Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Brand comedians

A lot of brilliant viral work I see simply serves to humanise a brand by letting people know it's intelligent and has a sense of humour. If a brand is seen to be observing the world like consumers do, then bingo. It's not a brand, it's just some people, but anyway.

I've thought that a good thing for a brand to have might be an in-house tream consisting of a Jack of all trades cameraman/producer/soundman as well as a couple of actor-comedians. These guys could simply talk about the world on behalf of the brand. They should be free to comment on whatever they want. There should be initial agreement on some basic groundrules of 'how does this brand actually behave?', but really, it'd be up to the people who employed the team to make sure they were the right personalities for what the internal stakeholders wanted to acheive.

It doesn't fit very well into a short termist, self destructing philosophy of most organisations, but really, people should start out doing what they do. Acting on what they believe in, if they believe in a product or service, they'll make it. They'll make it how they believe it should be made. As it grows, they'll need to hire more people who believe the same or similar things about how to make a product or service to them.

Previously, this wasn't possible, as geographical boundaries capped the amount of people with similar beliefs or value systems to the area that you were in. Not any more.

To the people that started this company which sells something they believe in, one thing they have to remember is that all through the genesis of it, they were shifting and changing what it should be, and to stop that would be sinful. New people, who are aligned at the fundamental level would bring new change and new shifts to the whole process. People shouldn't be precious, and they should appreciate the subtlety surrounding people's wants. This will help them cater for even more people, as value sets aren't separate in humans, they merge and overlap like a massive ven diagram.

This is however, finite. Value sets don't overlap infinitely. You will end up where the product or service is relevant to X people but not Y. This is okay. There is no such thing as a mass market and I think everything will begin to look even LESS like one in years to come.

I believe the way we grow up will mean that there are only a finite amount of people who deeply care about the aesthetics and ergonimics of the computer they're using, that's fine. That's why Apple might never get to everyone, and it's okay. There should just be another purely thought out solution on the other side, I suppose there is, by accident - cheaply made pcs, software that 'does the job'.

A brand should exist because the personalities and the viewpoints of the people who run the company shine through in everything about the product or service. (this screws up when things get bigger...) but really, all that happens with a successful product or brand like Apple is that the consumers are aligned with the vision of the company. A lot of people who use Apple products would probably quite like to WORK at Apple...because there are shared values.

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