I wrote this article in 2008 as a young marketer obsessed with the academic theory of Marketing as well as the Global & Local Brand Management & Marketing environment. It's surreal reading through it today; 7 Years to the day it was first published and seeing some how some of the commentary and nuggets in the article ring true in the World we live in today...
“Whether through social networking communities or a simple e-mail address book, the power of 1 can overnight become the power of 10, 20…
6 7 Billion;who all wield tremendous influence for causes, ideas, beliefs and of course Brands.”
Ordinarily, I’d walk into your reception with a bullet proof demeanor; the kind that usually accompanies Presidents and Superheroes; The kind our rappers here in Nigeria call swagger. But lately I’ve been feeling blue.
Idiots are taking over the World! Soporifics are reigning supreme!! The mediocrity of our ‘mAD’ men encouraged by even more mediocre clients is now the more profound!!!
Granted, the World is peopled with an insane amount of idiocy, it’s unsettling and very worrying! I mean I consider myself antediluvian, sort of; I know who Anita Baker is, and I know that Dionne Warwick is not a town in Suffolk. I have a Blackberry, and can at least send an e-Mail; with attachments!
But the foolishness I’m made to encounter daily due to the nature of my volunteer work is to say the least, shocking!
Very recently, well maybe 2 years ago, I came across the Infinite Monkey Theorem. This single experience put into proper perspective all preconceived notions I had about Branding touch points and the relevance of their interactions with people, especially through the course of my work with Brands.
Simply put, it generally posited that even though most of the World is made up of morons, with sufficient prodding and coaxing, people could actually churn out incredible ‘Shakespeare genius’ style stuff.
The tandem of Rebranding and CMO’s all over the World’s favorite, Strategy; have conspired to enable Brands become like Switzerland -- not standing for anything!
It now seems that no week goes by, without a Business entity, company or product concern Rebranding! So rife is the fad now that even Brand new companies rebrand!! And true to type, trust our financial services sector to as usual, take the lead, along the way, coming up with new and even stranger propositions.
There has never been more need for Marketers to unleash the emotional power of their Brands. Marketing sameness, Media fragmentation and confusing choices call for inspirational emotional experiences to engage consumers and create revenue growth.
Brands should enable consumers participate in Brand creation processes. These in the immediate, as well as more importantly in the long term help manage the Brands’ Relevance, Reputation and Consumer Perception.
Emotionally appealing experiences can resurrect markets. A Press Ad, I’m not so sure!
I believe that Brands have to become sensory experiences that extend beyond the traditional paradigm which primarily addresses sight and sound. This is absolutely important and in fact helps broaden your Brand platform.
These are positive emotional responses from a Brands’ target audience. The most powerful and successful corporate Brands grow out of superior strategies driven by superior insights, which are communicated effectively throughout both internal and external publics. In English, what premium do we place on the capacity of all our communication to own a piece of mindshare?
Never before in the history of the Marketing spheres of the World have consumers been this savvy! I have nothing else to say here, except watch out, we have the internet, super fast broadband, and Blackberries- and we sure as hell can write!
The ennui of Nigeria’s marketing sphere is gradually being remedied by creative marketing support providers and willing ‘radical’ Brand Managers. Successful Brands are timeless and negate the concept of product life cycle. I beseech Brand Managers to reconsider… Co-creativity is all the rage now. Let us all stand NOW for ETISALAT Nigeria! Keep standing as you read the rest of this article!! (To add some context, this was the year Etisalat launched its 0809uchoose campaign that allowed customers select and reserve any Etisalat number from 08098000000 to 08098999999 as your personal Etisalat mobile number)
Most companies take the easy way to market their Brands. They buy a lot of expensive advertising and make the usual clichéd claims. The truth is that when consumers believe that they own a Brand, and are involved in its creation in the first place, we have all but assured purchase decisions and behavior. And most importantly, Brand advocates and ambassadors, not high priced pseudo-celebrities.
How we should do what do we should do?
We should therefore start thinking seriously about MSP’s -- Me Selling Propositions; Consumers taking ownership of their Brands. This further enhances the relevance of consumer driven processes that better reflects the rapidly evolving marketplace. Remember, every Brand has 7 Billion Brand Managers. Please use them!
Please consider this simply astringent marketing commentary, based on ideas and currently fueled by Heineken, Dunhill and my interminable need to seem busy and feel smart.
This article was originally published on Mayor Esiaba's LinkedIn.