« information age? nah... | Main | marketing-as-we-know-it, what's the alternative? »


Evelyn Rodriguez

A brand is just a concept - and it is ephemeral and dynamic as life itself. You might have a snapshot in time of it, but it doesn't sit still.

Now, brand managers in the process of brand-ing might like to have it be freeze-dried trust (especially if it were frozen to some past when they had some trust). Brand-ing as an activity is futile. A brand exists without or without 'brand-ing' to accompany it.

I guess I didn't share MY view of brand, just others. (Although I think you can invite someone to be in a story...)You can put these two posts together, read a bit between the lines and get a sense:


http://evelynrodriguez.typepad.com/crossroads_dispatches/2004/11/the_pace_of_the_2.html (focus on story-dwelling aspect in this post)


Evelyn, those where two post I never read. Thanks for the prompt!

I agree totally with your take on brand as story-dwelling, a dynamic concept. An excellent twist to the markets are conversations. And you certainly got me thinking.

Now, I've got two hats on: A a marketer I would follow my beliefs and do my utmost to prepare the environment for my customers to see all aspects about our company, our product and our people - and keep the dialogue going while we focus on product and service, not wasting time, focus or money on manipulating the story-dwelling. And keeping my competition from changing would be of interest.

The other is the consumer/human being hat: I would want marketers and business people-in-charge to spend all the resources, focus, product development creativity and training on making the product better, and preparing the environment in a way where I'm enabled to make an unabridged story on my own. I think we'd all be better off that way.

If so, how to get them there? By rewiring their understanding of a well-entrenched concept (brand)? I'm sceptical - as long as it exists, even with a serious Cluetrain twist I would expect the marketers to see the brand as something they own, something they can control, dynamic or not. Concept or not, it's pretty tangible in most businesses' minds. And accounts!

It's a bit similar to teaching (push) vs. learning (pull). The latter entails complete trust in the individual, hands off and complete focus on one single thing - prepare the environment.

Using that image I would argue we would be better off dumping the notion, the concept of brand all-together. Trust the market, hands off, just make your very best to stoke the conversation - and that is not a concept, not the very least tangible - it's merely a natural part of the flow named business.

P.s. Here (http://thingamy.typepad.com/sigs_blog/2005/01/marketing_manag.html) I argue that marketing (obviously including the concept of brand) is merely a makeshift solution to handle interaction with the customer, a temporary solution that can be ditched using the right information technology today. That might give you an idea as to where I come from :-)


"Brand is freeze-dried-trust."

What a crystalline description. Freeze-dried, or preserved in amber, either way they're dead, eh?

Interesting post and follow-on, Sig. (Hi Evelyn--We have to stop meeting like this!)

I think you nail it Sig, with the teaching analogy. Advertising is commerce coopting education and bending it backwards, or pushing it so, as you note. Two beasts that marketers face: We love to buy, we hate to be "sold." We love to learn, we hate to be "taught." The ill-fated marriage of the two hates comes often when we're jerked out of the reverie of being immersed in an interesting new experience, only to realize "Damn, they're just trying to sell me something."

(If this sounds right, you might appreciate something blogged last May: http://www.alchemysite.com/blog/2004/05/information-resistance-paradox-ominous.html )

I'd say pursue Bonds, not Brands. In that way, we "manufacture" trust: the seedbed for happy accidents like Ipods to happen or minimacs to fail. (Neither are 'accidents' obviously, nor is the "tilling.") In a way, as marketers, we're generating owners-by-proxy in our consumers. If they perceive our hearts are in the "right place" (the same place as theirs), proven by us birthing tools that enliven them but that they couldn't have asked for without our prompting then they, like all owners, are willing to forgive a fair multitude of sins in a vision. Minimacs can die without damaging the "soil": the idea that Apple is capable of and will do great things in the future--and I, as an "owener-by-proxy" can feel sure of that because if they're wrong in their ambition, then so am I. And we can't have that can we?

Trust, and "why?" to trust; the bonds and barriers that build or destroy it. That's where biz schools and marketing programs drop the ball.

Thanks for letting me ramble. Enjoyed your blog.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo


  • Phone: +33 6 8887 9944
    Skype: sigurd.rinde
    iChat/AIM: sigrind52

Tweet this

Thingamy sites

  • Main site
  • Concept site

Tittin's blog


Enterprise Irregulars


Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter


    • Alltop, all the cool kids (and me)


    Blog powered by Typepad
    Member since 01/2005