Thursday, July 24, 2008

Selling Out

Earlier I took excessive umbrage at Jim Morris’s characterization of pop icons being “ruined” by their use (or over use) in advertising. This is not about that point, but rather about my defense of artists for making exactly as much money as possible from their work.

Why does that irritate people? A perfect DNT narrative right at my feet and I missed it.

One of the great challenges of what we used to call new media is that if you want to play, you have put some skin in the game. The business schools may still talk about managing a brand, but all you really can do is guide it. Then it goes out in the world and becomes its own thing.

Companies don’t own the brand anymore. At best, it’s like one of those joint custody decrees where she keeps buying them the latest cell phones and telling you the wrong time for the soccer game and … and … I digress.

But parents of teenagers will recognize this pattern.

Customers, just like music fans, feel ownership of the brand. I know guys who were Porsche aficionados for 30 years who scoffed at the thought of “their” brand introducing an SUV. They swore it would never fly. Well the Cayenne did. And it does. And it carries your groceries, too. Now, no matter where you live, you can get home before the ice cream melts.

The guys I knew, the Porsche fans, weren’t prepared for the change. Not a clue where they are now on the acceptance curve, but at that moment, they were disappointed. The Porsche brand meant something to THEM that was violated by four-wheel drive and room for groceries.

Just like Beatles fans and gym shoes.

So what about your audience? What’s their expectation? What’s their dominant narrative about your brand? And how do you get them to where you need them?

Still …

Springsteen? Really?

Save This Page

No comments: