, GoPro, Harry Potter, IBM, Instagram, JP Morgan, KFC Philippines, Kodak, Lego, Mastercard, Max India, Microsoft, Minecraft, Monster Energy, MTV, Nokia, Pepsi, South West Airlines, Starbucks, Star Trek, USDA Forest & Parks Service, Youtube, Zappos.

Get the Complete Brand Democracy Guide: PDF, Audiobook + Presentation

Brand Democracy Book Graham Brown

What's Inside the Complete Guide?

* 100 Page PDF book for your computer or tablet (value $17)
* 1hr 38min Audiobook for your smartphone, desktop or car (value $27)
* Presentation to share with colleagues and use in your own marketing material (value $95)


or Sign Up to My Newsletter and get a free sample



]]>
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