I had to post this excerpt from a recent post by Hugh at Gaping Void – brilliant!
At British house parties it's customary to bring a bottle of booze along and give it to the hostess. Sure, the host and hostess will supply a few bottles and the munchies, but everyone's expected to somehow add value to the equation.
Last Spring Joi Ito came to London, so some British bloggers got together and organised a blog dinner for him. I was there. Sure, the lovely Suw Charman did most of the organising/work, and Joi provided the raison d'etre to throw the party, but it was never "Joi's Party" or "Suw's Party". It was everybody's party, Joi and Suw were just two of the people who showed up that evening. When the bill came we all pitched in our £20 and went home. It was a great evening.
All this rambling about Britain, advertising and parties has got me thinking:
The old "branding" way of thinking when I got into the business was akin to this:
1. The Nike Brand is the party.
2. Nike, the company, are the people throwing the party.
3. "The Consumer", the Nike end user, is the person who's invited, as a paying guest, to the party.
But it ain't your party anymore. You no longer have customers. What you have now are fellow party goers. What you have now are friends and allies. Your product and/or company is just the metaphorical bottle of wine you're bringing to the party. All "The Brand" does is focus the metaphorical evening, the way Joi and Suw did for us UK bloggers back in springtime.