Brand as a Destination

I work for an agency who produce digital marketing communications for a major UK brewer. It affords us the opportunity to do some really nice creative work. Which is nice.

But I do wonder how effective these pieces are. By saying effective, I mean effective as providing something of use or amusement to their customer base. Building relationships. Not shouting in peoples faces about brand values.

People use the internet to get information, to socialise and to be entertained. Not to be advertised at. This is not a user goal and never will be. Why would you ever want to visit a brands marketing site? Well… unless they are a brand geek I suppose. Which, admittedly, there are quite a few of.

But anyways… that right buggers up the point I’m trying to make.

As in the real world a brand should not be a destination. They should be supportive and associative rather than the main attraction. The guy who tacks themselves on to cool things to make himself look cool. Cool through association. This isn’t by any means a new idea but something that has been missed in translation from off-line to on-line marketing.

No one really cares about going to visit “what a brand has to say about itself”. This has and never will be the case. GEES, GET OVER YOUR BRAND ALREADY!

Be a corporation that puts it’s customers first and the brand second.

You’re just a self indulgent git and no one wants to be your friend.

A super method to check if brand is communicating in a non selfish manner is to give the brand a personality (Around half way down the page). How would you describe them? Are they selfish. Is everything all about them. Me me me!! They don’t really care about what I need! I would definitely attribute a lot of these negative personality traits to most brands I work on. In fact I want to slap some of them in the face with a large haddock. That’d learn them. That’d learn them good.

You’re a real super guy?

Burger King get this right and I suspect are very effective in digital brand communication whilst garnering a barrel load of email addresses too boot. Subconsciously and irrationally people think Burger King are a nice guy for giving them such entertaining play things and not putting up a “brand barrier”. Most importantly, not putting their brand first.

These sites are great examples of putting the brand second and the customers first;

http://www.petmoustache.com/
http://www.subservientchicken.com/

Though these pieces might not on the surface seem to effect the bottom line for these brands they do an amazing job in building reciprocity and concession. People can’t help but feel they are indebted to Burger King for giving them such wonderful and amusing gifts. Again, not a new technique, but something that’s been lost in translation.

To summarise, we need to guide brands in how to communicate online. They know how to do all this stuff already. It’s nothing new, they just need to apply the same strategies online.

Listening to a Waiter

Great piece on copy writing for the web. Outlines the utilisation of positive communication techniques to influence behaviour.

  • Invocation of a Higher Power (Our chef recommends…)
  • Everyone Else Is Doing It (Everyone who orders the glazed grouper loves it.)
  • The Feel-Good Event of the Year (So, gentlemen… is everything delicious?)

http://www.problogger.net/archives/2009/06/03/how-listening-to-a-waiter-can-jack-your-profits-up-33/

Harry Patch (In Memory Of)

harry

Radiohead’s tribute to the late Harry Patch. http://download.waste.uk.com/Store/did.html

Harry’s original interview http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/today/listenagain/ram/today1_ww1_20051224.ram

Harry Patch (In Memory Of)
I am the only one that got through
The others died where ever they fell
It was an ambush
They came up from all sides
Give your leaders each a gun and then let them fight it out themselves
I’ve seen devils coming up from the ground
I’ve seen hell upon this earth
The next will be chemical but they will never learn