Tag Archives: our+social+world sainsbury’s

Our Social World and Whose Brand is it anyway?

I’m blogging this live from Our Social World where we’re reached the final session and many of us are now sipping the Stormhoek courtesy of Hugh. The OSW site links to lots of coverage of what’s been happening.

I did my party piece sharing an improv game to explore the idea of taking risks, stepping into the unknown and co-creativity.

I also mentioned my part in starting 173drurylane.com, and was surprised to find that this sparked a bit of controversy. If I followed correctly (and I may have got the wrong end of the stick), some folks, including Ben Hammersley, were a bit startled at this blog being run independently of Sainsbury’s and without the bloggers explicitly telling the company about it.

One thing about this that feels important to me is the idea that a brand, like Sainsbury’s, is a social construction. While the company may own the trademark, it’s for all or any stakeholders to determine its meaning, which they do in a variety of conversations. The 173 site is arguably a slightly different way of hosting a few of these conversations, but I think it’s perfectly fair for us to do that.

When people ask what do they think about this, and how will they react, I start to wonder about what this they means; I start to philosophise about who these they are. Perhaps, in this context, we’re talking about the senior management of the company, who may or may not like our little blog. But what about the staff of the company, one or two of whom have been known to participate in the conversations at 173? And aren’t those of us who shop at Sainsbury’s part of the this they as well?

Call me a subversive, I can hack it.

Hat tip to Denzil Meyers who first (to my knowledge) asked the question, whose brand is it anyway?

UPDATE: The debate continues at Tim Kitchin’s, who weighed in my support, bless him. I hope we’ll all end up as friends in the end.