John Grant posted this yesterday as a response to some criticisms people like me and Richard have made on his blog about the idea of engagement which our American Cousins in particular are getting overexcited about. His response was “marketing enthusiasm” (see below) which I feel is a big step on: it puts into words a number of things that I’ve been thinking about for a while – the participative thing, going beyond the market and the brand – acknowledging that real life is so much more than marketing fodder.
Rather than bugger about with a paraphrase and/or lazily link, think this deserves a full cut and paste.
(Though DO follow the debate on John’s blog).
This should be understood as a radical new alternative to marketing aspiration (image). It is about being involved in things you have a passion for vs passively buying something which might make you look good. That’s still a factor in some markets – eg fashion – but even here TopShop have shown that marketing enthusiasm can play a role.
Enthusiasm is if you think about it the key driver of internet 2.0
eBay, YouTube, Flickr, Wikipedia… no brand image, but a lot of enthusiasm.
Here are the seven rules of MARKETING ENTHUSIASM
1. find a bigger enthusiasm than your brand
Some markets make things people are enthusiastic about. Movies, gadgets, cars. Most dont. As many have commented (its becoming a stock response) you dont want a relationship with Tylenol. But you might be interested in a student programme on hangover prevention and cure? Flora made their campaign about cholestrol (eg getting it checked). Run London went for North vs South this year. Dove is about real beauty, not moisturiser.
2. Give people a way to get involved
You dont communicate enthusiasm you provoke it in people. It is automatically an interactive approach. People will want to chip in, register their support, spread the word. This could be a seed audience of bloggers (Stormhoek), head girls (Jamie Cullum) or it could be a mass involvement text thing (Oxfam I’m In, Big Brother vote)
3. Innovate to build life-relevance
Enthusiasm Marketing means translating products into everyday lives and concerns. The breakthrough innovations are in retrospect what we were missing. Disney mobile that lets you track your kids by GPS. InNYC credit card that lets New Yorkers get priority booking at the 7000 hottest venues. Wifi in Starbucks. I really liked Nike’s Test Drive pop up store; of course trying on trainers should include running round the block; these are sport shoes not brogues. A bigger point is that without innovation, news, it is hard to get enthusiastic.
Co-create, let the market have ideas too. People get enthusiastic about stuff they own and can shape. Not lame user generated content. But things like Nike iD, Lego Factory, Amazon (the world’s biggest book club).
5. Catch On
Enthusiasm in contagious. ‘Is a brand which people are enthusiastic about these days’ might well be a key measure. And you can amplify this; queues for Stella at H&M or the New Harry Potter (brand premieres). Or indeed base your whole approach on contagious ideas like Gmail Invites.
6. Partner Up
Aspiration marketing was about building brands in glorious isolation. Enthusiasm naturally gravitates towards partnerships. Pampers and unicef. iPod and U2 or Lost. (RED) and everyone.
7. Build a Molecule
Have one strategy; ie one enthusiasm. (Anyone who insists on calling this a proposition, that’s fine – it’s nearly Christmas after all – but I would tend to call it your issue or agenda). For instance Top Shop brings the high fashion experience to the high street. Then you need to add multiple ideas to keep it fresh, attract different segments, develop it organically, avoid being cling film wrapped with ‘consistency. Top Shop and London Fashion Week, Kate Moss, Personal Dressing, the AIDS charity auction, vintage range…
Big Up, John