The Need / Brand Duality

Any Brand would love to be synonymous with the need it addresses, e.g. Kleenex & stuffy nose. In a way this is the objective of all marketing efforts, to create an unquestioned bonding of brand and need. Why do I bring up this point in a blog about Social Media? Because in a world where citizen generated content is becoming the most important information available, most marketing efforts need to be re-evaluated.

In the old days (pre-Cluetrain) Brands had the power to create and control the needs of the consumer through powerful advertising and communications programs. Brand generated content was the most important information available. Marketing efforts focused on doing research that optimized the wording of Messages in order to maximize impact. Those with money and power were able to create the need/brand duality necessary to drive sales.

Today and tomorrow, spending time and effort optimizing the brand message is having less and less impact. Instead to create the coveted need/brand duality, successful brands will spend more time, money and effort understanding the consumer needs as expressed by the consumer themselves. No longer can need be dictated by “effective” messaging. In this new world of marketing, listening will become the core competency. Only then will brands be able to remake themselves to truly reflect consumer need, and have a chance to achieve the coveted need/brand duality.

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One Response

  1. I agree that listening is extremely important; however, people should also be careful to respond not only with actions (fixing the problem if there is one, etc.), but also with communication responses, and not just automated ones. Let the community member/customer know you appreciate the time they took to share with you. Non-reciprocated communication can be discouraging.

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