By Robert Wheatley
One of the greatest marketing evolutions in the Internet era: brands have acquired the ability to be content creators – publishers, producers of their own media. This fits perfectly with the other great strategic upheaval -- brands can no longer simply imprint messages and attempt to exert “control” over consumer behavior by pushing messages at consumers.
As I write this, many brands still believe this will work.
The brand/consumer relationship is tougher to build now and demands a more selfless form of engagement. It requires singular devotion to understanding and mining relevance to the consumer’s lifestyle interests and passions. Brands-that-matter to their users can earn permission for a relationship by connecting tangibly, emotionally to activities and interests their consumer already cares about.
So doesn’t it stand to reason that working hard to become a source of valuable, interesting, engaging, entertaining information about these lifestyle passions could be important? For a fashion or jewelry brand it’s the opportunity to tap into that creative self-expression that is at the core of what drives a fashion-focused person. For the food brand it might be enabling the culinary creativity, learning and emotional payoff going on everyday in the kitchen (experimenting with new dishes, tastes and... Read more