Eric has mentioned your "light many fires" credo many times. Good advice Gareth.
Agreed. Seems pretty directly tied to the other number on the chart, that being "Splintering Target Audiences." Which one is causing which...?
Effectiveness = Authenticity. Brands have always been about relevancy and distinctiveness. In this age of hyper-abundance, establishing relevancy isn't the issue. However, authentic, enduring connections are more valuable, sustainable (and hence profitable) than ever.
Really interesting comment on importance of assessing "Barriers to Exit." Especially when looking to steal share from an incumbent, which is so often the case. Makes me think that one way to define an interesting market opportunity is to identify strength of exit barriers. Big markets that aren't so hard to leave are potentially markets worth thinking about. Although I suppose that also defines many commodity markets.
It's amazing to me how much commentary the "consistency" point has generated. Probably because so many involved with brand building over the years have both worshiped at the altar of consistency, while simultaneously feeling incredibly handcuffed by the reality of it all.
Yes, I too was initially shocked. But when you think about it, this represents a really major shift for corporate marketing. Their job has traditionally been about controlling the message, which is all about execution. As the job description shifts to inspiring and facilitating a conversation (although likely one with guard rails) the role is more important than ever. But the task changes significantly. We're all slow to change...
I too was shocked. However, based on much of the other findings having to do with organizational alignment and involvement issues, I suspect the "limitations" have to do with moving from the research based insight to organizational buy-in and consistent implementation.
So I think we're all in agreement (more or less) that the days of the Corporate "Brand Cop" are numbered. But a big, relevant and consistently articulated brand vision is more important than ever!
I also think it's partially all in how one uses traditional channels in unconventional ways. Hard to write off something that's still so pervasive in our culture. Question really becomes one of how to use the media differently.
"Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." -- Emerson ;-)
Rising influence of social media goes hand in hand with media fragmentation...of course resulting in diminishing advertising returns and splintering audiences...I love it when the puzzle comes together!
Agreed on the semantics point. Perhaps a different way to think about is that brands like Virgin and Apple are consistently surprising. Rather than defining their brand essence around consistent functional or product definitions and associations, they link their brands to a deeper, more fundamental customer relationship that allows them to expand from airlines to wedding planning...while of course remaining consistent with their core brand position.
In my mind, it's good to see that marketers are keeping a balanced perspective about consumer generated content. It usually makes the most sense when it contributes to conveying a bigger idea.
A client once said "The days of the 'light switch brands' are over." Meaning, the goal of having a big integrated campaign all launch at once, with ducks lined up in a row is both hard to achieve and perhaps not worth the effort since it may end-up feeling overly commercial. Versus more authentic forms of engagement naturally occur over time in a much more organic manner.
This will be a tough one for marketers to swallow, as it requires rethinking fundamental roles. When a CMO really embraces this idea, s/he moves from a primary role of gatekeeper to more of a facilitator. And the strategy becomes less about consistency and more about inspiration and engagement.