Brian Alger has just posted an eloquent entry on Conversations of great quality. (Partly in response to my earlier posting here.) Here are a few highlights:
Under the power of networks the days of trite slogans, cute logos and superificial advertising are over. In a networked society, a brand is a kind of network, and a network is inspired by quality conversations between people. The notion of copywriters sitting and coming up with various kinds of tag lines, etc., will implode – they simply won’t be needed as much. For one thing, a quality conversation will effectively nullify superficial marketing and advertising techniques. And the brand will not flow through a hierarchy(i.e. – corporate structure through to public awareness), but through networks (i.e. – many to many). People, consumers, will learn about products and services via networked learning environments and their thoughts and actions will irrevocably become part of the brand identity..
John’s point that marketing people must generate conversations involves a fundamental shift (re-distribution) of power, and will serve to bring marketers and advertisers into much closer proximity with the living and breathing human beings that buy their products and services. If the power of knowledge is in sharing, then consumers will do as much, and perhaps more, of the sharing than marketers can ever hope to. Marketers will need to develop new skill sets that make them expert at facilitating quality conversations…
I’m not one for forecasting, but it seems reasonable to consider the possibility that brands and marketing will, out of necessity, evolve toward becoming network learning environments in which “conversations of great quality” form the essence of the brand image
I particular want to cheer the point about marketing facilitating conversations. That is a world away from the dominant, arrogant mindset in which marketers see themeselves as controlling the dialogue.
Also, a propos Butterfly Moments, Brian’s entry highlights a pretty big one. He is at a physiotherapy appointment…
During my workout I started up a conversation with a fellow that I had seen from time to time, but never really took spoke to in any detail. So, keeping with the tradition of the culture of physiotherapy, I provided the most common opening line, “You here for ACL as well?” His answer was startling and resulted in a long conversation which, to my physiotherapist’s chagrin, cut short my workout.
“I nearly lost my life,” Ron responded, “and I can only thank God that I am still here.”
I think that would qualify quite high in Tony Goodson’s taxonomy!