Thursday, January 05, 2006

I'm breaking up with my brand

Let’s face it. A “brand relationship” is a fancy way of saying that someone out there likes your product. Honestly…when was the last time someone called and asked about how your relationship with your cell phone was going? Has anyone approached you in a bar and asked “what’s going on between you and that Bud Light?” Never.

The only time “brand relationships” are discussed is in the pages of books written by dead advertising executives and brand managers putting their accounts up for review. It’s an over-used term that is perpetuated by marketers who take themselves and their brands too seriously.

Today’s consumers aren’t looking for brand relationships. They’re looking for brands that enable them to be the people they want to be. Gone are the days when consumers tied themselves to a brand by the heartstrings or wore a brand like a badge. Consumers want to talk back and be listened to.

Today, if you’re not speaking how, when and where the consumer wants to hear it…you’re speaking to yourself. And if you’re not listening to what your consumer has to say the entire conversation will be lost.

The brand message is now controlled by the consumer. They decide how that message is received and how it is acted upon. Is it mocked? Is it ignored? Is it relevant? Is it even understood?
The game has changed. The rules are changing day by day. Can you stay in game?

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