Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Sometimes you can't imagine the possibilities...

I'm catching up on the useful not urgent pile from last week. 

I just found this piece of Lightspeeed Research quoted by e-marketer which was headlined "Americans want brands that inform...[..] but don't get too friendly".

Personally, I think that's a bit like that infamous story (I paraphrase) of when asking people what they wanted in terms of new features out of a new VHS player, consumers asked for a 2 speed rewind rather than imagining the possibilities of the DVD format. Sometimes consumers just can't imagine, recognise or define what they want / might want until they've experienced it.

We all have a range of friends and acquaintances, some are close, some are not so close, and those relationships are all useful for different purposes and at different times.

I don't see why having a relationship / friendship with a brand is any different. There are times when it will be important to me and times when it will be less so, but on whatever terms, the whole point that many brands miss so frequently is that relationships are 2 way. There has to be give and take. I always liked the Stephen Covey notion of emotional bank accounts. Some people contribute / add credit and some people debit.   If a relationship becomes too one sided/debit lead it becomes an effort and you'll place less value on it or just discard it.

I'm very happy to be Alexsandr Orlov or Ted's friend on Facebook / on Twitter. They add something to my life. Whilst they continue to do so I'm happy to interact with them.

Is your brand being constrained by VHS-feature-enhancement thinking? Or have you grasped how by behaving more like you are in a relationship with them you can add value to your consumers lives by being relevant and accessible at the right times? 

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