Brand Personalisation. I believe we are in the age of the more Personal Brand. Commoditisation and abundance of choice is permeating and defining every aspect of daily life and business. Style, taste, identity and individualism have become central to what we expect from our experiences in health care, learning, or place of work and in business, love relationships casual and long-term, news, clothing, food, travel, home furnishings, communication, sports, entertainment, sexuality, spirituality, birth, marriage, (hatch) babies and even the end (dispatch) burials.
Twenty years ago, in the social mainstream, this wasn’t the case. Subculturalists, the hip and the cool were particularly picky and informed about their purchases, but the average consumer had a less refined sense of assembling their self through products and services. In short they believed, accepted and trusted advertising.
Today, instant communication social media has blown the doors clear off of the old-world media acceptance, the advertising industry are struggling to change their push marketing habits to the pull marketing with meaningful and resonating brand development.
Taste gurus, micro-brands, blogs, chatters, friends, tweeters, citizen journalists and the search-ability of style have forever changed the how, what, where, when and why of choice and consumption. In short we have become media, we are less accepting of what we are told, healthy skepticism proliferates.
In the new free-for-all of ideas, opinions, reviews and experiences, individuals with greater access to information strive to define and display their Personal Brand. Niche is the norm. Cool is hyper-commoditised and branding becomes as much a bottom-up phenomenon for customers as a top-down priority for is for organisations.
One result is that we have become desperate to socialise the profane. Distracted by the pace of change, unfulfilled in our personal lives and feeling disempowered by our work, many of us turn to celebrities, rock stars, designers and brands to cultivate more meaning in life. But when work is empowering and life is meaningful, interest and engagement in high-consumption lifestyles will wane. De-marketing I think will eventually happen. But not today.
Brand Personalisation. Was Bill Foster the main disenchanted character played by Michael Douglas in the 1993 film ‘Falling Down’ really how we all felt at the time?
[Foster picks up the flat hamburger he just ordered, comparing it to the picture behind the counter] Bill Foster: It’s plump, juicy, three inches thick. Look at this sorry, miserable, squashed thing. Can anybody tell me what’s wrong with this picture?
Would the 1993 Bill Foster have had a melt down if he could have openly ‘shared’ his issues with life, soulless and insincere products and services, if there was the mainstream internet and social media at that time? I have a feeling he would have become a compelling citizen journalist communicating a compelling ‘truth.’
Brand Personalisation Customer Satisfaction.
Today, consumers have their machine guns in their virtual space and boy do they use them when they are unhappy or feel duped, it’s in their pocket it’s call the smart phone. #crapservice #squashedburger #notliketheoneinthephotograph #brandname?
Looking back we were so ready for the internet, we had become the voiceless unhappy masses. Brand still worked with the old models which drew strongly from, in essence the Nazi propaganda machine style of communication of ‘sell the dream and damn the truth’, yes the US did not only get the rocket scientists.
Brand Personalisation. A brand’s role I believe now is to help to create genuine meanings in everyday life through commodities. The more skeptical consumer now has the power and information and will decide on what your brand is unless, you listen and create relevance to give people a sense of ownership. I think that a brand is only a true brand when it is spread compellingly by individual advocation and this should be the ultimate goal of any brand.
Any organisation investing in brand building basically has three simple reasons for doing so in the current world: to drive customer loyalty, to hold and maintain a price premium, or to increase revenue growth. I think the real challenge is not just building strong, meaningful, resonating brands but building them at a lower cost, faster and with more relevance than your competition.
Brand Personalisation. In my experience organisations accept this total change do not just succeed, they effortlessly lead and dominate their market sector.